Schools are closed through the end of this school year, and children and caregivers alike are looking for high-quality reading materials and activities. It's more important than ever to keep young minds engaged in constructive work and play. The Free Library has many digital resources that can help!
One of our favorite digital resources is Hoopla, which allows you to instantly borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels, and stream movies, television series, and music 24/7 with your library card. There are hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, with more being added daily!
Every Free Library cardholder may checkout up to four Hoopla items per month. Getting started with hoopla is simple. Follow the link to Hoopla from our Digital Media page or go directly to hoopladigital.com and click "Get Started Today". You will need to create a username and password with your email address. Finally, you will verify your account with your Free Library card and PIN. You can get a Free Library card or reset your PIN online. If you need more help, check out these short tutorials from Hoopla!
Here are some of our favorites Hoopla titles for school-age kids:
Sideways Stories From Wayside School
This favorite from Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar relates the wild tales from a silly school that was accidentally built sideways and 30 stories high!
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior
This easy-reading series of graphic novels set in the Minecraft universe is a great compromise option for kids and parents looking to trade a little screen time for book time.
Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood
Take a walk through Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary: from jazz greats and artists to writers and civics rights leaders.
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
This beloved series by Jeff Kinney about the ups and downs of middle school is great for reluctant readers or anyone in need of a laugh.
Warriors: The Prophecies Begin
This popular series transports readers into a fantasy world where clans of fierce warrior cats vie for supremacy while trying to follow the code laid down by their ancestors.
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? Read Sal and Gabi to find out!
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
You may have seen the movies, but this series by bestselling author Rick Riordan will really transport you to an amazing world where modern teenage incarnations of the ancient Greek gods and demigods battle battle mythological monsters and try to save the world.
It All Comes Down to This
It’s 1965, Los Angeles. Sophie is the new black kid in an all-white neighborhood; her sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. When riots erupt in nearby Watts, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought.
Girl Who Drank the Moon
An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her.
Miles Morales Spider-Man
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out with his best friend. Oh yeah, and he's Spider-Man. From award-winning author Jason Reynolds, see how Miles balances his responsibilities in school, to his family, and saving the city!
Older students will find many options between the adult and young adult titles Hoopla offers, like With the Fire on High, a novel by National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo, set in the Fairhill neighborhood of Philadelphia, who bonds with her Abuela through cooking or Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, now a Netflix movie, about a young woman’s courage and self-acceptance told with great humor and warmth, and the graphic novel Sheets, about a teenager and a ghost boy whose worlds collide in a laundromat. Other titles worth exploring are American Street by Ibi Zoboi which paints an intimate portrait of a family looking for the American Dream while struggling with the realities of harsh immigration policies, Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson which explores the "prison for profit pipeline", or if you are really into political power plays, try As I Descended by Robin Talley, a modern take on Lady Macbeth.
For more Free Library learning resources, check out past Digital Learning blog posts! Can we help in another way? Let us know in the comments!