[Excuse for getting out of P.E. forever]
[Annoying question for any adult you can find]
[Excuse for not doing your homework]
[Excuse for getting your parents to bake cookies for you]
[Excuse for not tidying your bedroom]
Right now parents need all the help they can get! Let me set the scene:
- Coronavirus (or COVID-19) has become a global pandemic.
- Schools all over the world have closed until summer.
- The goblins (sometimes referred to as ‘our delightful kids’) have now taken control of the home and are graciously allowing us parents to live in the basement.
Right now people all over the world are looking for books to entertain and educate their little goblins. At the same time money is extremely tight. So, those who will continue to read this blog post will discover great ways to find free and discounted eBooks for children in need of a massive pile of reading material.
There are plenty of places to find great books for free, but I’ve found that the best place has to be the Top 100 Children’s eBooks on Amazon Kindle.
Being the biggest bookshop in the world means it also has the most books in its catalogue and the most readers in its garden. If you want to find out what free books other parents are feeding to their goblins right now then it’s in that list. When I just checked there were loads of free educational books to help parents add home schooling to their CV’s.
Daily eBook Email Deals
The day I discovered this my digital book library quadrupaled!
There are several great email blasts that, get this, will send you discounted and free books every single day. You can even tell them what kind of books you like and they tailor the email to your preferences (kids books for goblin number one, middle grade books for goblin number two, thrillers for the goblin king and romance for the queen of the goblin kingdom).
Here’s a list that I’d personally reccomend:
The doors to your local library have been locked, but did you know you can still read the books without having to step inside the building?
There’s an app for everything these days, and that included the library service. Let me introduce you to Borrow Box. Download the app, find your library, enter your membership number and you can start borrowing books again from the comfort of your home. Put simply, you now have your entire local library on your phone! That includes the children’s books (but not the old carpet and tiny plastic chairs).
Become a Book Reviewer
Although this may sound like work rather than play, hear me out.
During this time of quarantine, kids need educating. Reading is an important piece of the learning puzzle, and so is writing. You can get your hands on free books in return for honest reviews – two birds one stone!
Netgalley is biggest review service, although you need to prove you are an influencer. LoveReading4Kids and Toppsta are two wonderful book review sites, both of which have kids areas with giveaways and resources to get them into writing reviews. The Prolific Works App is another great place to get free books, in return for giving your email address to the author (and I think its only right that you review a book the author has gifted, don’t you?)
All My Books – Discounted to 99p / 99c
I want to do my part in helping the world through this crisis.
As a humble children’s author, there’s no much I can do, but at the very least I can lower the barrier of entry to my books. So, I’ve slashed the prices. Even my latest book released 27th March 2020 – The Village Creatures.
I hope all this will help in these challenging times and you are able to amass a gigantic pile of books for your kids.
Well, it’s official.
The UK Government has upgraded the Coronavirus warning level from “slightly miffed” to “oh, bugger”, and now we’re all are pretty much stuck inside for the foreseeable future.
(But, one nice silver-lining for me, my extremely organised wife has been bulk buying toilet paper before the pandemic hit from Who Gives a Crap. So I didn’t have to start a fight in Tesco for the last pack of loo rolls).
With all that in mind, I want to do my bit to help parents and kids get through this period of school closures and isolation.
Yes, I’m in the process of making as much fun and entertaining content available as I can to make sure none of us go stir-crazy, all starting with making my latest children’s fiction book FREE. I’d much prefer spread hope and happiness than make some extra cash from a new release.
It’s not yet released, so I’ve created a link below for you to download the free eBook via Book Funnel. I hope it will keep you or your kids away from the TV for at least an hour or so.
If you drank Mr. Fitz’s Fabulous Formula, what animal would you turn into?
This hilarious book, illustrated with over thirty pencil drawings, is quite possibly the silliest story ever told! If you enjoyed Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine or David Walliams’ The Beast of Buckingham Palace, then you’ll love The Village Creatures.
(P.S. Please do share this post or the link with anyone and everyone you think might appreciate a free kids book to make this situation a little less stressful!)
Because I want to focus on producing more books and other free resources, I’ll be pressing pause on this Weekly Cartoon email. I’m planning on returning to sending out these cartoons again later in the year but for now I’m keen to do my bit.
So, if you want to continue receiving updates on new helpful stuff you’ll need to sign up to my other mailing list. In doing so you’ll get a further three FREE eBooks, so it’s worth a few extra clicks.
I’d love to hear from you – if you have any suggestions on what content I can create to help let me know. What can I write / draw / produce to keep you and your kids busy?
Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts and I’ll comment back 🙂
Happy reading, everyone!
[Excuse for staying up ALL night]
[Excuse for getting out of cricket / rugby / football / hockey / netball in the freeze-your-nuts-off cold weather]
So, your little munchkin has munched through all seven Harry Potter books in record time and their hands are now empty. But what should they read next to keep the reading (and peaceful bliss) going on and on?
It’s a question that countless parents have asked the internet. I’m speaking from experience here. Before J. K. Rowling put pen to paper I was a ten-year-old boy who was allergic to reading. I was a complete embarrassment to my ex-Primary-School-Teacher-turned-School-Librarian mother. After reading the Harry Potter series I was converted. I used to be a book-sloth and now I’m a book-worm, and it’s all thanks to Hogwarts and Hippogriffs and Hufflepuff.
It’s a hard act to follow. Book One is the third bestselling book of all time (only beaten by Tolkien’s masterpiece and some French picture book). So then, here it goes . . . my five suggestions for the next magical middle-grade series that’ll keep kids reading.
5. Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy
This seems to be what many parents nudge gently towards their kids. I can testify to this having eaten through the series myself as a young lad. It’s top-notch.
Derek Landy has created a wonderfully imaginative character – a skeleton detective sorcerer who drives a Bentley and flings fireballs at his enemies with the best name you’ll ever hear . . . Skulduggery Pleasent. This is another ‘magical subculture hidden from the rest of society’ kid’s fiction series, but here’s what makes it better than the rest. The author has mixed the magic we all crave with wise-cracking wit that’ll make everyone laugh.
“So you won’t keep anything from me again?” He put his hand to his chest. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” “Okay then. Though you don’t actually have a heart,” she said. “I know.” “And technically, you’ve already died.”
And it’s set in Ireland, which I found very refreshing.
This twelve-book strong series contains a trill-a-minute and a laugh-a-second. It came out just as Harry was graduating from Hogwarts, and just as well as no-one wants to be forcibly retired. But unike Harry, Skulduggary hasn’t retired.
4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
Now here’s a great middle-grade series to rival Potter.
Are you a bit weird in school? Maybe you don’t fit in. Maybe you’re a target for bullies or get into trouble a lot or sucked at reading or have dyslexia. Well, Rick Riordan is here to tell you that it’s okay . . . truth is, you’re probably a demi-god with powers that enable you to zap those bullies and save the world from a catastrophic war between the gods.
The plot is sensational (it goes at a mile a minute). The writing is sensational (this guy knows how to write fast-paced thrilling action). The characters are sensational (seriously, mixing Greek gods with 21st century New York makes for entertaining stuff). The monsters are, well, pretty good too (as you can imagine, this book is jam-packed with mythical creatures and celestial beings).
Percy Jackson will draw you in just as much as Harry Potter and will make you laugh twice as much.
3. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series Quintet Series by Michael Scott
Now here’s a familar name to Harry Potter fans.
If you’re looking for an epic adventure where myths and legends come to life then you’re in for a treat here. Inside this series you’ll find a 600-year-old alchemist who performs magic, a 2,000-year-old vegetarian vampire along with cameos from Joan of Arc, King Tutankhamen, and Queen Elizabeth I, to name a few. In this universe the myths and legends are all real, they’re all immortal and they coexist with our modern world. Furthermore, there are more twists and turns than a centipede could count on its arms and legs.
This magical series is six books long and each is the size of the longer Potter books, like the Goblet of Fire. They contain everything we all loved about the world of Hogwarts and Hagrid – magic, mystery, and the battle between good versus evil.
2. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
This next book series is quite possibly the love child of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter.
Clary Fray is a 15-year-old trying to find her place in the world – is she goth, a punk, or perhaps a half-angel kick ass demon slayer? Turns out she is the last one. Vampires, werewolves, demons and angels are everywhere and it’s up to her and the Shadowhunters to keep the peace. Clary has got much to learn if shes going to defeat the evil villain called Valentine (not quite as good of a villain name as Voldemort, but just as twisted and detestable).
The author has masterfully created a vivid, believable parallel world of Shadowhunters and demons full of three-dimensional characters, punchy dialogue, and fascinating magical elements that will keep the pages turning all night. This is urban fantasy at it’s best!
1. The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin
And finally, if you’re wanting to level up your kid’s magical fantasy reading, then here’s an excellent series to get their teeth into.
This is the tale of Sparrowhawk – a young boy who will become the most powerful wizard to have ever lived. Anyone for a dragon fight? Raising the dead? Awesome shadows underneath the waters? Amazing magical discoveries? It’s all here.
The magic inside these pages is simply wonderful – dare I say it, better than anything you’ll see in Hogwarts. The world of islands is gorgeous. But most importantly, it’s Sparrowhawk that I love the most. This young kid has gone through so much. All his bad decisions lead to wisdom, and all the while, the magic grows and surges and becomes something amazing.
Everyone has got to grow up, even Harry Potter! Rowling’s books are plot-driven team-based struggles with some deeper themes woven in. On the other hand, Le Guin’s tales are woven around the metaphysical. They are a deep dive into themes of morality and spirituality making this series very profound indeed.
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow…”
That’s good stuff! Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write.