From Sherlock Holmes to The War of the Worlds: 13 E-Books Students Can Read For Free | The White House

From Sherlock Holmes to The War of the Worlds: 13 E-Books Students Can Read For Free | The White House.

President Obama joined students at Anacostia Neighborhood  Library in Southeast Washington, D.C. yesterday to announce a plan to give low-income children access to 10,000 e-books. As a part of Discovery Education’s “Of the People” webinar series, students asked the President questions about his favorite books, how books have influenced his life, and the importance of technology in classrooms and libraries.

This discussion builds on the President’s ConnectEd initiative to ensure all students have access to a cutting edge classroom. The plan includes $250 million in e-book commitments from major US publishing houses (Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins) as well as a slate of independent publishers of books and magazines (Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, and Lee & Low).

These books will be made available in the coming months through a new app being launched by a consortia of libraries and non-profit organizations, supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Here are some of our favorite books that kids will now be able to read thanks to this initiative: 

1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin

It’s even better when Malia, Sasha, and First Lady Michelle Obama read it to you.

2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 

When you open this up, you just might hear singing.

3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Silas Phelps, Peter Wilks … now those last two were characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

4. 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner: The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

“Reading The Goldfinch will give people an idea of why I’ve made healthy eating choices such a focal point of my legacy in the White House.”

– First Lady Michelle Obama 

Read the rest of the First Lady’s Book Review Here.

5.The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Fact check: Sherlock Holmes never actually says, “Elementary, my dear Watson” in a book.

6. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Obama visits MLK memorial at nightPresident Barack Obama tours the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

7.The Wonderful World of Oz by Frank Baum

The Lollipop Guild, represent.

8. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with President Nelson MandelaFirst Lady Michelle Obama talks with former South African President Nelson Mandela about his book during a visit at Mandela’s home in Houghton, South Africa, June 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

9.  I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

A book by the youngest-ever Nobel Prize Laureate

President Obama, the First Lady, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala YousafzaiPresident Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

10. Dracula by Bram Stoker

The original vampire. Sorry, Team Edward.

11. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

All the ghoul kids love it.

12. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells 

Orson Welles actually broadcast parts of this book on the radio in 1938 and convinced America we were getting invaded by aliens.

13. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Perhaps a little like President Obama and Luther (his anger translator).

Honorable Mention:

DEWEY: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

He may or may not hang out with Grumpy Cat on occasion.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Ryan Gosling wants you to read.


These commitments build on the more than $2 billion in private sector commitments to support digital learning in schools and libraries. Learn more about how you can take advantage of those opportunities here: WhiteHouse.gov/ConnectED.

These new efforts will work to strengthen learning opportunities by improving access to digital reading content that prepare students for college and a career that fulfils their dreams.

Learn more here

Miranda Houchins is an intern in the White House Office of Digital Strategy.
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