A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn organizational skills as they choose categories for their libraries and add books to each list. They'll also compare their opinions about books with other readers' by looking through the site's reviews. Google Books can help kids understand that there are many ways to read: they can read online, use an ereader, listen to an audiobook, or even do it the old-fashioned way -- get a book.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A search for "sex" on Google Books brings up many links, such as "Cosmo's Guide to Red-Hot Sex," "Ultimate Sex Positions," and many more titles inappropriate for kids. Sometimes even Snippets contain inappropriate language.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Google Books is a book-finding search engine with many bonus functions and a great selection of free, public-domain content. Kids can read some of their favorite classics online, like Wind in the Willows and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, among others. They can fill their libraries with favorite books and organize them into categories; they also can write personal reviews or reminders about each book. Reviews and libraries can be made public or private. Google Books is a great resource, but make sure your kids are using it wisely -- it has no content filters. Just as in the regular library, kids can find all kinds of books here, including very inappropriate ones. They can come across explicit excerpts almost without trying.
Is It Any Good?
This is a rich resource. So many classic books are in the public domain, and Google Books is a fun way to access them all in one place (although the regular library has its merits, too). Kids can read Anne of Green Gables and look at the original 1908 illustrations or look at Homer's Odyssey, all for free. Privacy can be tricky; make sure your kids' libraries are marked private or else anyone can see them. Although it's easy to purchase books through Google Play, Google Books is best used as a resource for free content and as a way to collect and share favorite books with friends.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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