Engaging Readers Through E-Books

Sara MartinezBooks, Parents, Teachers, Volunteers

WITS’ mission is to help students develop a love of reading by providing engaging, relevant books to students across Chicago. With schools and libraries closed, there are many ways to digitally access books. Here are some e-book resources you can use if you find yourself missing browsing through the WITS book bins every week.

Open Library

Open Library is a free online resource. Their goal is to provide access to thousands of books worldwide. You can “borrow” up to 10 e-books at a time and return them whenever you’ve finished reading, or re-reading, them.

They have a vast selection of books, including copies of the popular Elephant and Piggy series and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Program Coordinator Delaney Earley is doing a read aloud every week of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, so reserve a copy to read along with her!

Create an account here to start reading.

OverDrive Kids From Chicago Public Library

OverDrive is the Chicago Public Library’s e-book and audio book resource center. You can borrow thousands of books and audio books from the comfort of your own home. They also have a read-along collection for students to read and listen to books at the same time.

You can login to this resource with your Chicago Public Library card number and pin number. Don’t have a library card? You can apply for an e-card. This gives you access to all OverDrive e-books and audio books.


Epic! gives students access to not only thousands of books, but also quizzes, learning videos, and more. There are two different ways to access this resource–through a parent portal and an educator portal. Parent’s receive one-month free access and elementary school educators gain free unlimited access. Sign up here.

Parents can monitor what books their children are reading, create different collections (such as bedtime stories), receive personalized recommendations for their children based on their reading habits, and more. Find out more here.

Educators can create collections for students filled with book recommendations and assignments, quizzes, and videos. There are so many different ways to engage students using this resource. Find out more here.

Happy e-reading!