Youth Book Corner: Literary Resources for Home

Our Outreach Coordinator Leena Desai recommends some wonderful online literary resources that students can use for study or pleasure while practicing social distancing.

Storybooks Canada: Storybooks Canada is part of the Global Storybooks portal of free multilingual literacy resources for children and youth. Storybooks Canada offers 40 African stories translated and read in the major immigrant and refugee languages of Canada, in addition to the official languages of English and French. This initiative serves as a great primer for African culture, traditions and mythologies and is one of the programs offered by Storybooks Canada, the other being Indigenous Storybooks, which aims to make the text, images, and audio of Indigenous stories available in some immigrant and indigenous languages. Grades K-5

FOLD Academy webinars: Brampton, Ontario-based Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) offers webinars for aspiring writers via its service FOLD Academy. They also offer FOLD Academy Kids for young readers and writers 5-9 years of age. This week, they offered readings with authors Danny Ramadan, Nadia Hohn, Catherine Hernandez, Jillian Tamaki and David Alexander Robertson. FOLD Academy also offers a free webinar for adults on the second Saturday of every month and if any parents or teachers would like to tune in, their last webinar will be offered on April 11. Grades K-4

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly: On March 17, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, graphic novel publisher Drawn & Quarterly’s Montreal bookstore, closed their store and only allowed online shopping. Now, they have also started a ‘Virtual Story Time,’ a daily video series featuring their staff reading from beloved picture books. Most of these books are read in both English and French and videos posted daily on the store’s Facebook page. Grades K-3

Tumble Book Library: Tumble Book Library is a vast repository of online learning resources for school students and teachers. It includes animated talking picture books, chapter books, videos, non-fiction titles, graphic novels, playlists, and books in French and Spanish. Subscription to this service is through a school or a library and offers a variety of tools to inform, educate and entertain, including puzzles and National Geographic videos. Grades K-12

International Children’s Digital Library: For millions of immigrants who have made Canada their home, holding on to our native language and ensuring future generations know how to read and speak those languages is not easy. International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) is a foundation committed to the sustainability of languages. They have a large digital archive of children’s books in various regional languages of the world, from Farsi to Finnish, Amharic to Urdu, and then some more. Grades K-7

Lit2Go: For students who prefer listening to books rather than reading them, Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. This initiative is part of Educational Technology Clearinghouse, a digital resource for students offered by the University of South Florida. Each audiobook is divided into chapters and an MP3 as well as a PDF file is offered, for those students who might want to read the chapter while listening to it. Passages from some chapters also include a related reading strategy. Grades K-12


Leena Desai