Since books are the key ingredients to literacy-based therapy, I’m always on the hunt for good books that are relevant for my students. Even though I do buy some (HELLO, Amazon Prime!), I love when I can get my hands on them for free! And, since SLPs have a never-ending need to find books that will engage our students so our speech and language therapy supports them in the classroom, FREE is fantastic, right?!
Here are seven of my favorite ways to get books for literacy-based therapy (and many are free!):
1. Library (School and Community)
Who doesn’t love the library? Most of the time, your school or community library will have the books you want, and the librarians are incredible resources to help you find what you need (and are clued into the books kids are excited about!). Many libraries are also connected to larger networks, so you might be able to borrow from other libraries and will definitely have access to e-books, as well.
Have you tapped into Epic’s resources yet? It’s one of my favorite apps, and it’s FREE for educators—the perfect digital library for kids! Plus, one of the best features is that you can create a profile for each of your students so they will get personalized book recommendations (and rewards for reading!). Yes, please! With more than 25,000 resources, you can find just about anything you need!
You can find thousands of books on YouTube for free!
4. Google eBookstore
Another fabulous resource for free (or very low-cost) e-books is the Google eBookstore. Great if you need to book a text in a pinch!
If you liked book orders when you were in elementary school, and if you work at a school, then you’re going to really love the program Scholastic has for teachers. Sign up for the Scholastic Reading Club to get really great discounts on books. Don’t forget to sign up to get notified of upcoming warehouse sales, as well, to get some incredible discounts.
And, check in with some of your teacher friends to see if they have any extra Scholastic points to share. When their classroom places a book order, Scholastic gives them points that can be redeemed for books or other supplies. There might be teachers at your school who have points to spare and will let you get free books for your therapy sessions that way.
6. Thrift Stores, Garage Sales, and Used Bookstores
I’m not going to lie: Some days, this can be like finding a needle in a haystack. But, one of my favorite places to find books, often for less than a dollar, is at Goodwill. Some days, I hit the jackpot. Other days, not so much. BUT, if you are patient and keep visiting thrift stores, garage sales, and used bookstores, you will eventually hit the mother lode.
Yep, as I mentioned, Amazon is a favorite resource of mine, and they also have a great used book section. So, while it might not be free, there are definitely some deals to take advantage of.
No matter where I find my books, I make sure to always follow my top three criteria for selecting books to use in therapy.
Now, it’s your turn! What would you add to my list?