As summer comes to a close, you may find yourself trading a poolside view for one of the classroom. Before long, you’ll find your dining table full of school projects and homework. Let HPL help you ease into the school year.

Join us at several events at your local library to kick off the new school year. Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros is hosting a series of Tech Connect Events providing free backpacks, coding workshops, valuable internet service and more. Or come to the Family F.U.N. Day for the entire family hosted by the Star of Hope. Giveaways include backpacks, school supplies and more. Receive free immunizations on-site, play fun carnival games and win prizes.

One way to gear up for school is to take a look at our reading lists compiled by grade level (elementary, middle school, and high school).  These lists, updated regularly, provide a good starting place to help students develop their reading proficiency and fluency.

Another way to get ready for the classroom is to explore some of the free resources HPL has for students, from kindergarten to college and beyond.  Below, we highlight just a tip of the iceberg of all the various databases, websites, and resources useful to help you tackle your class assignments. A valid MY Link library card is all you need to access them.


This is a great source of e-books for early readers, from pre-K to 5th grade.  Tumblebooks offers narrated e-books (including books in French and Spanish), entertaining and informative videos from National Geographic, and a wide assortment of educational puzzles and games. Tumblebooks provides a great way to bring story-time into your home.


You can find articles on a variety of subjects such as biographies, social studies and science. The different subjects list topics organized in alphabetical order, and Explora’s articles are reliable sources for class research projects. Explora has one interface for elementary students, and a slightly more advanced interface and articles for middle school students.

Britannica Online

This is another great resource for topic articles, biographies, world and US geography information, images and article of animals, and more. Britannica Online for Children organizes its content in a way that is easy for young students to explore and Britannica Online for Young Adults offers a more detailed and advanced interface for middle school students.


This is a wonderful resource for students of all ages, from kindergarten to high school.  Brainfuse offers free online tutoring for students with live instructors, writing labs, and flash cards on a range of subjects.

Learning Express Library

Another great resource for K-12 students with help in math, science, reading, social studies, vocabulary, spelling and writing skills. Additionally Learning Express Library provides assistance with STAAR and  college exams (SAT, ACT, and AP exams). For college students, Learning Express also offers practice tests for graduate school applications (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT exams).

Gale PowerSearch

This resource provides access to newspaper, journal and magazine articles on a wide range of topics and is a great source for research papers and critical writing projects. Gale PowerSearch is a great gateway to a large number of reliable sources for your papers and research projects.

National Geographic

This is a great resource for science, nature, and social studies, providing article and videos on a wide assortment of topics. National Geographic Kids is geared toward upper elementary and middle school student needs, while National Geographic Virtual Library has archives of their magazine article perfectly suited to be a research resource for high school students.

HPL Paperback Classics

Need help with an English research paper?  The HPL Paperback Classics page has an alphabetical list of books and stories that are often assigned projects in school.  When you click on the title, you’ll find lots of books (available in print and e-formats) that will give you critical and literary analysis to help you get an A!

cafécollege Houston

This program is a joint venture between HPL and ProjectGRAD; cafécollege Houston is a source of one-on-one help on researching, applying to, and finding funding for college. Students get paired with a counselor that helps them map out career and educational goals, research prospective colleges, and navigate the various scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

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