Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Recommended "Read-Alouds"

Some friends of mine were just discussing recommendations for books to read aloud to their children, and it made me want to come up with a list.

Believing that it is important for young kids to be exposed to good writing and fascinating stories, we have always read to our kids, lest they be doomed only to years of triteness in the form of the easier-to-read books like Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse that they could access on their own.

So I went back through my files, -- realizing that I have now been reading aloud to my children for about a decade -- to compile the ones that have been our favorites over the years.  (We have also read a whole bunch of books that ended up being really boring, which I did not include below!)

I decided to make two lists, actually -- one of books I would read to even young children, and one that has some themes or content that might be better suited for older elementary children.  So here's what I've come up with:
Product Details

For younger children/whole families:

Homer Price (and More Homer Price)
Dangerous Journey
Betsy’s Busy Summer (series)
Mr. Poppin’s Penguins
The Boxcar Children (series)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Product DetailsThe Voyage of Dr. Dolittle (series)
 In Grandma's Attic (series)
Sarah, Plain & Tall (series)
The Year of Miss Agnes
The Castle in the Attic
My Side of the Mountain
My Father's Dragon
The Hundred Dresses
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basel E. Frankweiler
The Long Winter (Little House series)
Product DetailsHans Brinker or the Silver Skates
The Trumpet of the Swan (also Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little)
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Magician’s Nephew (Narnia series)
The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef (series)
The Imagination Station series

For older elementary children:

The Secret at Pheasant Cottage
Product DetailsTwice Freed
Star of Light (all by Patricia St. John)
Redwall (series)
Little Britches
The Bronze Bow
The Hiding Place
The Great Brain (series)
The Black Stallion (series)
Where the Red Fern Grows
Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest
Product DetailsThe Tale of Despereaux
The Sign of the Beaver
A Long Walk to Water
The Door in the Wall
Jotham’s Journey (and all others by this author – all fantastic)
Detectives in Togas
Because of Winn-Dixie
Johnny Tremain
Across Five Aprils

I have such good memories reading these books!

Strikingly absent from either list is The Lord of the Rings series.  Ironic as it is, our child named after one of the greatest characters from these books has stubbornly refused to be entertained or drawn in by the story. So after getting 40 or 50 pages in each time he has tried, Pete has sadly ended up putting the book back down.  We're hoping as the younger boys get a little older, though, they may find them fascinating!

There are also several excellent series and/or books that I have not included (Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc) because in our home these have been better suited to an individual reading them on his/her own.  It is our hope that by reading some books aloud, the young readers will then want to pursue a whole library-full.  There are just so many good books out there!

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