Favorite Family Read-Alouds


chapter books to read aloud

Today, lots of the TOS Crew bloggers are sharing their favorite read-alouds.  I’ll share the link to everyone else’s post at the end of mine, because if you’re like me, you’re ALWAYS looking for more good books to share with your children!

I have always believed in the power of story.  Good writers know that more can be communicated in prose than in essay; the heart can be touched more by beloved characters’ experiences than perhaps by a news story.  Whose spirits didn’t thrill to the fellowship of the ring and Frodo’s terrifying journey?  Tolkien knew well how to craft a tale and express a deeper message at the same moment.

We’re big believers, as a family, of the joys of the read-aloud.  We started, of course, with toddler Bibles and board books; progressing to picture books and finally to chapter books.  We have spent many an hour on adventure together, via story!

Jan 20 2014 009

I want to share some of our most favorite read-aloud stories with you.  They have not only brought joy and delight to our family, but also love, fun and togetherness.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia:  C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books are, in my opinion, the very best read-alouds EVER.  Faithful and loving Lucy, intrepid Peter, valiant Reepicheek, Prince Caspian, Puddleglum (whose very name embodies his personality), talking animals.and of course the Great Lion.  I bawl nearly every time Aslan shows up!  We read them over and over, and you’ll want to as well.  I recommend reading them in the originally-written order (with The Magician’s Nephew seemingly displaced.  It will be much more charming that way—trust me!)  I think we’re going to have to haul our copies out again soon!
  • Eleanor Estes’ Ginger Pye:  There are a lot of good dog books out there, but we particularly loved this book about an eccentric family with a very special dog.  You’ll find loss, reward, reunion—and quite an adventure in addition to all that!
  • Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr:  The parents of the dozen mentioned here are inventors of labor-saving devices and routines; you can certainly imagine why they’d need them, with twelve children!  Lots of love, humor, joy and sadness.  I definitely recommend this as a read-aloud as opposed to a reader; the parent will likely choose to do a little editing here and there.
  • A Cricket in Times Square and Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse by George Selden.   Beautifully illustrated by Garth Williams, Selden’s books about the friendship and experiences of a mouse and a cat living in the middle of Manhattan should not be missed.
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien:  Jackson is not quite ready yet for The Lord of the Rings series; but our entire family delighted in its precursor, The Hobbit.  Learn how the Ring ever found its way into the hands of a hobbit, how kingdoms were lost and won, and the avaricious bent of Smaug in Tolkien’s wonderful adventure story.

Of course my list of favorite books is always-expanding and never-ending.  But those are some of our most-loved!

See what other Crew members have to share by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Enjoy!  –Wren




6 thoughts on “Favorite Family Read-Alouds

  1. I saw one of my faves, Caddie Woodlawn on the stack! Can’t go wrong with Newbury award winners! Mother took us to the library weekly every summer. Has Jackson discovered another old favorite of mine , “Chad Hanna”? A boy raised near the Erie Canal joins a circus (small time & grimy) & is a really good coming-of-age story; young Henry Fonda was in the movie also. A Greek philosopher (sr moment on name) made the point that it was only so true that each of us had only one life to live; those that read live a thousand or more! Oh the blessing of growing up in a family of readers.

    • So true, dearest Erin!! Caddie IS wonderful. We’ve discovered so many awesome books from Newbury for sure. We’ll look for Chad Hanna; I’ve never heard of it but we’re always looking for great books with boy characters!

      Love you!

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