Once your kids can read on their own, it is easy to stop reading aloud to them. But there are so many reasons to continue reading together. Reading aloud to older kids builds their vocabularies and allows them to absorb stories beyond their reading level, which leads to a love of books. More importantly, it helps you stay connected to them by providing some quiet time together that will make memories you will both cherish forever. We continued to read aloud to our two sons at bedtime until they were in their early teens. Here are some of our favorite books we shared together:
The Underland Chronicles, starting with Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins – Collins is a household name now, thanks to her YA trilogy The Hunger Games, but we were fans long before that. We read this entire five-book middle-grade series aloud to our sons, and all of us loved every minute of the action-packed underground fantasy.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary – perfect for younger kids, our sons loved this fun childhood favorite of mine about a clever, curious mouse named Ralph who befriends a little boy.
Lionboy trilogy by Zizou Corder – We read all three Lionboy books to our sons when they were 11 and seven, and the four of us were riveted by the fast-paced story, memorable characters, and exotic locales in this exciting adventure about a boy who can communicate with cats.
Alabama Moon by Watt Key – Ours sons were 11 and 14 when we read this stand-alone novel about a boy whose anti-government father dies and leaves him on his own. Filled with adventure, suspense, and humor, this was one of our all-time favorites (contains some mild swearing).
I, Freddy by Dietlof Reiche – The first book of the series The Golden Hamster Saga, this book introduces Freddy, a hamster who wants to be adopted, who teaches himself to read and write. Clever, funny, and heart-warming, this series will appeal to a wide range of ages – who will all love Freddy!
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo – Any of DiCamillo’s amazing books work well as read alouds (we also loved listening to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane on audio), but this slim volume was one of our favorites, about a 12-year-old boy dealing with some big family problems, who becomes friends with the strange new girl at school and finds a real tiger in a cage in the woods.
Half Magic (and other books) by Edward Eager – I couldn’t wait to share this favorite book of my own childhood with my sons, and they loved it as much as I did! It’s the story of four sisters and brothers who find a magic coin that grants their wishes, but only halfway. Like all of Eager’s unique novels, this story is filled with adventure, magic, and a great sense of humor. Appropriate for all ages.
Hide & Seek by Katy Grant – This modern adventure story centers on one of our favorite family activities – geocaching – and is about a boy who finds a mysterious note asking for help in a geocache and what happens when he follows it. Filled with action, suspense, and realistic characters, this one is great for older kids.
Airball: My Life in Briefs by L.D. Harkrader – We read this book to our sons when they were 11 and 14 (twice!). They both loved this hilarious, heart-warming story of a seventh-grade basketball player on a losing team whose coach makes them play in their underwear.
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This post was written by Suzan Jackson exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
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