Reading aloud to my kids is one of my favorite things to do with them. Especially with the weather turning colder, I feel like it's such a cozy way to wind down an evening. We like to get all ready for bed first, and then snuggle in our pajamas under layers of warm blankets. I've mentioned before that I absolutely love adding to our ever growing collection of picture books, and I get just as much enjoyment out of helping my older kids find chapter books that interest them. One of the best perks about reading aloud to your older aged kids is that even if a book might be a little challenging for them to read on their own, you can read it together! As my kids have grown older and become more independent in many ways, they still have always enjoyed having a read aloud with me. Even my daughter who is 11! And I hope we'll still be reading books together as long as she is under our roof.
I went through all the book shelves in our house (yes, we have several!), and I pulled a collection of our most favorite titles. We definitely have more, but these are at the top of our list.
I couldn't wait to read this one with my daughter, and actually had it for a few years before I pulled it off the shelf for her. We have just a few chapters left, and we are both looking forward to watching the Netflix series that goes along with the book, Anne with an E. The story is about a young orphan, named Anne. Her whole young life, all she has wanted is love, acceptance, and to find her place in the world (Don't we all?!) She finally finds it in the home of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a brother and sister duo who live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and had sent out a request for a young boy to be a farm hand. Anne quickly wins them over with her free spirit and imagination. We have loved following along with all of Anne's silly antics, and watching as Matthew and Marilla's, along with the hearts of the town folk, are softened and enlightened by this sweet girl. (Side note: This absolutely gorgeous cover makes for lovely decor in any young girl's room!)
I read this book in college as a part of a children's literature course I was taking for my elementary education degree. I instantly fell in love with 10 year old India Opal, and all of the equally quirky and lovable characters. Opal adopts a stray dog that she she finds at her local supermarket, The Winn-Dixie, and the two become an inseparable pair that understands each other in a way no one else does. Throughout the summer, Winn-Dixie helps Opal to discover friendship and forgiveness, in a sweet coming of age story. (Bonus: The movie is just as good!) Orelia and I got to meet the author, Kate DiCamillo, last fall, and she is incredibly down to earth, inspiring, and encouraging! Meeting her in person made me love this book even more!
This is a classic that I remember being read to as a child! I read this to my older two a few years ago, and now that it's pulled off the shelf, I really should read it again to my whole crew! You are likely familiar with this one, but the story is about a pig named Wilbur, a spider named Charlotte, and a little girl named Fern. Fern fights to save young Wilbur, who is the runt of the litter and deemed not to survive. She nurses him to health, where he is then sold off to her uncle's farm. In his new pen, no longer a runt, he learns that he is being raised for slaughter. He befriends Charlotte, and the two hatch a plan to spare this life. It's a sweet story of friendship and beating the odds.
This is hands down one of top favorite books ever! If you are local to Mankato, MN, this one will draw you right in! It's actually the first book in a series written by Mankato auther Maud Hart Lovelace. The series is semi-autobiographical, meaning the events and locations are mostly based off of her real childhood life and people. The character names and locations are renamed in the story, but the actual house she grew up in and many of the landmarks where much of the first novel takes place, is located in Mankato! You can visit them in person and even tour her house! I love when we can make real life connections with a book. The series follows the adventures of two young girls, Betst and Tacy. In the second book, an equally lovable third character, Tib, is introduced. The series starts when the girls are just five years old (It will draw your young reader right in!), and follows them as they get in to all kinds of mischief and imagination. We've read our way through much of the series, but our favorites are definitely the ones that follow the girls when they were young. My daughter laughed out loud often as we read this together!
Saving the best for last, this is the first book in the Little House series. It's an autobiography written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and tells the story of her early life in a pioneer family. It is an accurate and incredible look into life in the 1870's, as they learned how to survive, love each other, and work hard to stay alive in the little log cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. It took us the better part of a year, but we worked our way through the entire series, and i'm planning to start it again this year! This first book especially is my favorite, and over time i've collected a hard cover copy for each of my four kids' memory boxes. It's one that I hope they reflect upon their childhood with, and read it to their own kids some day!
I hope this inspires you to read aloud to your older kids! Even your younger kids will enjoy snuggling in and listening too! We're always looking for new books to share together, so i'd love to hear your favorites too! Happy reading!