Great Read-Alouds For Elementary Kids

Great Read-Alouds for Elementary Kids
Reading aloud with your kids is not only great family fun; it’s great for their brains! Listening to stories activates different parts of their brain, and gets them off their screens. So look for some of these books in audio version for a long road trip; or in a hard copy to be read aloud. Read-alouds can be enjoyed in snippets before bed each night, or in big chunks as part of a “family book evening”. These books are sure to appeal to kids of all ages – even those who think they are too old for read-alouds!
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  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. The first three are definitely middle-grade fiction; although use your common sense to decide if your kids are ready for the later books! Once you get them hooked on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone though, you’ll have hours and hours of reading entertainment available!

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  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton. The first in a classic series about tiny people. I still sometimes swear we have Borrowers in our house (ours particularly seem to like bobby pins and hair ties!).

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  • All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. This series is wonderful. It’s about 5 Jewish sisters growing up in turn-of-the-20th-century New York, and it’s just a lovely book. This book and its follow-ups could be great discussion starters if your family isn’t familiar with Jewish culture.

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  • Stuart Little by E.B. White. All of E.B. White’s are great read-alouds, but Stuart Little may be a little more boy-friendly than Charlotte’s Web. Plus, who doesn’t love reading about the adventures of a cute little mouse (although – be warned the ending is rather sad).

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  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. This one is narrated by James Avery, aka Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince! It’s a sad, funny, entertaining story about a young boy on a quest to find his birth father in the Depression era.

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  • The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. Elizabeth Enright is such an approachably poetic author, and I LOVED the Melendy family as a kid. Their sibling relationships are so sweet; this would be a nice book to read as a whole family.

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  • The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.  This quartet from songwriter Andrew Peterson kicks off with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, where we meet the three Igiby children and their trusty dog Nugget as they set out on their epic adventure.

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  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Who doesn’t love The Little House series, right? These are excellent on audio too – Cherry Jones’ performance is great. I highly recommend this series if you have a long road trip coming up!

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  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. My parents gave me the whole set for a trip to England when I was 8. I didn’t even notice that our flight was 10 hours long, I was so engrossed in these books! I’m looking forward to reading these aloud with my six year old soon.

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  • The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park. Telling the story of two young brothers in medieval Korea, this book’s themes of sibling rivalry and triumph in competition, will ring true for modern readers as well – and make them eager to make a kite of their own!

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  • The BFG by Roald Dahl. This is a pretty wonderful intro to the whimsical world of Roald Dahl, and probably especially appealing with the recent movie version fresh in young minds!

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  • Superfudge by Judy Blume. Judy Blume is so much fun. I associate her books with so many great memories, and Superfudge is a great place to start. Fudge is such a likeable scamp of a boy.

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  • Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. I know that Caddie Woodlawn is the best known of Brink’s books, but Baby Island is so fun. It’s about 2 shipwrecked tween girls who have to single-handedly care for 5 babies on a deserted island.

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  • Holes by Louis Sachar. My daughter LOVES the Wayside School books (also by Louis Sachar), so I’m thinking we should read this one aloud soon. It would be a great one to read together as a family, and then follow up the reading with a family movie night! I love being able to pair books with movies, to bring the story to life even more for my kids.


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