Reading books aloud to my kids is a summer tradition that I cherish. We started it when I took a month off from my previous job a few years back. Since I’ve been working from home we have continued the tradition. Both kids can read on their own, but it’s a great bonding time I just don’t want to give up. It’s also a great excuse to reread my childhood favorites while discovering new titles that hopefully will become my kids’ favorites.
My kiddos are six and nine, so we try to find books that will appeal to all of us. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not so easy. Depending on how cooperative everyone is at the time that we pick out the book. We stick to fairly short chapter books and read a chapter at a time. I get tired of reading and the kids get tired of listening, if we try to tackle any more than that. “Always leave them wanting more”, right? Here are a few of the titles we’ve enjoyed reading over the last few years.
The A to Z Mysteries Series by Ron Roy
There’s obviously 26 titles in this series for beginning chapter book readers. The books are about three nine year old friends who solve crimes and mysteries. They live in a small town in Connecticut, called Green Lawn. The kids are Dink Duncan, Josh Pinto, and Ruth Rose Hathaway. They are third graders and neighbors. We don’t read all of the books aloud. We pick out the ones that we think have a more “summer” theme.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
We read this book primarily because I think all kids should read it. It’s also a great summertime read. I had a dad friend recently tell me he had just finished reading Charlotte’s Web with his daughter. He loved it and couldn’t believe he had never read it as a child. Most people know that Charlotte’s Web is about a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte, but it’s also about friendship, family, and adventure and will be a classic for generations.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
My son is a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fanatic, like most kids his age. He loves this series and he wants me to share in his love of the book. How can I refuse? It is actually quite funny. It’s about a middle schooler named Greg Heffley, his family and his best friend Rowley. Greg records his middle school trials and tribulations in his diary. I’m glad we read this book together, so I know what my son is reading. Greg is a relatable character to kids, unfortunately he is quite selfish and dishonest. After reading the book we had a discussion about the character and if how he treats others is respectful and acceptable.
Heroes in Training Series by Joan Holub
We started reading this series because my son really wanted to read the Percy Jackson series and wasn’t quite ready for it. So I discovered this book series as an alternative. All three of us have really enjoyed reading this series about 10 year old Greek gods in training. The series follows the young Olympians as they discover their powers and try to claim their rightful place as rulers. Each book showcases how a different god discovers their true identity.
The Imaginary Veterinary Series by Suzanne Selfors
My kids are both into watching the TV series Finding Bigfoot. Go figure? To indulge their interest I was looking for a kid’s book about Big Foot and stumbled upon this series. It’s very appealing to both boys and girls and we read the first three books as fast as we could. Through a series of misadventures, Ben and Pearl, become apprentices to an imaginary veterinarian (a veterinarian that treats mythical creatures). They end up on crazy adventures assisting a Sasquatch, unicorn and dragons. Each book has great information and activities at the end to help kids relate what they’ve just read.
Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald
We read this book a couple years ago and it was a great summer read. It appealed to both my son and daughter. It’s about a third grader named Judy who starts the summer off bummed because it seems like everyone, including her parents, are leaving her for the summer. So she comes up with a crafty contest to make it the most thrill-a-delic summer ever. Her aunt comes to town, and along with her brother Stink they go on several adventures. Again there’s a bit of a Bigfoot theme to this book. After we read the book we watched the movie and compared the two.
Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
This is an oldie but a goodie. I remember reading this aloud one summer with my mom, brother and cousin. It’s a great book for siblings. Beezus wants to be a more mature, responsible older sister. But, it’s hard when you have a little sister like Ramona. She has a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos. And she almost ruins Beezus’s birthday party. This book was also made into a movie a few years back.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
Stuart Little is a mouse that was born into a family of humans. He lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. He’s a kind, helpful, considerate son, brother and friend; and he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s friend, a little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life and goes on some great adventures. It’s a great summertime read.
Super Fudge by Judy Blume
I’m not sure why, but we read Superfudge before we read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Which my son is currently reading on his own. This is another great book for siblings to read together. The book continues the story of Peter Hatcher, his crazy brother Fudge and a new baby sister they call Tootsie. It’s set in the summer after Peter’s fifth grade year and his parents have decided to move out of New York City to the burbs of Princeton, NJ. Not only does he have to leave his friends behind, he has to start sixth grade in a new school — plus, it’s the same school that Fudge is going to attend!
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
We are dog lovers at our house and all three of us truly enjoyed this book. It’s about a 10 year old girl named Opal that has just moved to a small town in Florida with her preacher father. Shortly after moving there Opal adopts a big shaggy dog she names Winn-Dixie. Opal’s mother abandoned her and her father and Winn-Dixie helps Opal let go of some of her sadness and helps her meet some of the unique residents of her new hometown. Because of Winn Dixie is a lovely story of friendship, loneliness, and acceptance.
Do you read aloud to your kids? Share your favorite titles with us in the Comments below.