Happy Delicious Thursday!
The weekend is just around the corner – and it’ll be a long one, too. Can I get a Hallelujah?
As you head into Labor Day weekend, why not identify – and maybe even start – your next family read aloud?
In lieu of a single Delicious Thursday pick, this Thursday I decided to present a Delicious Thursday List of my Go-To Read Alouds with Mass Appeal.
That’s what I’m calling it. Really, this is the list that, if someone were to say, Quick! Without thinking about it or looking anything up, write down your favorite read-aloud chapter books, perfect for a group!
You know how I am, though. I generally dislike big lists of books for so many reasons – I even created a disclaimer to explain why. As always, please use any list with a touch of caution.
These books, in my experience, work well as read-alouds in a mixed group: boys and girls, older and younger siblings. Every family and classroom is different, as is every child. Some books on this list might be more suitable for a slightly younger audience, some for a slightly older.
Nope, you won’t get me to give specific ages for each book; I won’t do it. You can determine for yourself if a book is “just right” for your family (or classroom) in reading the description (although I do try to start this list with books that can be read to the younger set and conclude it with the titles probably better suited to the older ones).
I know some people will email to protest the lack of E. B. White or bemoan that the Wind in the Willows or The Phantom Tollbooth are absent from this list (all good suggestions). Sounds to me, then, that you already have a couple of really great ideas for something to read aloud to your kiddos! Yay, you!
Look, these are just the books that, as I said, without even thinking about it, I can say have worked well for me as read-alouds through the years. The beauty of all this is you can, as you read more and more books aloud to your children, create your own Go-To list of favorite read-alouds!
For what it is worth, this is mine:
The FPL’s Go-To Read Alouds with Mass Appeal
Go on a journey with Minli, meet a dragon, and enjoy Lin’s gorgeous writing (and occasional artwork). If you enjoy this, know that Lin has two other companion novels (not to be confused with a series), as well: Starry River of the Sky and When the Sea Turned to Silver.
Hilarious Ramona attends kindergarten and all sorts of problems arise. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong with any Beverly Cleary books as read-alouds (Socks, Ribsy, her Ralph Mouse series…), but I have enjoyed reading Ramona the Pest aloud to classes, as this book is set in a school, where I’m usually reading it to them.
Dahl is the master storyteller, The BFG my all-time favorite as a read aloud (but you could explore his other books, too). I love doing all the voices, giggling with students over his silly, made-up words, and soaking in this fantastical story. Only problem with Dahl? Lots of kids have already read him. Good news: his books are fun to read again (and again)!
Classroom pet, Humphrey the hamster, goes home every weekend with a different student. Such an amazing empathy-builder and compassionate – but authentic – way to highlight our differences and similarities. If you like it, you’re in luck! Birney has many more Humphrey books after this one!
Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
The first in a trilogy, Toys Go Out details the adventures of three friends who are toys who belong to Little Girl. The kind of sweet, family read that grandmom would approve of but still appeals to a pile of kiddos, fresh off the playground.
Every time I read this one aloud to a class of kids, they – literally – roar with laughter. They can barely believe, when we’re finished, that Joe, Sam, and Fred are in even more books in the Time Warp Trio series.
Can I cheat? I’d also like to add his No Talking to this list. Of course, throw in any of this other titles, too! Frindle and No Talking tie as my favorites of his to read aloud, though. Clements gets kids, and he writes books that they can really relate to.
The Earth Dragon Awakes by Laurence Yep
Historical fiction often equates a snoozefest for young kiddos, but I’ve had good success with this one, perhaps because natural disasters are irresistible to kids. A fast-paced tale of the historic 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Each chapter is an essay submitted by a student in Mr. Magro’s class about their biggest SOS moment. The stories vary in tone and seriousness (the last one is a kicker), but kids always love listening to this one.
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
If you’ve already plowed through the Little House books, this might be your next step. Caddie is a true tomboy pioneer, fearless, young, and wild. More historical fiction that, when I’ve read aloud, kids sit still for.
All kinds of hijinks in this story of Griffin Bing, the Man with the Plan, his stolen (sort-of) baseball card, and his quest to get it back. I’ve had kids moan when we have to stop reading for the day – they cannot wait to hear what will happen next. The first in a series!
Logan encounters a little bit of trouble in the library and has a strange word-play spell cast upon him. It seems as though he might never return to himself again. Thinking children love the puzzles, and the suspense is unreal.
The Van Gogh Cafe by Cynthia Rylant
Not a plot-driven story, this is the perfect read-aloud when you need to quiet the kids. Turn out the lights, read this peaceful, mysterious book, and watch their imaginations ignite.
Felicity attempts to bring back magic to Midnight Gulch in this really spectacular read-aloud. I’ve had classes get so quiet when I read portions of this book I can hardly believe they’re still in the room.
George is a little person, and his parents are not. And then . . . a bombshell: his mom is going to have a baby. This makes for a great read-aloud, as kids are fascinated by George’s wrestling emotions. So much to discuss!
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
About to be a movie starring Julia Roberts, there is a reason this book is such a huge hit. Auggie was born with a facial deformity, and his story is captivating. Read it aloud and allow this story to draw out all kinds of important conversations!
With the weekend before you, why not pick up one of these oh-so delicious books to share with your peeps?
You know how it is – the minute I hit the ‘publish’ button, I’ll think of about eight more really fabulous read-alouds that belong on this list. Don’t we live in a wonderful world?
Contact me at fplweb (at) frontporchlibrarian dot com