My criteria for choosing a family read-aloud:
- The book needs to be fun to read aloud (plenty of visual details, dialogue and action).
- The book needs to be of interest and age appropriate to my children.
- The book should be related to an activity we are already doing, or we should plan an activity related to the book to explore it more.
- Is this a book my children can help take turns reading aloud?
- If there is a movie adaptation, we can watch the movie when we finish the book.
A HATFUL OF SEUSS, Five Favorite Dr. Seuss Stories
These take a little longer to read than his shorter books but can still be finished in one sitting. Perfect for the younger kids in the family but fun for older children as well. We can go to the zoo when we read “If I Ran the Zoo.”
HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling
We have finally introduced our children to the magical world of Harry Potter over the past two weeks. It was a little dark and crazy at the end but overall the magical world captured their attention and they kept asking to read more. Even our three year old picked up on the magic wands and found one on our walk through the park. They also liked watching the movie after we finished.
This week we started reading THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, by Lynne Banks.
My kids already want to build a long house in our backyard (not a teepee, if you’ve read the book you might remember why). I’ve kept the movie on video all these years just to show my kids once we read the book.
Next up is Mary Poppins Comes Back, by P. L. Travers
I have been collecting this beautiful hard-back set of Mary Poppins books and we are ready to read Mary Poppins Comes Back in preparation to see the play at our local theater this summer. This is a great way to get the kids prepped and ready to see the show. The books are more like the theater production than the Disney movie. You really get to know Mary Poppins’ mysterious character much better through the books.
Then we plan to read CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY & CHARLIE AND THE GREAT GLASS ELEVATOR, by Roald Dahl
These are Roald Dahl classics. Then we can watch the movie and take a tour of our local candy factory to go along with our reading experience. We also enjoyed James and the Giant Peach and The Fantastic Mr. Fox as a family and watched the movies after we finished to compare them. My daughter is reading The Witches as part of her school book club for the summer (and she also loved Matilda).
The entire Roald Dahl collection would be a great set to work through as a family.
We also plan to read FARMER BOY, by Laura Ingles WilderWe enjoy reading the Little House series together at our little family cabin. We like to call it our ‘little house in the big woods’. I think my 8-year-old son will love Farmer Boy.
At-A-Glance, Our Family Summer Reading List:
- Harry Potter
- The Indian in the Cupboard
- Mary Poppins Comes Back (Mary Poppins series)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Farmer Boy (keep working on the Little House Series)
- Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) I started it with my daughter a last year but want to keep going.
- Bud Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
- Fablehaven series (Brandon Mull)
- Chronicles of Narnia series (C.S. Lewis)
- Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
- Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Sachar & Brinckloe)
- The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
- Days “at the Castle” series (Jessica Day George) My daughter has been reading them.
- The Candy Makers (Wendy Mass)
- 39 Clues series (Rick Riordan)
- Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan)
- Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss)