Read aloud time has been a big part of my family ever since I was little. Some of my favorite memories are from the afternoons when Mom read to us. We discovered many of our favorite books during those afternoons. Reading and enjoying a book together is a great way for a family to grow closer. There’s something about everyone becoming interested, then engrossed in a story and its characters. Below are some of my favorite books to read aloud.
~ Great Stories Remembered – compiled and edited by Joe L. Wheeler
Joe Wheeler collected three volumes of short stories from various authors written during the Golden Age of literature. Some are humorous, others romantic, still more adventurous, all clean and featuring Judeo-Christian values. The characters are faced with real life stories, but the stories are written without being preachy. They entertain the younger children, but the older kids and adults can relate to them and discuss them. The titles are:
Great Stories Remembered Volume I
Great Stories Remembered Volume II
Great Stories Remembered Volume III
~ Kingdom Tales Trilogy – David and Karen Mains
After his mother dies, Scarboy flees Enchanted City and the evil Enchanter with his brother, Little Child. He goes to Great Park, where he is renamed Hero and cared for by Mercie and Caretaker. He also learns Great Park is an unusual place, where a gardener is actually the Park Ranger and everyone, including the Orphan Keeper’s Assistant, is wanted and loved. There are also tales of other characters, like Dirty and the Juggler. All who are loyal to the King work towards the Restoration, when the Enchanter will be defeated. In the series are:
Tales of the Kingdom
Tales of the Resistance
Tales of the Restoration
~ Summer of the Monkeys – Wilson Rawls
Jay Berry Lee wants nothing more than a pony and a rifle of his own. But his parents save every penny in the hope they can pay for his sister, Daisy, to have surgery to fix her crippled leg. His golden opportunity arrives when escaped circus monkeys show up in his Oklahoma river bottom. With the help of his grandfather and his dog, Rowdy, he works to catch the monkeys and earn the reward money. But these monkeys are smarter than he thought! They don’t fall for his traps and he’s ready to go insane. How will he catch those monkeys?
Note: there is some mild language.
~ From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E. L. Konigsburg
Claudia wants to run away from home because she feels her parents don’t appreciate her. But she isn’t just running away from somewhere; she’s running to some place – the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She plans each detail carefully and persuades her younger brother, Jamie, to come with her. As they settle into their new home and try not to get caught, they become interested in a statue angel recently put on exhibit. Some suspect Michelangelo sculpted it, but no one knows for sure, except for the previous owner, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Jamie and Claudia decide to find out once and for all.
~ Ben and Me – Robert Lawson
We’ve got it all wrong, ladies and gentlemen! Amos the mouse insists he’s the one who thought up those inventions, not Ben Franklin. Amos tells about how he was unwillingly apart of Ben’s experiments with electricity, makes an unusual scene in a European throne room, and helps make the Franklin stove. Amusing and historical at the same time.
~ Holes – Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats IV didn’t steal Clyde Livingston’s sneakers. But the evidence is against him and he’s sentenced to spend eighteen months at Camp Green Lake, which used to be a town. But Camp Green Lake is anything but green. It’s a dried lake bed and full of venomous lizards. The boys at the camp dig holes all day, though they don’t know why. But as Stanley makes friends, he also pieces together the mystery of the holes and what they’re meant for. Intermingled with Stanley’s story is the tale of Green Lake and Katherine Barlow, who eventually becomes an outlaw. Dry, witty, and an attention grabber.
Note: a central part of the story is a curse on the Yelnats’.
~ Paddington series – Michael Bond
Paddington arrives at London from Darkest Peru and the Brown family takes him in. They quickly learn the bear had a knack for getting into trouble with everyone – their neighbor, policemen, restaurant owners, you name it. But he always comes out on top and produces quite a bit of laughter in the process. There are over twenty books in the Paddington series. A few are:
A Bear Called Paddington
More About Paddington
Paddington Helps Out
Paddington At Large
Paddington Marches On
The Adventures of Paddington