Monday, September 15, 2014

Reading Challenge #1: Read-Aloud Chapter Books

A reading challenge I have run into lately is finding good read-aloud chapter books for children--ages 6 and up. After talking with my librarian mother and looking over the books I have reviewed in the past, I have compiled a list of wholesome read-alouds that are good for any age group.

Remember, a book might be an incredible read, but it may not be a good read-aloud. In my opinion, there are four characteristics of a top quality read-aloud: 1) a strong sense of voice in the text; 2) an attention-grabbing beginning; 3) a consistently captivating plot; 4) a fun, positive storyline. 

For example, The Dark is Rising is a superior series, but it isn’t a great read-aloud. It doesn’t have an attention grabbing beginning and it can get too ethereal. Little kids won’t sit still for those types of details. For those searching for a good read-aloud book, you want a story that makes you and your listeners want to come back for more. 

I hope these books will be successful read-alouds that you and your family will enjoy. 

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Storm Runners’ series or Sasquatch by Rolland Smith
  • The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper by Jean Van Leeuwen (a great read during Christmas time)
  • The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
  • A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
  • Theodosia Throckmorton series by R. L. LaFevers
  • The Slate Stephan’s Mysteries by Sneed B. Collard III
  • Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  • Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage by Kaye Umansky
  • The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell
  • The Bliss Bakery series by Kathryn Littlewood
  • Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans
  • Kidnapped, Everest, or Island series by Gordon Korman
  • The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  • Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
  • Winny Has Wings by Janet Lee Carey
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
  • The False Prince series by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood

Let me know what YOU think. What chapter books have been great read-alouds for your families?

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