Editor’s Note: We’re so excited that Catherine was able to record this video on behalf of Power of Moms, and we’ve included a few words below from her personal blog, links to her favorite books, and a printable book list below. Enjoy!
I’ve had some people ask me if I really do read to my older kids, and the answer is yes! I really do. In fact, I think it’s just as important to read to/with my older kids as to my younger ones, because my olders are finally at the age they can understand more complex concepts, ideas that can really change them and how they interact with the world. And, as I mentioned to Brooke in the video above, it gives me a chance to be close to them physically, sit next to them, snuggle with them on the couch, since that doesn’t happen as much as they get older.
Anita Silvey, well-known children’s literature editor and critic said,
“Nothing ensures the success of a child more in society than being read to from infancy to young adulthood. [It] is the single most important thing a parent, grandparent, or significant adult can do.”
Reading aloud exposes children to new words, how to say them, what they mean, how to string them together. It offers them new perspectives, helps them see a certain time in history, a new culture, or a way of living they would never experience otherwise. It tells them you have time for them, that you care. And together you can share in something truly magical.
I didn’t get to talk about Fish in a Tree. We ran out of time. But I have to say, it is one of my favorites for this year. It’s about a girl with dyslexia who cleverly slides all the way to 6th grade without her teachers or parents knowing she can’t read or write. Then Mr. Daniels enters her world. He catches on. Because he cares. He teaches her to read, helps her discover how brilliant she really is, and that she can “set the world on fire!” The main take-away is this: “Not all great minds think alike.”
I love this book because, who doesn’t have a child or know a child that learns differently? A child that feels like a fish being asked to climb a tree? Most school curriculums accommodate one kind of learner, and don’t know how to accommodate minds that are just as smart, but learn a different way. I recommend it for everyone – for kids who have worried about school, and also those who haven’t, so they can have compassion for those who do.
I’ve included the book list below, with a few additional suggestions we are hoping to get to this summer.
One other tip: I make reading the reward at night during the summer. If everyone can get in their pjs and tidy up their rooms, we’ll sit out on the lawn chairs, eat creamies, and I will read. Sometimes we read on a trampoline. Sometimes we rotate kids’ bedrooms so it’s a fun, new location every time.
Also, all of these books (except maybe the 2015 releases) can be found on CD at your local library. Or on audible.com. If reading begins to feel laborious or you haven’t got the time, listen in the car on road trips, or just traveling around town!
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Printable Book List with Summaries
QUESTION: Are there any favorite books you would add to this list?
CHALLENGE: Take a moment to select a few books (from this list or elsewhere!) to order at the library, Audible, Amazon, another bookseller–or to borrow from a friend, and establish a regular time (even once a week) when you can read with your children.
For a fantastic resource about bringing the Joy of Reading into your family, check out this program at Power of Moms!
Power of Moms is an affiliate of Amazon, so if you make a purchase through our links, a portion of your purchase price goes to support Power of Moms. Thanks!
Cheryl Hernandez says
Great list, I think I read a number of these when the kids were little, but now what do you suggest for Middle and High Schoolers?
I had not heard of most of these. I will definitely be putting these on my reading list. Thanks for such a great video and summary list.
I absolutely love the book Roxaboxen and re-read it about every year to my kids. It isnt long at all, but it’s such a wonderful book about imagination.
Great post and great list! I love your ideas about reading in the summer evenings. Can’t wait to try it out, too! I would also add onto your list a few oldies but goodies for read alouds to kids ages 5-10: Where the Red Fern Grows, Holes, and Indian in the Cupboard.
Carole Hyde says
We read many wonderful books as a family while traveling and during east wind blackout periods when we had no electricity as well as at bedtime. Oldies, but goodies like Little Britches, Old Yeller, The Yearling, and Where The Red Fern Grows were some of the favorites of my boys. The girls loved Little Womem, Little Men, Judy Blume books, the Mary Ingals Wilder books, and all of the Anne of Green Gables books. The little ones loved Are You My Mother?, Amelia Bedelia, and any Dr. Seuss books. These are all old titles but they withstand the test of time.
I love the Henry Huggins and Marvin Redpost series for boys. I also love the Ramona series for girls.
Sonya Dalrymple says
This is a great list. I’d also add Wonder, by RJ Palacio – wonderful must-read for the entire family!
We’ve also enjoyed Heidi, Carry on Mr. Bowditch, The Land of Stories, The Railway Children, and Inkheart as a family.
Thanks Catherine! My son loved Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, and is planning to read the next one. He even emailed the author after figuring out the secret code….
You also reminded me that “The Hundred Dresses” was one I needed to read to my girls 🙂
Sarah Porter says
I’m so excited about this list and the other lists I have found on your blog! Oh, books. I’ve just dipped into reading books out loud with my almost 6-year-old. He loves it. Right now we’re working through The Magic Tree House books. Do you have any recommendations specifically for his age group? I also have twin 4-year-olds, anything that all three of them would love? All boys. I so appreciate your insight!
Sarah, you could check into the Puppy Place books – my kids still enjoy listening to them at 9 and 6 but we started when they were 7 and 4. They are simple, fast reads (10 chapters each) with a predictable pattern, but the characters are loveable and the kindness/compassion for animals is inspiring.
Svetlana Larina says
Andrew Clement’s book are wonderful.
This summer we read Snow Treasure and Number the Stars–both books based on true stories about the courage of different countries/children during World War 2. My kids loved them. Little House on the Prairie books, Peter Pan, and The Chronicles of Narnia are other favorites that we have read aloud before.
We read The Family Under the Bridge and my 8 y.o. son LOVED it (My 6 y.o. son liked it, too)!! It was a great read-aloud. Lots of food for thought and discussion mixed in with a gripping tale and a smattering of humour.
My kids are 4, 3, and 5 months. I recently started reading “Those Darn Squirrels” by Adam Rubin (?). It is a silly book, but it has become one of our favorites. My girls and I raise our fists and together shout “those darn squirrels” with the protagonist. It’s so fun! I even bought cherry cola and salt and vinegar chips, so that they could experience those flavors along with the squirrels as they are plotting to get birdseed.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a great one for the younger kids, as well. I had to hide it because my girls wanted to hear it so many times. I think we all have it memorized.
My kids and I also love the Sandra Boynton books.
Alissa Denbo says
The Absolute Value of Mike is not me of my kids’ favorites to this day(and they are 15). We listened to it every day on the way to and from school when they were eight.
My oldest is almost 6. Which of these books would you recommend for her age or younger? I have a hard time thinking of chapter books that have topics and language she’d really understand and that aren’t too “grown up” for her (and younger siblings, but I can always start by reading them to just her). Thank you!
You may’ve seen my comment above, but the Puppy Place series by Ellen Miles would be very appropriate for your 6 year old. We read 2 chapters at bedtime with my 6 year old, most nights. Most of the books are around 100 pages long with 10 chapters.
Thanks for the recommendation! My library doesn’t carry it, but we’ll keep searching. 🙂
My 4 & 6 year olds love sally rippen “Hey Jack” series and there are girl ones called “billy b brown”. They are very popular in Australia. My kids are really timid with ideas and can’t handle anything even remotely scary and these tiny chapter books are perfect. About 3-4 chapters each.
Awesome! We’ll have to check those out too! Thanks!
I realized that I had searched wrong and my library actually does have the Puppy Place series! So I’m going to try them out! Thanks again. 🙂