written by Jan Pierce
Watch out parents, having to stay at home with the family may force you to have quality time together. You may find that a family read aloud time becomes a family favorite.
Reading good books together supports all kinds of learning—vocabulary building, communication and listening skills, expanding imagination, building logic and problem-solving skills, and the list goes on and on.
Finding the just-right read for your family can be a bit of a trick, so here are some lists of quality chapter books designed to meet the needs of your clan. Remember that doling out the chapters is part of the fun and builds suspense. How will the story end?
For the young family with pre-schoolers up through grade one:
Remember that children can listen and understand stories much more elaborate than they are able to read themselves. Find a good story and young listeners will be all ears.
Here are some early chapter books for young children:
- Star Jumper by Frank Asch
- Horace Splattly, The Cupcaked Crusader by Lawrence David
- Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner
- Pee Wee’s Tale by Patience Bruster
- The Dragon’s Tale by Jenny Nimmo
- The Littles by John Peterson
- Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
- A Toad for Tuesday by Russell E. Erickson
For the family with primary to intermediate aged children:
Stories for this age group often delve into authentic topics such as divorce, death, or trauma, but with great care to treat the reader kindly. They also may offer great adventure, mystery or escape into alternate worlds.
- Where the Red Fern Grows
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
- Have Space Suit Will Travel by Robert Heinlein
- A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
For the family with intermediate to young teens (yes, teens will appreciate a good story):
Teens who don’t often choose to read independently will enjoy a good read-aloud or an audio book with a compelling story. Don’t underestimate the power of a good read.
- The Doorman’s Repose by Chris Raschka
- The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
- Dragon’s Gate by Lawrence Yep
- Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.
- Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
- A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
If you don’t have the books you want to use for your family read-aloud there are many ways to access free literature. Go to one of the websites below to find free online reading.