It’s pretty easy to find a good book for an early reader—there are tons of them. But finding a great book to read aloud to an older child is a far more difficult task. Some believe that it could be one reason why reading interest can wane for children; the selection is not as great…at least not yet. Additionally, parents tend to stop reading aloud to their children when they begin to exhibit competence in reading. Let’s reverse the trend!
We want to know what books you have found to be interesting and absorbing reading in your classroom for upper elementary and beyond. This compilation can be printed out and sent home or e-mailed to parents, for some great last-minute holiday gift ideas.
Please join in and add a link to a post about your favorite read-alouds.
Note: for the link-up to work properly, you’ll need to ensure the following:
- The link you submit needs to link back to your specific post for this link-up, not your general blog URL.
- Link back to this post using a permalink in your post. That’s it!
We’ll start things off with a list from our Marygrove MAT Academic Director, Dr. Diane Brown.
From my shelf to yours. Some of my all-time favorites.
While children's literature dates back centuries, in the 1980s and 90s The Boomers demanded more books aimed at children as children, rather than children as miniature adults. With the 1997 publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the market for children's literature literally exploded.
Although we don't tell the children, one of the major purposes for children's literature is to teach society's values: Be polite, help those less fortunate, be honest, sometimes you have to experience a small amount of pain for a big gain, sometimes you have to sacrifice for a friend, we are all different and that is a good thing -- these are the underlying "lessons" in children's literature which are not taught through more popular channels, like social media.
Here are some books which do a great job of teaching these values. While these can be independent reading for Grades 4-6, even Third-graders will appreciate the stories.
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. - You can make your own decisions. You can rise above a difficult family problem.
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet) by Madeleine L'Engle - even though he's your brother, he's worth saving
Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy - mistakes can be corrected, but there is a cost
The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik and Omar Rayyan - bravery only gets you so far - you have to use your brains, too, to solve the really difficult problems
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry - facing an incredibly dangerous experience requires preparation to ensure success
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate Dicamillo and Timothy B. Ering - Actions have unintended consequences (this one has the bonus that you can use it to teach multi-layered plot structure)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum - true friends make a difficult journey possible
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (this is not a horror book - he wrote it for his sons) - Patience - Little tiny bits of progress add up, over time, to amazing results
My Side of the Mountain (Puffin Modern Classics) by Jean Craighead George - (before Gary Paulson wrote Hatchett, this was THE “becoming a man” novel) - courage is really just facing your fear and doing what you are afraid of, despite your fears.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russell Munson - pursuing a passion might make you look weird, but it is worth it.
Have a joyous holiday season of reading,
Diane S. Brown, Ph.D.
Academic Director, Marygrove MAT