Today, I wanted to bring you a list of some of my favorite read-alouds over the past couple of years. It’s my hope that this list helps you as you are looking for great books to read aloud to your younger elementary school children. Some of these books are high quality literature and others are just pure fun! I asked my kids for input and that’s how most of the “pure fun” came in!!
I tend to think of this as the list of books we enjoyed last year after we exhausted the possibilities of Magic Tree House, Charlotte’s Web and Mr. Poppers Penguins the year before.
Affiliate Disclosure: Most of these links are Amazon affiliate links. They’re just here because it’s an easy way to point you towards the book. Don’t feel like you have to purchase through them :-)
Whatever After #1: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski. This is the first of the Whatever After series. We’ve read and own the whole series up to this point because it is fun and silly. We also love all the fairy tales that these are based on, and for the children, finding out that some of these fairy tales have different versions from what’s in the Disney movie was the perfect bridge to introduce The Blue Fairy Book and get us reading some classic fairy stories.
The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit. The scheming Bastable children and their ideas for how to gain wealth were really fun and silly. We laughed out loud as we read their exploits. Since we read this book for bookclub, we ended up also making a treasure seeking snack and craft to go with this story!
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo. This is one of Firecracker’s very Favorite Read-alouds. It has adventure, morals, castles and princesses as well as talking mice. There’s just something so appealing about the story that I always feel enchanted when I read from it.
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. Homer Price is an adventurer and a hero. He’s always involved in the exploits in his town and often has a great solution no one has ever thought of! We loved the illustrations as well, and were completely enchanted by the stories.
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. This is about a tomboyish young girl living in the pioneer country of Wisconsin during the time of the Civil War. There’s plenty of young girl and boy fun in this story, but what really steals the show is the white people’s interaction with the Indians. There’s a lot of suspicion and distrust, but there’s also a lot of communication and hope.
Little Pear by Eleanor Francis Lattimore. Little Pear is a naughty little boy, and he’s often getting into trouble. We liked this one for the gentle humor, silly situations and Chinese backdrop that is so different for us.
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. We read all four of the beautiful books in this series last year, and I even wrote a post about the activities we did while learning about Omakayas and her family. These are wonderful and magical books. I think of them as books like the Little House books only showing the Native American side of life instead of the pioneers.
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. This is a great book to read when studying immigration, introducing your children to Judaism or teaching through the Jewish holidays. We read this book for bookclub and it’s on my list of books to get back to and unit study Jewish holidays with my children. I’m just waiting for Monkey and Owlet to get a little older to join in the fun too!
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski. This is a great book on farming life in the south and the rural south near the turn of the 20th century. It’s also a great book for thinking about the themes of vengeance and forgiveness in a concrete way that the children can relate to.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The language is old and the situations are ridiculous, but my children were enchanted. We read this and used a literature lapbook by Confessions of a Homeschooler with it. We also made our own jam tarts and watched the Disney cartoon.
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh. This short books is pure fun! There are no bears on Hemlock Mountain, are there? Although my then 8 year old could have read this on his own, this was too much fun to not use as a read aloud!!
Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling. The chapters on this one are so short that it’s almost cheating to call it a chapter book. This is a sweet tale of a carved wooden boat that makes it’s way from Canada to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Great Lakes. My children would wonder every day what was going to happen to Paddle next!
The Lemonade Crime by Jacqueline Davies. We’ve read almost the whole Lemonade War series, but this one stands out in my mind. It deals with trials, proof and accusations and gives the young reader a preview into how a courtroom works. It’s a great book!!
These are all some great books, and most of these were read aloud to a first grader and a third grader, so they’re definitely early elementary appropriate! I hope you find some that you enjoy on this list!
This post is going to be part of a Schoolhouse Review Crew blog hop that goes live on 9/3. When I have a link to the main blog hop, I’m going to come back and update this post with that link, so you’ll have more options for chapter books to explore for reading aloud!