Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Read Alouds

Our favorite family read aloud books
(and great 2nd/3rd grade class read aloud books)

Bee and Lou July 2014
We have read all of these books at home aloud together in the evenings.  I've also read most of them aloud in the classroom at some point over the past 10 years.  I don't like to read the same things each year, I get bored.  This probably explains a lot about me.  Bee and Lou are now 9 and 7, but we've been reading chapter books aloud for years.  This is a collection of our favorites. 
1.  Diary of  Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney   ***Lou was into these books this winter,  so we read them all.  They are funny and kids love reading them because of the artwork and funny sketches  and fonts on the pages.  A kid keeps a 'diary' of his time in middle school, with the worries of fitting in and finding his place.   Don't watch the movie if you want to like the book character.  The movie made him seem so arrogant and selfish. 

2.  Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls-  ***My favorite book of all times!
  Favorite. I cried, Bee cried. We were a mess!  You can't go wrong with a story about two 
  coon hounds and a boy who loves them. I read them to my class last year and I ugly 
  cried.  Seriously, it was ugly. 

Bee and Lou Feb 2012
3.  How to Train your Dragon (series) by Cressida Cowell   How To Train Your Dragon,  How To Be A Pirate, How To Speak Dragonese, How To Cheat A Dragon's Curse, How To Twist A Dragon's Tale, A Hero's Guide To Deadly Dragons, How To Ride A Dragon's Storm, How To Break A Dragon's Heart, How To Steal A Dragon's Sword, How To Seize A Dragon's Jewel, How To Betray A Dragon's Hero    ****This is our current read aloud at home.  We are on book 2. It's interesting just how very, very different the movies are.  In fact, it left me wondering if Cressida just looked at the movies and cried when she thought about how they changed her work or if she just enjoyed her books getting extra attention via the movie.

3.  Wonder by R.J. Palacio  ***One of my students brought this in for me to read the class.  Wow, what a powerful read.  It made for a great read aloud in class and also at home.   In this book, the main character has major facial deformities and he shares how others treat him and what school is like for him. Its told from various character's points of view.   There is a second shorter book, but I haven't gotten a copy yet.

4.  One Hundred Dresses by Elenor Estes   ***This book has a great message about bullying and being a good friend.  It's not just for girls, despite the title.  It makes you think!

5.  Adventures of Mohan and Mohan in the Jungle both by Ella Grove.  ***They were lent to us by a homeschooling friend and are published by the folks at Rod and Staff.  Both were good quick reads. A good tool for discussing missionaries and their role. 

One of my sweet 3rd grade students reading with her 1st grade book buddy 

6.  Bread for the Winter by Harvey Yoder.  ***This book has a strong Christian messages and an amazing moral lesson.  I will read this to my class next year. 

7. Miss Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald. ***Honestly, we really enjoyed the first book, but didn't like the second and didn't bother with any others.
8.  Pippi Longstockings series  by Astrid Lindgrin:    Pippi Longstockings,  Pippi in the South Seas,  Pippi Goes on Board, The Adventures of Pippi Longstockings, Pippi Goes to School,  Pippi's Extraordinary Ordinary Day.   ***These books led to weeks of creative play at out house.  Pippi goes on adventures and is just plain silly.  She lives creatively without her parents, and isn't that something every kid has wondered about?
9.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- by Roald Dahl: ***Always a favorite.  The kids even asked for early baths a few nights so we had more time to read it.   Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator-  not a favorite-  almost didn't finish, but we stuck through it!
10.  Matilda  by Roald Dahl:  ***A favorite!  We could hardly put it down.  We loved, loved this.  Bee and Lou felt so sorry for poor Matilda.  I read it last year in class and the kids couldn't wait for the next chapter.  That's my favorite part of the day- teacher read aloud. 
3rd graders doing a little outdoor reading
11. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH  by Robert O'Brien    I can't believe I did not read this until I was an adult.  We all couldn't wait for the next chapter.   This is a great one for boys and girls both, even daddies!  It's starts with the story of a mother mouse trying to save her children and ends with an exciting adventure of super smart rats setting up their own self sufficient habitat.  I had meant to read this at school last year, but ran out of time.  I'll get it in first semester this year.
   12. Dr. Doolittle series- by Hugh Lofting:   The Story of Dr. Dolittle, The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle, Dr. Dolittle's Caravan,  Dr. Dolittle's Circus, Dr. Do little in the Moon, Dr. Dolittle's Garden,  Dr. Dolittle's Return    ***Really, really good, I didn't even know it was going to be so good!  We all loved it!  It was hard to track down, and I never was able to locate all the books.  It's my mission this year.  He talks to animals and goes on wild adventures with them in order to help other animals.
13. Holes-  by Louis Sachar   ***This is a favorite read aloud at school.  I was thinking the plot was a little too intertwined and thick for Bee and Lou to get it when we read it (maybe 5 and 7 at the time), but they loved it.  We watched the movie too, and it's probably the closest book/video combo out there.  a boy gets wrongly set to detention camp where he is forced to dig holes. It's a wonderfully intertwined story with tales connecting many characters and plots and many generations.
14.  Trumpet of the Swan by E.B.White:  We liked this a lot.  Lou followed the plot line so closely and still talks about it. He would like a trumpet now.    ***Such a nice story about a swan with some very human characteristics. It's a great read aloud. 
15.  Cricket in Times Square-  by George Selden ***This is one of those books that I've had in my classroom library forever, but hadn't read myself until not too long ago. What a sweet story it was.  Animals who are friends- one with an undiscovered talent.   I read this last year aloud at school as well and we all liked it.
16.  Stuart Little by E.B.White:   ***This is a cute story about a boy who looks like a mouse but whose parents treat him like a regular boy.  Many parts of this story seemed to bother Bee and Lou because they were always worried about Stuart.  I think reading it was stressful for them in a weird way.  The movies are cute, but of course different from the book. 
17.  Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner. ***This is one of the novels we read as a class in 3rd grade.  WOW,  surprise ending to this book!  It was so good that when we read it at home,  we read it in two days.  The kids couldn't wait for me to read more.  They even asked me to read during dinner, which I did one day. It's about a boy and his dog and his grandpa.  Major surprise at the end. 
18.  Charlottes' Web  by E.B. White:   ****A classic that everybody loves.  At my current school, we study it in third grade. Now I get to read it every year!  A girl, a pig, a spider, friendship, a classic story.
A few of my lovely 3rd graders discussing a book during Literature circles. 
19.  Captain Underpants series  by Dav Plikey-  ***Actually my own kids asked not to read others and to get back to 'real stories'.  Not exactly good literature but they are a fast read.  My students used to enjoy them and I've ready several aloud.   Goofy toilet humor  Boys love it.
20.  Little House on the Prairie  series by Laura Ingalls Wilder:     Little House in the Big  Woods, Farmer Boy, Little House on the Prairie,  On the Banks of Plum Creek,  By the Shores of Silver Lake,  The Long Winter,  These Happy Golden Years,  Little Town on the Prairie,  The First Four Years   ***Bee and Lou both liked this series.  We devoured them.  They are classic, rights of passage, must reads.    Most people know the premise, they follow Laura from a tiny tot through her marriage years as her family explores and settles out west.  The girls tend to especially appreciate the details about domestic life.
21.  Sarah Plain and Tall series- by Patricia McLaclin:   Sarah Plain and Tall, Caleb's Story and Skylark.   ***We read them in just three days each.  Everybody liked it.  I remember my mom reading these to me when I was in 4th grade.  I didn't want to read them but she made me sit with her.  She read and cried.  I sort of wanted to do anything else but be there.  I like them now, although I don't think I cry as much.
22.  The Littles series by John Peterson:   The Littles, The Littles Take a Trip, The Littles to the Rescue,  The Littles Have a Wedding, The Littles Give a Party, The Littles and the Great Halloween Scare, The Littles and the Trash Tinies,  The Littles go Exploring, The Littles go to School, The Littles and the Terrible Tiny Kid, The Littles and Their Amazing New Friend, The Littles and the Big Blizzard,  The Littles and the Lost Children, The LIttles Get Trapped, The Littles and the Secret Letter, The Littles Do Their Homework, The Littles Have a Merry Christmas,  The Littles and the Best Christmas Ever,   The Littles and the Big Storm   ***We read all we could get our hands on.  I don't think we managed to get all of these but they were a great, quick read.  The kids loved them and the sparked lots of creative play at our house.  Basically, little people live in the walls of big peoples houses, using cast off items for their own use.   We read these when Bee and Lou were a bit younger. 
Oct. 2012
23.  James and the Giant Peach  by Roald Dahl: ***A favorite for the kids, one of my childhood favorites too.  My class last year was so surprised at how different it was from the movie, I don't even care to watch the movie for this one actually.  
24.  Ramona  Quimby series by Beverly Cleary:   Beezus and Ramona,  Ramona the Pest,  Ramona the Brave,  Ramona and Her Father,  Ramona and Her Mother,  Ramona Quimby, Age 8,  Ramona Forever,  Ramona's World    ***Again, rights of passage reads.  I read them in third grade, I read them to my third graders.  They are a must read.  I usually get them started with Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and let the kids read the others on their own. 
 25.  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- series by Ian Flemming  ***We've only read the first book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but apparently there are others in the series.  I didn't even know!  The kids were afraid of the robbers.  The movie was a little dated for me.  The kids surprisingly enjoyed it a lot.
26. Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary:   Ralph S. Mouse, Runaway Mouse, Ralph and the Motorcycle  ***Lou enjoyed these! to no end.  He asked me to read them  again when we were done.  We watched the video afterward and it was cute.  A little mouse gets a toy motorcycle and he can make it go.  Adventures follow.
Oct. 2012
27. Indian in the Cupboard series by: Lynn Reid Banks  The Indian in the cupboard, The Return of the Indian,  The secret of the Indian,  The secret of the Cupboard, and The secret of the Key.    ***My kids LOVED this series.  It sparked lots of creative play. You may remember, we needed costumes.  A boy discovers a cupboard and can make his toys come to life.  I have a special cupboard put up that I get out for kids to play with after I read it.   I think the kids would vote these at the top of the list  as favorites.  As with many series, the last book (Secret of the Key) was not as good as the others and frankly just got weird.  There are a few words I needed to skip over, minor infractions, but enough that when my students at school see them they ask for white-out.


1 comment:

Sparkling said...

Where the Red Fern Grows is my all time #1 favorite since 4th grade. All time.

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