We are a family of readers. Our youngest child is an author of several fiction books. Sarah, age 23, volunteers as a full time writer with Christian Friends of Israel in Jerusalem. In her spare time she writes her own novels. It’s November and Sarah is writing novel number 3. The Prophet’s Recompense is her third book in The Prophet’s Trilogy. She has outlined number 4, a stand alone novel with the same characters as the Trilogy. Novel number 2, The Prophet’s Fire is being professionally edited now for release in December. Novel number 1, “The Prophet’s Shield“is a year old, on Amazon.
Sarah was homeschooled. Sarah loves reading novels. Truth be told she would rather read than do math. Sarah loved true historical tales and historical novels. I think she’s read every novel G. A. Henty wrote, mostly when I thought she was doing her math. (She passed university math, so it’s ok.). Writers also need to be readers. It starts before school starts.
At one time I was the Children’s Book buyer for Logos bookstore in Abbottsford, BC. This was before Veggie Tales, in the early 80s. I have a degree in Literature with a specialty in Children’s Lit. I did my final thesis on Christian Fantasy, specifically, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Narnia Chronicles, and George MacDonald’s Work. I know from all the emails I’ve gotten, Dear Reader, that these are some of your favorite works, too.
Have you read them aloud? There’s something about not just reading a novel, but hearing it, that feeds the soul, in a way that television, iphones, and ipads can’t. It can nourish a novelist. It can also create a statesman, a teacher, a pastor, a doctor, or a missionary. Many children grasp their life calling by listening to stories. Stories inspire the imagination. I’d love to inspire you to read aloud this winter.
Last year I gave you my 25 best picks for winter read alouds. Here’s 25 more best picks for reading aloud. I encourage you to give reading aloud a try. If it’s not for you, there’s audio books available. But listening to a mother’s or father’s voice or a grandma’s or grandpa’s voice reading wholesome literature strengthens the bonds between generations, and plants the seeds for great things in the minds of children.
Use this list for inspiration to pick a few books to begin reading aloud this week. Dr. Ben Carson’s mom, assigned her two sons two books a week and expected them to give her book reports. Reading changes lives. Reading lifts the heart from poverty to treasure. Reading nourishes the character. Leaders are readers.
This post contains affiliate links. If you need a shopping list, here’s a printable file without all the graphics, to take to the store or your public library. This list includes Amazon links, for your convenience. Most of these books are also available as audio books. (Enjoy!)
25 Best Winter Read Alouds for 2016
The suggested ages are only suggestions based on the length of the book and the average attention span required to sit through it as it’s being read aloud. Use it only as a guideline. Children are indivuals. Your mileage may vary.
Children’s picture books (ages 1 to 4) for reading aloud
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Children’s picture books (ages 3 to 7) for reading aloud
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Suess
Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Suess
The World of Christopher Robin by A. A. Milne (ages 3 to 7)
The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (ages 3 to 7)
Children’s chapter books (ages 5 to 11) for reading aloud
Little House in the Highlands (The Martha Years) by Melissa Wiley
This is the original chapter book and a prequel to the Little House on the Prairie Books. An abridged version of this story is now available, but for reading aloud I recommend the chapter book. There are used copies available on Amazon and at Abe books. The series has 4 books: This is the first book.
The Far Side of the Loch (book 2), Down to the Bonny Glen (book 3). Beyond the Heather Hills (book 4). I love the herbalism, spinning, weaving, wool waulking, and natural dyeing that are woven into the story. Be sure that you order the chapter books and not the abridged stories. The publisher has dumbed down the stories for the screen generation, but that’s not what you are looking for.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery (Complete 8 book set)
Emily of the New Moon by Lucy Maude Montgomery (3 books in the series) Also see Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest Get the complete 3 volume set.
Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewish (The Narnia Chronicles)
The Borrowers by Mary Norton (5 book series)
Bed Knob and Broomstick by Mary Norton
Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Teen and Young Adult Chapter Books (ages 11 to adult) (for reading aloud)
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein (3 book set)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (4 book set)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
There are actually no witches and no witchcraft in this book. It is a book about prejudice and heresay and the consequences in a close knit community.
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
The Prophet’s Shield by Sarah Dalziel
Reading aloud builds self confidence, vocabulary, and reading skills. Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neuro-surgeon, grew up in a family where his momma didn’t read. But she insisted that he read two books every week and to turn in book reports (encouraging writing and thinking skills). Dr. Carson talks about the value of reading in slowing down and being involved in books, and how it changes the brain and behavior.
This is not a comprehensive list of all the fiction books worthy of your time. Leave a note in the comments about your favorite read alouds. Do you have a cherished memory of being read to as a child?