What my kids are reading these days.

What my kids are reading these days.

I have four kids, ages 12, 10, 8, and 5, and keeping them in books is harder than you might think. It’s definitely harder than I would have expected.

The challenge isn’t just matching the right kid with the right reading level and age-appropriate content, although that’s not always easy. The hard part is putting the right book in their hands when they’re in the mood to read it.

(I would be tempted to whine about this, but “the right mood” is an important factor in my own reading selections, so I shouldn’t complain.)

And the older they get, the less inclined they are to open a book just because their mom recommended it. Sigh. (Our regular babysitter brings books every time she comes, so luckily it’s not just me making suggestions.)

But they do all love to read. (My 5-year-old isn’t reading independently yet, but he loves to read with his parents or siblings.) And we do manage to keep them in good books, even if it’s hard sometimes.

I know I’m not the only parent who wants her kids to love to read, and read great books. Today I’m sharing what we’re reading together as a family right now, and what my kids are reading independently, in the hopes of making your search for great books for your own kids easier. (I can’t wait to hear your suggestions and recommendations.)

What we’re all reading together right now

family read-alouds
Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy

Author:
After a year or two of strongly hinting that my oldest would enjoy this, I finally decided we'd just do it as a family read-aloud, since Silas is old enough to listen in now. I love Rebecca Stead: I can't wait to read her new release Goodbye Stranger, just out August 4. More info →
Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1)

Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1)

Author:
Our book-loving regular babysitter got the kids hooked on this magical series. Now I need to read this first book to catch up so we can all read book two together. My highly sensitive child is a tiny bit squeamish but my exuberant 5-year-old loves it. More info →
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author:
Harry Potter has been in the air at my house all summer—my kids have been listening to the audiobooks for books 2 and 3 on repeat. Silas has caught bits and pieces. But now he wants to "read" it for himself, so Will (who's never read the series, horrors!) are reading the first book together, straight through. Everyone else can't help but listen in. More info →
Jack (age 12)
Play Ball! (Little League)

Play Ball! (Little League)

This series is gold for sports fans. I stumbled upon the first book in the Little League series at my local indie bookstore two years ago, and my son has read every book at least twice. (My girls also enjoy this series.) If baseball isn't your kid's thing, no worries: Matt Christopher writes books for every sport. More info →
Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Change

Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Change

Author:
We let the kids pick out whatever they wanted when we finally visited Parnassus Books last weekend. This was Jack's pick. Davis made headlines last year when she became the first female to pitch in the Little League World Series, and Jack loves all things Little League. He finished it on the drive home from Nashville and gave it two thumbs up. More info →
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope

Author:

This is Star Wars, Shakespeare-style, and it is genius. We stumbled upon this at our local indie bookstore and snatched it up. My rising 7th grader is learning all about iambic pentameter, how to read a script, stage directions, and a whole bunch of tricky vocabulary, because Star Wars. Fun for its own sake, but an easy introduction to the Bard for young students: my kids haven't encountered actual, factual Shakespeare in school yet, but now they'll be better prepared when they do.

More info →
Sarah (age 10)
All Four Stars

All Four Stars

Author:
This middle grade novel about a 6th grader who becomes a New York restaurant critic is smart and silly. Sarah loves to cook, so it's no surprise she enjoyed this. (She read the sequel The Stars of Summer and said it wasn't nearly as good.) Jack and Lucy also enjoyed this one. More info →
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Author:
I'm singling out this Harry Potter title because it's been several years since Sarah read the first three in the series, but she was hesitant to read on: she'd heard this one was got pretty scary. (She's right.) But this month she decided it was time. She's plowing through books 4-7 and is determined to finish the whole series before school starts on August 31. More info →
Lucy (age 8)
Ramona the Pest

Ramona the Pest

All four of us keep coming back to Cleary's Ramona books, but Lucy does more than the rest of us—probably because the 10-book box set she got for Christmas sits on her nightstand. When she's not sure what to read, she pops open Ramona. (The audio versions narrated by Stockard Channing and Neil Patrick Harris are fantastic.) More info →
The Mother-Daughter Book Club

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

This the series that got Lucy hooked on reading, and she keeps coming back to them. There are six books in the series: we started with book 5, because that's the book that caught our eye on the library endcap, but I recommend starting at the beginning. My girls are anxiously awaiting the seventh and final book in the series, coming in 2016. More info →
Silas (age 5)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

My older three kids read this for school, but not Silas. When he plucked it off the shelf earlier this summer and asked us to read it to him, we said YES. A classic for a reason. (The audio is great.) More info →
Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Author:
Imagine what Star Wars would be like if the heroes and villains were in middle school: that's what this series is. Silas is not the target audience, but he's obsessed with all things Star Wars, so he loves it. The story is told through one boy's comics, journal entries, doodles, and newspaper clippings, which makes it hard to read aloud, but gives my 5-year-old lots to look at. More info →
The Day the Crayons Came Home

The Day the Crayons Came Home

This is the brand-new sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit, which we loved. While adults won't find it quite as unique or charming as the original, Lucy and Silas have been reading it over and over again. I don't think they just love it for the potty humor, but it doesn't hurt. More info →

If you have kids in your life, tell us their current and favorite reads in comments.

A quick look at what my kids are currently reading.

86 comments | Comment

86 comments

  1. Love this type of post. My oldest is five so we aren’t to the point where he is reading his own books (though all my kids LOVE looking through picture books). Aside from the nonfiction and pictures books we read here and there, I read a chapter book to my boys (5 & 3) at nap time and my husband reads one at bedtime. Right now, I’m reading through Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi . It’s a first for us all and we are enjoying it. My husband is now on the final book in the Narnia series.

  2. Michelle says:

    We’ve hit a wall lately with my suggestions, so this is timely! Our older kids (10 & 8) have been into A Snicker of Magic, Three Times Lucky, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Ginger Pye, the Penderwicks series, and the Heroes of Olympus series.

  3. Lauren says:

    For your older kids, check out Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. It was magical and wonderful! Other great reads for the 8-12 set: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson and The Great Green Heist by Varian Johnson.

  4. AuburnCathy says:

    No kids in my house now but we raised 3 readers (ages 30, 28, ,26). Since you listed some of their (our) favorites, I want to share some of theirs (if the publication date is prior to 1995…that means it was one of my favorite and became one of theirs as well). So happy to see books from my childhood on your list! My son liked to read but always struggled with finding something until…JK Rowling…he was a 3rd(?) grader when the first Harry Potter came out…he LOVES those books and I will always be indebted to JK Rowming for teaching hints love to read.

    Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (girls 10+)
    The Lark Shall Sing by Elizabeth Cadell (girls 10+)
    Anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder (my son loved to have these read to him when he was a pre-schooler… But then some idiot told him they were “girl” books when he got into first grade)
    Anything by LM Montgomery

    Ribsey and Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary were some of my son’s favorites. And we all howled over Ramona and “the present” and “dawnzer lee light”. My middle daughter IS Ramona, so I guess that’s why we loved both Ramona The Pest and Ramona Quimby, Age 8

    For those who like fantasy, you might try:
    Redwall series by Brian Jacques
    Watership Down by Adams
    From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Finkweiler by Konigsburg
    I could go on and on!

  5. Love this! My six-year-old is reading The Boxcar Children series, the Ninjago graphic novel series, and The Magic Tree House books. We’ve been on a Roald Dahl kick for read alouds lately. Fantastic Mr. Fox was a favorite!

    • AuburnCathy says:

      The Boxcar Children…so glad to see this on your list. One of my childhood favorites. And my two fantasy readers love all Dahl books!

    • Anne says:

      I’ve enjoyed the Roald Dahl books I’ve read but haven’t read enough of him. My family has some catching up to do. 🙂

  6. Alex says:

    I think I was maybe Sarah’s age when a friend put me on to Tamora Pierce’s books. 15 years later, I still re-read them, and wait (sometimes not so patiently) for her next release! Strong female characters are her claim to fame (“sheroes”) and she creates a wonderful world to explore. She has two fictitious worlds, and all of the books in each overlap, carrying characters across. You can read any of the series on its own, or read them all!

    • Alex says:

      OOH! And I think the only books my brother ever read were Artemis Fowl. I read them too, and loved them.

      • Karyl says:

        Having read several of Pierce’s books (as an adult), I’ll add that you may want to be careful with some titles as explaining what a brothel is, why the heroine has premarital sex, etc., might not be exactly what you have in mind for entertaining your particular kid.

      • AuburnCathy says:

        My son also loved Gary Paulson…from around 9 years and up.
        And The Bridge to Terabithia, Tuck Everlasting and Old Yellow were favorites of his and his sisters.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this list. I don’t have kids, but children’s literature is my favorite form of fiction and am excited to check out some of these titles!

  8. Erin in CA says:

    Love a peek into your kids’ libraries! And I agree, it’s much easier for my to pick books for my oldest. My younger one, well, it’s hit and miss. Or maybe she’s more picky? Either way I love suggestions!

    My daughter (9) loved Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures this summer. She is currently reading Pie by Sarah Weeks.

    My son (will be 12 in two weeks!) just finished Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and is now reading The Girl with All the Gifts (which his principal recommended to him).

    I am reading The Secret Garden to my daughter — my goal is to read her classics that I missed. We are both enjoying it, although there is a lot of description. Reading to her is one of the highlight moments of my day!

    A book all three of us loved this summer is The War that Saved My Life, historical fiction based in WWII London (and the countryside). Definitely has tense/unpleasant moments, but so, so good.

  9. Amanda says:

    My 10-year-old recently discovered Jerry Spinelli and has been reading through his wonderful books. She is reading (and loving) Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. And we are reading Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets together. Our family is rushing us because I won’t let anyone watch the movies until we finish! Yes, I know they’ve been out forever and we have never seen them for this reason. Ah, reader issues 😉

    • Susan says:

      We did the same thing with my son. He couldn’t see the Harry Potter movies until he finished each book. Didn’t hurt of course that he loves to read anyway!! Right now he really likes any dragon books and Rick Riordan books. Hard to keep a good book in front of him as he reads so much. What a problem to have!!

  10. des says:

    The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane by Kate dicamillo was a favorite read aloud. I loved it so much I picked it for my adult book club, as well. I desperately wanted my kids to be readers too. (They are 25 and 17 now) I would check out piles of non fiction books from the library and leave them lying around the house. It made my heart burst when I would see my daughter curled up on the couch reading a book about rocks or constellations!

  11. Dawn says:

    Both my older kids, boy (10) and girl (13) love the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. When I bought it, my boy started reading it in the car, and my girl started jumping up and down when she saw it. My favorite part of yesterday!

    Other stories my boy loves:
    Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
    Holes by Louis Sachar
    Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (a tall tale)
    The Green Ember by SD Smith & Zach Franzen

    Other stories my girl loves, although I can’t keep up with her anymore:
    The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
    School of Fear series by Gitty Daneshvari
    Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
    Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
    The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
    Kate DiCamillo books (her Mercy Watson series is perfect for my 4yo):
    -The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    -Flora & Ulysses
    -The Magicians Elephant

    Julie Andrews Edwards (from the Sound of Music, y’all) is a prolific writer for children:
    -The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
    -Mandy

  12. Girl in Boston says:

    My 5 year-old is loving Secret of NIMH as a read-aloud although I am surprised at the level of vocabulary sometimes – (corridor, inextricably)! We also have plans to watch the movie once we finish. The Russell Hoban Francis books and anything Mo Willems are also popular.

  13. Ruth-Anne Hayes says:

    My kids are now 13 & 16. My son loved the Kingdom Keepers series (esp if you are Disney World fan) as well as The Hobbit series, & Riordan’s series. My daughter is into the American Girl books Welcome to ___’s World. It gives wonderful history of the time period of doll. Beautiful illustrations and pictures of artifacts. Highly recommend! ♡

  14. Karyl says:

    Thank you for your kid reader posts! As the mom of a voracious reader it can get challenging finding titles that are worth her time. I appreciate all of your recommendations.

  15. Meredith says:

    My kids are a bit older, 16, 16 and 13 but I have always struggled to put good books in their hands especially as they became teens. They are all boys and it sometimes seems like teen books are all about romance. One resource I like to use is http://www.storysnoops.com. They are parents who review books and offer suggested reading lists depending on ages and interests.

  16. Paige says:

    I’m reading Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White to my girls right now. It’s our breakfast book before school. It’s perfect for them because they are so close in ages to the main characters. A lot of kids, boys and girls, would enjoy it though for how they navigate their problems and because the main character uses animal facts to make sense of the world.

    Thanks for the reading ideas.

  17. Heather says:

    I have two boys 7 & almost 5. They don’t know how to read yet, so we read to them. Right now we are thoroughly enjoying the Andrew Lost series of books! I think that it is great that they are also learning some facts about things. They are also into Ninjago and Minecraft books, which are not favorites of my husband or me, but the boys really love them :). I am looking forward to starting the Harry Potter books, but my oldest is sensitive and I don’t think that he would be ready for it yet (my five year old would be perfectly fine though).

    • Anne says:

      My 5yo is reading things now that my oldest child wouldn’t touch till he was 10, because of the difference in temperaments, and because of the difference having three older siblings makes.

      My 5yo loves the Lego city and Lego movie books, and we feel the same way. 🙂

  18. Shelley says:

    Anne, can you tell me which Penguin Classics you have on your bookshelf? I’m trying to collect more for my kids, but am having a hard time finding many. Also, thank you for this posts. I have three kids and I’m always looking for more book recommendations. My 12 year old daughter loves A Tangle of Knots, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and The Candymakers.

  19. Katrina says:

    My four are 8, 6, 4, and almost 2.

    My 8 year old, Owen, is currently reading The Graveyard Book, and says it’s good. I’m going to have to read it after him to get caught up. He really liked The One and Only Ivan this past year (I read it too, and we enjoyed discussing the book club questions at the back), and he just finished James Patterson’s The Treasure Hunters, and is eager for more. We’re reading Inkheart together at bedtime. We finished reading the Harry Potter series together in January. I hadn’t planned to go through all of the books with him while he was still 7, but he handled the mature elements really well.

    My 6 year old, Caleb, and I are reading Roald Dahl. He’s got the perfect sense of humour for The Twits and George’s Marvelous Medicine. We recently read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, because we’re currently building a house and I’m putting a wardrobe in his room that opens through the back into the bonus room playroom, so how could we not? 🙂 Caleb is still in the very early stages of learning to read solo.

    My 4 year old, Eliza, is currently enjoying the Anna and Elsa chapter books. Julia Donaldson picture books are among her favourites.

    My almost 2 year old, August, loves books by Eric Carle and Olivier Dundrea, but his favourite is The Little Blue Truck.

  20. Southern Gal says:

    The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson! Four books in the series – On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North or Be Eaten!, Monster in the Hollow, and The Warden and the Wolf King – and I read them all aloud to the 11/12 year old over two summers. (We had to wait on the last two.) Now he is reading them himself. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a good mystery and funny, too. The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia are always good picks at our house. But one of my all time favorite series is Ralph Moody’s Little Britches books. Fair warning: Some of these books will be impossible to finish without taking an ugly cry break.

  21. jen says:

    I’m wondering if you have a strategy for sensitive readers. My 9 year old is very sensitive, but he is also reading week above his 4th grade reading level, and I struggle with finding books that are challenging enough for him, but not too scary/disturbing. Also, it seems if the book is good enough he will put up with more suspense/scariness than if it is more of a fluff book. He has read the first 4 Harry Potter books, but decided to stop for now. But he has given up on quite a few books because the scariness isn’t worth it.

    • Anne says:

      I relate to this so much. Here’s what we do (although I’m far from sure if this is the *right* way to do it). When my sensitive child was 9, I pre-read (or at least thoroughly looked over) almost everything he read. If we found a great book/series, we read everything we could by the same author, because he was more comfortable with a known entity. And we didn’t push him with his at-home reading choices: we figured since he couldn’t control assigned reading for school, we’d let him have control of what he read at home.

      I suspect this is one reason he loves sports books: there’s tension, but in a way he’s comfortable with.

      • jen says:

        Thanks for taking the time to respond! I don’t think we’ve tried any sports books, but I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the tips!

  22. I listen to children’s audiobooks while giving my son his bottles, and we just finished Mr. Popper’s Penguins recently. You are right, the audio is so great! I loved that they included sound effects and music to enhance the story — that kind of stuff doesn’t always improve a book on audio, but for this one it definitely made it more enjoyable.

  23. Kayris says:

    My son will be 11 next week. He likes historical fiction and recently got into a series called “Ghosts of War.” Tore through the first two books and anxiously awaiting the next. He also likes the origami yoga books and the “I Survived…” Series, which are too easy for him but he likes the historical stuff. And when a family member was giving books away, he snagged some Jack London and Mark Twain and really enjoyed those.

    My daughter is 8 and just finished HP 4. She likes historical fiction too and likes a new series called Ranger In Time, about a time traveling golden retriever.

    • Anne says:

      Those sound like great picks! (Also: a time-traveling golden retriever? I never would have imagined. Glad she’s enjoying them!)

  24. Sara K. says:

    After years of Mom asking, suggesting and probably at some point outright begging, my 9-year-old daughter has finally agreed to read Harry Potter with me! We are almost done with book 1 and she’s thoroughly enjoying it. School just started this week so I’m sure she will be reading a lot of new books soon.

  25. Denise says:

    My son is almost 5, and I think we need to enter read aloud stage soon! I love all the suggestions. He loves picture books, but it’s hard to keep up with how much he wants us to read. And to find enough baseball or sports titles we haven’t read 100 times! The Dino-Sports series by Lisa Wheeler is a fun one.

    One specific question, at what age is Matt Christopher good to start? Would it be too early to try a few with him?

    • Anne says:

      My kids started getting into Matt Christopher at age 7 and 8. At ages 4-6 they adored the sports series from Candlewick Press: H is for Home Run, Z is for Zamboni, T is for Touchdown, etc. They’re so fun. 🙂

  26. I don’t have kids, but I do have younger siblings, including a little sister who is 11. While I’ve always loved to read, it’s harder to find something that she likes, so I try to help her find books I think she will like, even though it doesn’t always work (ie: I loved the Boxcar Children, she didn’t).
    When she doesn’t know what to read she always goes back to the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, which I loved at her age too, though I am a highly sensitive person and found a couple of the books scary when first reading them. She also has enjoyed reading the Dalmatian Press versions of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women…the original versions are too long and full of too many difficult words for her right now.
    She loved the Ramona series and read through it really quickly 2 or 3 years ago and then requested all Beverly Cleary’s other books. She loved the Little House on the Prairie series, and has also read almost every American Girl book there is.
    Another series I would recommend that I remember liking at about 9 or 10 is the Nancy Drew Notebooks. Since some of the original Nancy Drew stories can be kind of frightening at times, these are shorter books for younger readers.
    A few series I enjoyed when I was about 12 were The Penderwicks, The Mysterious Benedict Society (again, some parts were a bit scary to me), The City of Ember (a few scary bits), and The Daughters of the Faith. Lots of variety. 😉
    When my two middle brothers were younger (6 and 8; now 15 & 17) they didn’t like to read much, but they would always sit through a Berenstain Bears book! My youngest brother (now 8) has ADHD so it’s hard to get him to sit still for anything, but Dr. Seuss’ wacky and colorful stories always fascinated him, so I would read him book after book until he got tired of them, sadly.

  27. Dana says:

    When I taught multi-age classes ( ages 5-9), reading chapter books aloud was our favorite part of the day. Over the years the children loved:

    Edward Tulane ( one of my all time favorites)
    The One and Only Ivan
    The Secret Garden
    Wizard of Oz
    Tuesdays at the Castle ( first in a series about a magic castle that rearranges itself constantly)
    The Humphrey books about a class hamster are wonderful and funny. The World According to Humphrey is the first in the series. All about friendship and problem solving.
    Kenny and the Dragon ( about a literary dragon and a book loving rabbit)
    Mr. Popper’s Penguins
    Charlotte’s Web
    The Trumpet of the Swan
    Gooseberry Park , another favorite. About a junk-food loving bat, a squirrel, a brave a dog and a wise hermit crab who become friends.
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    James and the Giant Peach
    A caveat to Roald Dahl books is that sometimes a bit of editing on the part of the reader is necessary depending on the ages of the kids.
    The Doll People. This series is about a family of dolls who are alive and have adventures. The main character is a girl doll but the escapades are so engaging that boys loved these books as well.

    A great series to introduce younger ones to longer reading time is the series that starts with Toys Go out. It is about toys that come alive and vie for the attention from the little girl that owns them. The series continues with Toy Dance Party.
    They are shorter books with lots of pictures. I cannot remember the name of the 3rd book.

  28. Virginia says:

    My 12 year old loves:
    Harry Potter
    The Mysterious Benedict Society
    Anything by Rick Riordan
    Chronicles of Narnia
    A Wrinkle in Time
    The Book Thief

    My 6 year old loves:
    A Series of Unfortunate Events
    The Boxcar Children
    The Penderwicks
    Once Upon A Time series
    Anything by Roald Dahl (especially Matilda)
    Everything written by Beverly Cleary (especially Ramona books)
    Ivy & Bean
    Junie B Jones
    The Wizard of Oz series

    My 3 year old likes to listen to:
    Thomas the Train books (the original stories by Rev W Awdry)
    Pete the Cat
    Anything by Rosemary Wells
    Clifford the Big Red Dog

  29. Jeannie says:

    My daughter was a huge “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” fan when she was younger; she even wrote a CYOA novel for a school project in grade 7. She’s 17 now and hadn’t shown interest in these books for some time — but while on vacation earlier this month we went to a thrift store and saw several CYOA books that she’d never read. She eagerly bought all of them and soon she was working away on a new CYOA of her own. It was neat to see her interest in this series revive so easily AND spark her own writing.

    My son is 12 but because of his disabilities is only reading at primary level. He read “Fly Guy” aloud to his friends at summer day camp! I wish I’d been an (ahem) fly on the wall to see that.

  30. Sara says:

    I would love some suggestions for my four-year-old. She desperately wants to read chapter books, but has a hard time following along. So far we’ve tried to read aloud Roald Dahl books & Winnie the Pooh…both are too challenging. Suggestions?

  31. Megan says:

    My new favorite picture book is The King of Little Things. I need to order 15 so I always have one as a gift! Beautiful illustrations (including look-and-find little things), wonderful vocabulary, and a great moral message that is subtle, plus it’s pretty funny! I am singing its praises after “finding” it on Story Warren!

  32. For my 8-year old daughter: Bad Kitty Series, Inside Out (Disney Movie to Novel), Rainbow Fairy Series, and anything My Little Pony or How to Train Your Dragon. She was a reluctant reader and will consent to some of my suggestions for books, but mostly she reads only by interest.

    6-year old: Weird but True Science, How It Works by Usborne, and any other non-fiction. He also just read The 13-Story TreeHouse, Imagination Station book 1, and a Bad Kitty book. Whatever he reads, he tackles in one sitting. He’s an intense reader.

    2-year old: Mo Willem’s books! At first he was not thrilled by Elephant and Piggie because it’s all dialogue but now he sits and “reads” them by himself copying my voices and inflection. He laughs his way through.

  33. Dina says:

    Wow, so many good suggestions! My daughter is 8, so we are constantly on a look-out for new books to read.
    She loves Wimpy Kid series and Usborne has great classics like Greek myths, 1001 night, Shakespeare plays etc adapted to her level.
    Her elder brothers started to read independently when Harry Potter came out, so we are also eternally indebted to JKR.
    They also loved Astrid Lindgren. I don’t know how well she is known in the English speaking world, but her books are absolutely fantastic. I especially love Brothers Lionheart (or sth like that I don’t know the correct English title).

  34. Melissa says:

    My kids (ages 11, 8 and 6) all love the Paddington Bear books, The Wheel on the School and Detectives in Togas.

  35. Jess Jensen says:

    We’re wrapping up summer reading around here. My 9yo just re-read Charlotte’s Web, Mr Poppers Penguins, and Flora and Ulysses for about the 10th time each I think. My 11yo just finished up Winnie the Pooh and is currently reading Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose. She also really liked May B. We have been listening to Redwall because I tried reading it aloud but I just couldn’t get the rhythm of it. The audio version is much better than me and has great accents!

    • Anne says:

      I’ve heard great things about Redwall but haven’t read it yet myself. Thanks for reminding me, and for the audio tip.

  36. Kristina M. says:

    I wondered if Silas (or any of your kids) have The Strange Case of Origami Yoda? I teach at an elementary school and our 5th and 6th graders love the series by Tom Angleberger. My husband and I both loved the books too! Although one precaution is there are some older themes like bullying, mild language, and “love”. I think the whole series is hilarious, but especially the first book.

  37. Lisa Dutch says:

    My 7 year old just went on a tear last week and read Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and the 3 Betsy Tacy books. She has read up to book 2 of Harry Potter and is begging us to read book 3.

  38. I’m jumping in late on this one, but my students (7-12 grades) LOVE the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans. It’s fast-paced and unpredictable. Even my 4th grade son couldn’t put them down. There are 4 books out now, but 7 in the series total.

  39. Carrie says:

    I feel your pain about kids not being inclined to read books you choose for them. My two thoughts on that are (a) I ‘make’ them read the first chapter, because that will often do the trick (The Green Ember – with bunnies on the cover – would definitely have never made it to “BEST BOOK EVER” status without that) and (b) I try to remember that not every kid is ready for the books I choose just then. It took two tries to get our daughter to enjoy Anne (!), and three to get our son to fall in love with John Tunis’ baseball books (your son will love them with the same fervor as Matt Christopher, in a few years). Still waiting for a few to stick, and if it’s a title I really adore (Enormous Egg!) I will do it as a read-aloud, which ALWAYS works. 🙂 Thanks (as always) for these great lists.

  40. Carolyn Kieper says:

    Hello – stumbled upon this post via pinterest.

    Suggestion is to look at Sonlight Curriculum for readers and read-alouds. You don’t have to be a homeschooler or a Christian to appreciate the literature. Many would probably be available at your local library, sonlight, or amazon. It is organized by grade level. Click the tab “what’s included”. Below is Grade 4

    https://www.sonlight.com/4MSP.html

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