I love reading. I always have…and summer wouldn’t be summer without having a reading books to my kids so today I have put together a list of my top 10 novels to read aloud to elementary age children during the summer.
As you browse through this list you’ll notice that most of the books are shorter in length…I’ve found that with the younger ages if the stories are shorter they are easier for those listening to follow along and stay interested in until the end.
Also…after teaching Reading and English to 7th graders for several years I found that books with animals are almost always hits. 🙂
So with that in mind here are my top 10 favorite read alouds:
#1. Charlotte’s Web
In my opinion no summer read aloud list would be complete without this book…it’s a personal favorite. To me it is timeless and endearing and all my children have loved it as much as I have. I love Charlotte and her web. Always have. Always will.
I have read this book aloud to all of my children…some of them more than once…there is something about magical about everything you touch turning to chocolate that my kids just can’t get enough of. This book is a short read and perfect for first and second graders.
This book has been a fun one for my kids…several times over.
We have read it outloud and then compared it to the movie…which we watched for a summer campout night after reading the book…and we even made puppets for each of the characters in the book (you can see them HERE) and the girls made up side stories from the book. Penguins are cute and funny and I think this book will always be a fun read.
#4. The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs
I read this book myself first and fell in love…then it turned into a read aloud that turned into a summer adventure where we found our own 7 wonders within our community. It was a great summer read aloud!
This book keeps everyone entertained…it has sibling rivalry, magic, goblins, adventure…and loads of fun. Plus it also has been made into a movie so it is another good read for comparing and contrasting with it’s movie counterpart.
*This book can be read as a stand alone but it is the first book in a series so if your young readers liked the read aloud they can grab the rest of the series to read on their own!
#6. From the Mixed Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Admittedly parts of this book are dated…however…a story of a brother and sister running away from home, living in a famous museum, and solving a mystery…a story like that will always be delicious. Every time I have read this book out loud we have paired the reading with art projects and writing up great escape plans….and it is always a good time!
I have read this book with elementary students, locked up high school students, adult book clubs, and junior high classes…and there is something for everyone in this book. Right now it has come up again with my children and has sparked a hole digging festival in our new, unfinished back yard which is now littered with wide, deep holes!
In our case this book went from a read aloud to a book that has been read and reread over and over again by my 10 year old and for good reason. It has, what I feel, is the most endearing quality in any book…characters that are imperfect but loveable…those who are struggling to carry their own baggage while you are rooting for them the entire way.
Yes…I am suggesting a book about a vampire rabbit…that is narrated by a dog.
Just trust me on this one.
#10. James and the Giant Peach
Magic, giant insects, evil aunts, and adventure….this book is nothing but fun. I’m not a huge fan of Roald Dahl novels but this one, well, this one is a summer read aloud hit.
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When my kids were little, it was the Junie B Jones series for us, which we discovered when we checked out some random books on CD for a cross country road trip. They also loved “The Phantom Tollbooth”. I had fond memories of my third grade teacher reading that to the class and through the years it stayed in the back of my mind as something I wanted to read to my children. My youngest son just graduated from high school and was recently weeding out some of the books in his book case, but that one stayed firmly in the keep pile because he still likes to read it on occasion.