Family Favorite Read-Aloud Books

Have you considered setting aside time to read aloud as a family?  It's a great activity that not only encourages your children to read but strengthens family bonds as well. Your kids will have fond memories of reading with the family.  What are some good read-aloud choices? Here is a selection of some great children's chapter books. Some are old favorites, some are new classics, and all are great books to read aloud.

Matilda is an "extra-ordinary" child whose parents completely underestimate her. She teaches herself to read at the age of 4, then takes herself to the library to discover the world through books. She hopes that school will be an improvement over home, but the school's headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, routinely makes children cry. Luckily Matilda is no ordinary child.

Reading has always been a love shared between Meggie and her father. But when characters from her father's past - and a mysterious book - show up and kidnap him, Meggie realizes their love of books is more than just a family obsession - it's magic! In this mystery-laced book, characters (literally) leap off pages and fantasy meets reality. 

The Graveyard Book
Reading like a collection of stories, this book seems meant to be read aloud. It tells the tale of Bod, the only living resident of a graveyard. The other residents are ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. Bod is an orphan who wandered into the graveyard after his parents were killed by the man Jack. The book follows his adventures until Bod is ready to go out into the world of the living.

The Jungle Book
Mowgli is a young boy orphaned in the jungle after Shere Khan the tiger kills his parents. He is rescued by Bagheera the panther, and taken to the wolf pack to be raised as one of their own. His friends include Baloo the bear, Kaa the python, and Bagheera. His adventures take him from a ruined palace swarming with monkeys, to an attempt to live as a human boy in the "man village". But he ends up back at his true home - the jungle!

Ella Enchanted
This is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale, in which "Ella" is given the gift of obedience by a well-meaning, but foolish fairy. This gift has serious repercussions, as Ella is unable to disobey even the most dangerous direct  order. Things become even more complicated after her mother dies, her father remarries, and she meets and befriends Prince Charmont. Will Ella be able to rid herself of the curse in the name of love?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
This series is an epic tale of magic, friends and family, and ultimately good and evil. Harry Potter is an orphan whose aunt and uncle detest all things magical - especially Harry. It's once he begins life at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that Harry finds friends, family, and purpose. The strength of J.K. Rowling's storytelling is magic in this classic series.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
This illustrated novel is meant to be shared aloud. It begins in a Paris train station where Hugo is living after the death of his father, a clock maker. Hugo befriends a toy shop keeper and his goddaughter, who help him solve the mystery that his father left behind. You'll want to linger over and discuss the book's intriguing illustrations.

The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again
The timeless tale of a home-loving hobbit named Bilbo Baggins - who unwittingly signs up for an adventure when he is visited by the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarfs. Bilbo has no idea that he will eventually come face to face with a dragon! Along the way, Bilbo bests the creature Gollum in a game of riddles, and finds the "one ring" of power.