We all remember the best read alouds from our childhoods: Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls. Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. A wonderful read aloud stays with us long after the story ends and the book closes. Here are a few of my favorite titles from 2016... ones that might make a wonderful read aloud for your family:
FAVORITE READ ALOUDS FROM 2016
In Grace Lin's When the Sea Turned to Silver, the Emperor has kidnapped Pinmei's grandmother. Now, she and her friend Yishan must find a luminous stone that lights up the night in order to gain her grandmother's freedom. During their journey, they encounter obstacles of LEGENDARY proportions. Based on Chinese folklore, When the Sea Turned to Silver is guaranteed to please.
Full of Beans
In Jennifer Holm's Full of Beans, the title character, Beans, lives in Depression-era Key West and is always looking for a way to make a little extra cash. With a cast of zany characters and a number of questionable money-making schemes, Full of Beans is laugh-out-loud funny.
Lizzie and the Lost Baby
In Cheryl Blackford's Lizzie and the Lost Baby, Lizzie Finds an "abandoned" baby under a tree. While the baby's Gypsy family frantically searches for their child, Lizzie's adoptive family tries to claim the child for their own. Grounded in the war-torn English countryside during WWII and filled with racial prejudice and hard choices, Lizzie and the Lost Baby provides an excellent launching pad to discuss right and wrong.
Some Kind of Courage
Den Gemeinhart's Some Kind of Courage is a western "tall tale." Joseph Johnson has lost everyone he loves to either accident or illness, so when the man he is staying with sells his pony Sarah to a crooked horse trader, nothing can stop Joseph from tracking her down... not bears, wild river rides, or shoot-outs. Filled with hope, heart, and nonstop action.
In Lois Sephaban's Paper Wishes, Manami hasn't spoken since her family was evacuated to Manzanaar and a foolish choice of hers results in the loss of their family dog. Paper Wishes evokes the realities of internment camps and the changes to families that occurred as a result of their internment, as well as hope and love. Guaranteed to inspire deep conversations, and perhaps a few "paper wishes" of your own.
Fenway and Hattie
Victoria Coe's Fenway and Hattie reveals the world through Jack Russell puppy Fenway's eyes. We encounter the evil floor, individual (and lonely!) dog parks, Food Lady, and Fenway's exuberant love for Hattie. However, since they've moved to this new house, Hattie is spending her time playing baseball instead of playing with him. Can he win her back? Find out in this hysterical canine interpretation of our human world.
I read so many fantastic children's novels this year. The above are a few of the ones I think would work particularly well as read alouds. I'll share more great read alouds next week. Until then, happy reading!
Suzanne - Children's Librarian