I love reading, and honestly, our read aloud is my favorite part of the day. I love to read to my students and see the wonder on their faces as the story unfolds before them. There is just something magical that takes place during this time, and I don’t know what I would do without it. Somehow during a read aloud all the behaviors go away, the worries of the world disappear, and we just read. Magic right?
I have a few characteristics that I look for in read alouds.
- Engagement-they have to hook my students from the very beginning
- Author-I love to stick to authors that have written multiple books, because I want students to want to read more by them when we are done, and that doesn’t work if there aren’t more.
- A series-series are wonderful for the same reason mentioned above. Sometimes we might read several books in a series, but often I will just read the first one and then make sure that the rest are readily available for students to read themselves.
- Relatable-I want students to have access to the characters and be able to connect in one way or another.
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Without further adieu I bring you my list of absolute favorites. Now keep in mind that I can find redeeming qualities in just about any book, so these are truly my absolute favorites. I had to limit myself, because really I could go on for days!
Roald Dahl is a real crowd pleaser, and everyone can identify with a little boy with mean aunts. This story is so imaginative that students can’t help but get caught up in it from the very beginning. As a bonus, the chapters are very short, so it is easy to plan out time for reading. I especially love to work on visualizing and character traits with this book, but any reading skill is more fun with giant insects and James.This read aloud fits the bill for being engaging, an author with many books, and being relatable. A triple threat!
I read this one for the first time last year, and then consequently read the whole series. Homer the main character is so average, that students love him, and Dog his dog is perfect for comedic relief. This series is very relatable, and we had a hard time keeping the books in stock!
This is another series that my students became basically obsessed with. I have been reading them to my students for the last five years, and can’t imagine a year not. Pseudomonyous Bosch fascinates them as an author and it leads into a great discussion on pen names. The characters in this story have just enough of a touch of whimsy that they are relatable, but still fantastic! With this being said, the books in this series are a little on the longer side, so you have to be willing to go the distance, because once you start you won’t want to stop!
Neil Gaiman is amazing. His author’s craft is amazing. His word choice is amazing. Are you catching my drift?
This book about ghouls, ghosts, and murder is all in for instant engagement. It is a little high for students to read independently, but with the support of a read aloud I still think it is perfect for this age group, especially later in the year.
Kate DiCamillo is my hero. Seriously, not even kidding. I love everything that she has written, but Edward is my favorite of favorites. I have on multiple occasions sat down and read the book cover to cover in one sitting, I’m not ashamed. Kate DiCamillo has tons of awesome books, and my students always latch on to her as an author they love to read!
Judy Blume. Need I say more? I absolutely love all of the Fudge series, and my students think that they are laugh out loud funny. These books are also so relatable whether you are the older or younger sibling, or just a friend. This book always has my students rolling with laughter and ready to pick up the next one after we are done reading. My struggling readers always seem to have a particular attachment to this series as well which is another amazing aspect!
Barbara Park is another crowd pleaser and Skinny Bones is such a silly and relatable book that students are always hooked! Alex Frankovitch is the class clown that so many students want to be, or be friends with. His antics are believable too, so don’t be surprised when someone comes down with the Booga Boogas!
As I said before, these books are by no means a complete list, but they are my favorites!