One of my very, very favorite things to do as a mom is to read chapter books aloud to my kids. We almost always have a book that we are in the middle of reading and we’ll read a little before bed or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
So, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of some of our favorites. We have read some FANTASTIC chapter books, so here’s a few of them. (See also my list of favorite kids picture books.)
Favorite Books to Read Aloud to Kids:
(These are in no particular order)
Bunnicula: Told from the perspective of a dog about a Vampire Bunny Rabbit that sucks the juice out of vegetables. This is a series of books-the others are called Howliday Inn, The Celery Stalks At Midnight, Nighty-Nightmare, Return to Howliday Inn, Bunnicula Strikes Again and Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow. These books are clever and funny and each contains a mystery that the pets are trying to solve. So fantastic! Probably good for most ages of kids who can sit still long enough to listen to a chapter book.
Fablehaven: Again, this is a series and I am seriously in love with it. Two kids whose grandparents happen to be the keepers of a magical forest full of all kinds of magical creatures from good guys to bad guys. There are 5 books in this series and they just keep getting better as you read. The first is good, the second is better and the 3rd, 4th and 5th are amazing. They are a similar genre to something like Harry Potter, so if you loved Harry you will probably like this. Probably best for kids who are older elementary age.
The Candy Shop War: Another one by the same author as Fablehaven (Brandon Mull) that is a fun read for kids. Think enchanted candy and mysteries and you’ve got The Candy Shop Wars. My boys loved these. What kid doesn’t love reading about candy mixed with magic? There are two books in this series and it is probably best for middle to older elementary age. (Bonus-me and my kids actually got to meet Brandon Mull.)
The Hobbit: This is actually one that my husband is reading to the kids-right now. And unfortunately they are enjoying it more than the one we are currently reading so they always want to read with him instead of me! But I am glad they are enjoying it. My five year old is even loving this one. I can’t vouch for if it gets scary or anything since he’s the one reading it (I’ve read it but it’s been a long time), but it’s a great adventure book for my boys.
Island of the Blue Dolphins: A classic that you probably read when you were in elementary or middle school but maybe haven’t thought to read to your kids? We just read this recently and I was surprised just how much my boys loved it. And it’s good for learning about other cultures. And we loved finding out that it’s actually based on a true story. A great read and great for most ages. It can be slow in parts and younger kids might get bored, but my two older boys (8 and 10) were engaged the whole time.
Tuesdays at the Castle and Wednesdays in the Tower: Love love love love love these books! Well, I am only halfway through Wednesdays, but the first was amazing!!! My boys loved it too. Three kids in a castle because they are royalty, dealing with the crazy changes that the castle makes every Tuesday and all of the other magic and bad guys that come their way. A wonderful and fun book for any age.
Janitors: Another series, this one has three books, and they are all about a gang of janitors fighting off the evil BEM who wants to take over education. The janitors use magical mops and brooms and chalk dust to fight the bad guys along with help from a few kids. So quirky and funny. We are in the middle of the third right now and loving it! Great for all ages.
Evertaster: Ah this is a fun book! All about a kid who tastes things so strongly that he can barely stand to eat most food. (This must explain why my 8 year old is so picky.) He’s on the search for the one true recipe. It’s funny and it’s fun and when we finished, we MADE the one true recipe. And there’s a novella to go with it-The Buttersmith’s Gold-which was also fantastic. And there’s a sequel coming soon! All ages on this book too.
Clementine: Have you met Clementine? Because if you haven’t, you must! She’s so loveable and fun. A little red haired girl who gets into all kinds of mischief at school and at home and reminds you once again what it’s like to be a kid. There are 6 Clemetine books (Aha! I just discovered that there’s a new one that we haven’t read yet-yippeee!) and they are all wonderful. You don’t have to read them in any particular order and they can stand alone but you’ll want to read them all because they are all so cute. I think all ages would enjoy these.
Holes: This might be the book my boys got most excited about while we read it. They LOVED this book. Who wouldn’t? It’s fun for kids and for adults. You may already know the premise if you’ve seen the movie-a bunch of kids at a camp in the middle of no where, forced to dig holes day after day. It does an amazing job of flashing back then forward and weaving several story lines together. And when you are done you can watch the movie together!
The Chronicles of Narnia: These are some of the best books ever written. Several children discover a magical land-Narnia-and have adventures there. I’ve only read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with my kids so far, but they loved it. I read it with them when they were about 7 and 5 or younger and I had to stop a lot to explain words and help them understand the language. So maybe a good series for older kids?
Charlotte’s Web: Another classic that you’ve probably already read and that your kids will love. Who doesn’t love the story of a pig and a spider who form a friendship? This one is also good for all ages.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Now this is a fun change. This story is told a lot in pictures. You will be reading along and all of a sudden you will come to a whole section with no words, just pictures and you have to fill in the details in your mind. So don’t let the size of this book scare you. There are lots of pages but it’s an easy read. And this one has a movie to watch after it too!
Tale of Despereaux: One of the cutest, wittiest and most clever books I have ever read. My boys loved it and I loved it. It’s the story of a cute little mouse living in a castle. Again, there’s a fun movie to go with it. Great for all ages.
Because of Winn Dixie: By the same author as Despereaux, this is a sweet story about a girl who is learning the hard lessons of growing up. Wonderful characters in this one that you come to love and appreciate by the end of the book. This one is probably best of middle to older elementary ages.
Little House in the Big Woods: Another series, this one with lots of books, that will teach your kids all about what it was like to grow up hundreds of years ago. I loved reading this with my boys and talking about the things that were different then and I was suprised by how interested in that they were! A great educational experience as well as fun.
The Great Brain: This series is similar to the Little House series in that the kids will learn all about life in the past. This series though is humorous and very engaging as you learn about the shenanigans of a family of naughty boys. Every time I read one of the books in this series I feel like I learn things about how to live life that have been forgotten over the years.
I will keep adding to this list when I remember more. I have loved putting this list together because I love these book so much!
Do you have favorites to share with me? Please do!
And, grab a cute, free printable bookmark for all of your reading:
And see my favorite Picture Books for kids as well: