As your children age, don't stop reading aloud before bed, just move into chapter books! Experience challenges and explore the world together through the wonderful world of literature!
Little Britches: My Father and I were Ranchers
Little Britches has been one of my favorite books since my incredible 5th grade teacher read it to our class so many years ago. Ralph Moody writes of his childhood when they moved to Colorado in 1906 when he was 8 years old. Although there is some rough language common for the time and place, the hardships, joys, and truths will sink deep to your heart. This is the first of 8 books Moody wrote of his life, but at least the first 2 should be read in every family.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J Maybury
Well written, interesting book which will teach kids and adults alike about the history of money and explain debt, interest, recessions, and so much more in a way all will understand. This is a must read book for all. A good understanding of these concepts is invaluable.
Quick read aloud and your kids will love it as much as you! Twelve year old Matt is left to care for the new log cabin in the Maine wilderness while his dad traveled back to bring the rest of the family. Matt overcomes incredible challenges with the help of the Native Americans.
Book for ages 7-10 on the topic of honesty. T.J. gets over his head when he said that he had a pet boa constrictor when everyone else at school was talking about what pet they were going to bring for show and tell. It addresses the topic without being preachy, but through T.J.'s struggle.
The whole Great Brain series have been favorites of all my kids. The author writes hilarious stories about his childhood in Utah in the late 1800's. His brother Tom, known as "The Great Brain," always had some scheme for making money. They were considered outsiders because his father was not Morman, so that created all kinds of interesting scenarios. Each chapter has you laughing and wondering what they will think of next. I only remember one chapter which dealt with a child wanting to commit suicide which you may want to preview ahead. It ends very well, but it is a sensitive topic. My kids have read and reread this books.
Caddie grew up not far from where I grew up in Wisconsin so this book is very dear to me. Caddie was a tomboy and was usually hanging out with her older brothers rather than doing proper girl things in the 1860's. Caddie's granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink, wrote this book based on the stories Caddie told her.
Although this book is not long, it is meant for a bit older kids, later elementary or middle schoolers. It has some darkness like fairy tales, but also humor. Thurber is a master with words, so it has an elements of poetry, yet in a clever way. We also enjoy his book, The Wonderful O, a world in which no o's exist!
If you have never read A Wrinkle in Time, you are in for a treat! Fantastic read aloud, especially if you take care to have the different voices and mannerisms of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which and etc. This has been loved for the past 50 years and now, after you finish the book, go see the movie just being released!
The detainment of US citizens with Japanese heritage is rarely talked about when we study WWII. Although this is a fictional story, the author, Yoshiko Uchida, was detained along with her family and friends in Topaz, Utah. Her first hand knowledge provides a window into those uprooted lives.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
This is one of my favorite read alouds. It is a difficult topic, the Puritans accusing Quakers and people who did not adhere to the Puritan ways a witch. Kit risks all to protect the innocent. Reading books together allows for great discussions and learning.
True story about Nathaniel Bowditch who left school at twelve years old when he became indentured for 9 years. He was a self-taught mathematical and navigational genius who was determined to save ships through improving navigational methods. My book is older, so the cover has been updated from mine.