read aloud options

I wrote about this topically, as well as the beauty and the brains that went into creating this list: here.  Do contact me if you have questions, or a recommended title or two.

I made a pinterest board (w/ sub-category boards): here

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(longer in length for the younger set, +=diversity; *=award; ^=animal)


+The Dress and the Girl by Camille Andros, Julie Morstad

*Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen

Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, & + Ada Twist books by Andrea Beaty, David Roberts.

+My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best, Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

^Paddington by Michael Bond

+The Truly Brave Princesses by Dolores Brown, illus. Sonja Wimmer.

*The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

^Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, and/or Verdi

^Shelter by Céline Claire, Qin Leng

*Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


pb ra 2

The Day the Crayons Quit, and …Came Home by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers

+Islandborn by Junot Diaz, Leo Espinosa

*+Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de Pena, Christian Robinson

The Fan Brothers: The Night Gardener and ^The Antlered Ship written by Dashka Slater

Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey

*^All books Kevin Henkes (Chrysanthemum was a favorite).

*^Mother Bruce series and +We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

pb ra 3^Toot & Puddle books by Holly Hobbie

^Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel

+Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

^*Robert McCloskey books.

Robert Munsch (e.g. The Paper Bag Princess)

pb ra 4+Dream Dancer by Jill Newsome, Claudio Munoz

+Peter H. Reynolds books like Ish, or Dot, or Going Places

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, Kathryn Brown

+Dan Santat books like: *Adventures of Beekle and After the Fall.

*The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith

Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

*Interrupting Chicken by Ezra Stein

Chris Van Dusen’s If I Built series…and The Circus Ship.

pb ra 5+Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse, Rebecca Dautremer

^Mo Willems: Elephant and Piggie are awesome!! Their “Presents” series are good, too.

^The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco

+This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson.

+What Do You Do series by Kobi Yamada, Mae Besom

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Wordless can be fun:

Journey/Quest/Return by Aaron Becker

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

Non-Fiction: I do not read a lot of non-fiction ala memoirs or biographies, but there are some gorgeous picture books to choose from like +Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange, Kadir Nelson (whom I love) or +A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, Catia Chien.


I’d pick these based on everyone’s interest, but these tend to be successful read-alouds. These are all series, except Indian Shoes; +=diversity; ^=animal:

chap ra 1Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (sometimes in picture books)

+Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke (also No. 1 Car Spotter)

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows

The Masterpiece Adventures by Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy

+Lola Levine series by Monica Brown

^ Narwhal and Jelly series by Ben Clanton

^Chicken Squad Misadventure by Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell

chap ra 2^Mercy Watson and Tales from Deckawoo Drive by Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen

+Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi, Hatem Aly

^Heartwood Hotel series by Kallie George, Stephanie Graegin

^Adventure of Sophie Mouse by Poppy Green

+Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

+Freddie Ramos by Jacqueline Jules, Miguel Benitez

^Magic Bone by Nancy Krulik—also her Princess Pulverizer series.

chap ra 3^Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin

+Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jim Madsen

+Ling & Ting by Grace Lin

+Ruby Lu by Lenore Look

The Dragon Slayer’s Academy by Kate McMullan, Bill Basso

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

^Detective Gordon by Ulf Nilsson

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

+Ellray Jakes by Sally Warner, Jamie Harper

Dragon Masters by Tracey West, Graham Howells


(of varying length; grouped by earlier/later, and genre; +=diversity; *=award-winner; ^=animals). It’s heavily weighted toward Fantasy-Adventure b/c those are my most frequent requests. There is overlap when you consider humor and mystery

adv ra 1>>>Adventure

*My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and her +*Julie of the Wolves

+Moving Target series by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Treasure Hunters series by Chris Grabenstein, James Patterson (humor)

cont ra 1>>>Contemporary


+Tia Lola series by Julia Alvarez (think Mary Poppins)

*^One and Only Ivan and +The Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

*The Penderwicks series by Birdsall [highly recommend; classic feeling]

+*The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

cont ra 2*Because of Winn Dixie and *^Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

*Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

+Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han

*The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

cont ra 3+The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami

+Pacy Lin series by Grace Lin.

A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

+Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Wish by Barbara O’Connor

Calvin Coconut series by Graham Salisbury

 cont ra 4<later>

Skellig by David Almond

*Raymie Nightingale and Lousiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

+In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III, Jim Yellowhawk

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

*+As Brave As You and the Track series by Jason Reynolds

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>>>“Contemporary Classics”

(as in, not shelved with “classics” just yet)

^Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater

*Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Catling

Fudge series by Judy Blume

^Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary

Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

*The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer

The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

cl ra 2*The Borrowers by Mary Norton

*^Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and others.

^* Charlotte’s Webb and Stuart Little by E.B. White

Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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(see also in “humor”)


^Tumtum and Nutmeg by Emily Bearn, Nick Price

^Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi

+Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott

*My Father’s Dragon by Rules Stiles Gannett

+Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell/Skottie Young; and Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants, illus. Brett Helquist

^Word of Mouse by Chris Grabenstein, James Patterson (think Stuart Little & Ralph)

^Bunnicula by James Howe

^+Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa, Jun Takabatake

+The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

^Gooseberry Park series by Cynthia Rylant.

^Teddy & Co. by Cynthia Voigt, Paola Zakimi (think Winnie-the-Pooh)

fa ra 2<not as young>

May Bird Trilogy. Jodi Lynn Anderson

^Endling series by Katherine Applegate

^*Dimwood Forest series by Avi (most begin at Poppy)

The Wide-Awake Princess series by E.D. Baker

+The Jumbies (series) by Tracey Baptiste

*The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

^The Wonderling series by Mira Bartok

+The Train to Impossible Places series by PG Bell

+The Goblin’s Puzzle: The Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Called Alice by Andrew S. Chilton

fa ra 3+Pandava Quartet by Roshani Chokshi (think Riordan)

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

Roald Dahl…start with Charlie, Danny Champion, Twits, or the BFG; James and Witches, then Matilda.

+Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series by Sayantani DasGupta (think Riordan)

*Kate DiCamillo ^Tale of Despereaux, Magician’s Elephant

Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi (dark)

fa ra 4The Stone Girl’s Story or The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

Igraine the Brave and Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (later Inkheart)

Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz

+The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

The Door to the Lost or Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

fa ra 5+Elementals series by Amie Kaufman

Theodosia series by R.L. LaFevers

^The Five Realms series by Kieran Larwood (think Jacques and Tolkien)

^Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky and her new Bears of the Ice series.

^Mice of the Round Table by Julie Leung

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (and really, anything she writes) like The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre!

Love Sugar Magic series by Anna Meriano

fa ra 6+Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

+Bayou Magic by Jewel Parker Rhodes

+Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

The Keepers Trilogy by Lian Tanner

Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend (think HP & Dahl)

Fairyland series by Catherynne Valente.

+Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede.

fa ra 7<later>

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (serious old school high fantasy)

Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry

+The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, and his Coraline

+Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge; also her Fly By Night series (love her)

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

fa ra 8The Giver series by Lois Lowry

+Warcross series by Marie Lu

Impyrium series by Henry H. Neff

+Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson

fa ra 9<found in the grown-up sections>

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (hysterical)

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis

hf ra 1

>>>Historical Fiction:

*I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin

*The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

+*The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (really, anything by this author)

+Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

+*One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

hum ra 1



How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell (fantasy)

Half Magic by Edward Eager (fantasy)

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire by Mrs. Bunny by Polly Horvath, Sophie Blackall

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (any of his Flush is super popular)

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

+The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

+Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look

hum ra 2Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald, Alexandra Boiger.

Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker (like Ramona)

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

Wayside School books by Louis Sachar

^Hamster Princess series by Ursula Vernon and her Castle Hangnail

hum ra 3<about the middle>

*Pals in Peril Tales by M.T. Anderson (adventure)

Horton Halfpott … by Tom Angleberger (fantasy)

Peter Nimble and +Sophie Quire and all things Jonathan Auxier (fantasy, macabre)

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce (fantasy)

Clarice Bean series by Lauren Child

The League of Beastly Dreadfuls series by Holly Grant (fantasy; think Dahl)

The Hero’s Guide series by Christopher Healy (fantasy)

hum ra 4Howl’s Moving Castle and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. (fantasy)

Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy (fantasy)

The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter (fantasy, macabre)

+The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (fantasy)

Holes by Louis Sachar

Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (macabre)

+The Adventurer’s Guide series by Wade Albert White

mys ra 1



Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

+Clubhouse Mysteries by Sharon Draper

Remarkable by Lizzie Foley (perfect for sensitive listeners)

<about the middle>

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (save series books for older)

+The Great Greene Heist and The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (humorous)

mys ra 2*From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Greenglass House (series) by Kate Milford

*+The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer (historical, and fem-friendly)

Mo & Dale Mysteries by Sheila Turnage

Six by MM Vaughan

found in the grown-up mystery section: Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley



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