8 Books to Read to Your ‘Big Kid’ That You’ll Love, Too

the great brainWe all know reading aloud to your kids is one of the best activities you can share with your child. Not only does it nurture their literacy, it's also a treasured bonding ritual for families. Those bedtime stories tend to drop off once kids get old enough to read to themselves. But personally, I just can't give it up. I still love reading to my 9-year-old son before bedtime. And it turns out the research is on my side: Kids who know how to read still benefit from read-aloud time with their parents. And parents? If you pick the right books, you'll enjoy this reading time, too. Here are some of my favorite "big kid" chapter books to read aloud.


A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Snicket's 13-volume series is wild fun, not least because of the delicious way he plays with language. The series turns darker and more serious about halfway through, with some thought-provoking questions ripe for discussion.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Or any Roald Dahl book. This is another author with a playful way with words. His characters are daring, creative, and inspiring -- and not a little mischievous.

The Great Brain: I adopted my best Wyatt Earp drawl to read this series about growing up in rural Utah in the early 20th century. Your kids will love hearing about what frontier life was like 100 years ago. You'll cringe at all the fist fights, but it's all good, innocent fun.

Little House on the Prairie: Your kids will love this classic series for the same reason. Laura Ingalls and her family carve out a life in the Midwest, braving storms and engaging in nose-to-tail eating way before it was trendy.

The Little Prince: This sweet tale is a little melancholic and a lot magical. Imagine living alone on your own tiny planet -- what kid can't relate to that?

The Chronicles of Narnia: Kids entering a magical realm without their parents, fighting battles -- what's not to love about that? I loved all the brave but flawed children in this fantasy series.

A Wrinkle in Time: This is one of the best novels for kids who feel like misfits. Awkward Meg and her genius little brother Charles Wallace travel through space and time to find their lost father. There's a none-too-subtle critique of conformity that I happen to love.

Tuck Everlasting: What happen when a family finds the fountain of youth? A very lonely forever. This sweet fantasy tale will give you plenty to talk over with your kids.

What are your favorite kids' chapter books to read aloud with your kids?


Image via Scholastic

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