Tate and I went out of town last week, and she had a ball spending most of her afternoons playing with friends and running in the sunshine. But in the evenings she’d wind down, and as grown-up as she seems to be lately (she’s 7 going on 17), her one request before slipping on her pajamas was this: “Mom, can you read Charlotte’s Web to me?”
This was important to her, even on a fun vacation. (I mean, don’t get me wrong, the girl also likes Phinneas & Ferb.) But she’s a decent reader for her age, and she enjoys tackling easier chapter books on her own (Magic Treehouse, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and the like). From her infancy, we’ve ended our days snuggling and reading aloud. It’s her magical time where she can enter a world through her imagination, without having to “practice” her reading skills. All five of us are now often crammed on one bed to hear the evening’s story.
As Tate’s attention span has increased, so have our reading options—this means we often tackle chapter books with minimal pictures. Now, her two younger brothers still mostly listen to these types of books as they do other things, but that’s okay by me. I know at least the 4-year-old is listening. In his own way.
Here are some of our family’s favorite recent chapter books for reading aloud.