Did you know that read aloud books aren’t just for babies and preschoolers? I admit that once my kids are able to read by themselves, I pretty much quit reading to them. I did not think they needed me anymore. But I was wrong. Tweens and teens can actually benefit from listening to books. It wasn’t too late for me to start reading aloud to my older kids. So I did.
When I began reading books to the older kids, I quickly realized that I enjoyed it – and so did they! We could read higher level books together because I was there to explain any unfamiliar vocabulary words. We could talk about what was going on with the characters and the more complicated story lines. Reading aloud to my tweens has become a new way for us to spend quality time together. Plus, I hope it helps my kids continue to develop a lifelong love of reading. I think it will.
Just a few of our favorite read aloud books!
We try to read together for at least 20 minutes per day. It usually fits best into our bedtime routine. I read to the kids while they sit back and relax. Listening to me read is a good way for them to unwind at bedtime. Check out the Scholastic 20 For 20 Family Reading Challenge.
Some of the our favorite read aloud books for tweens and middle schoolers are:
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling (Books 1-8). Most kids today have only watched the Harry Potter movies. They are really missing out on one of the best fantasy book series of all time. It is perfect to read aloud with your child because adults will enjoy the story, too. I loved reading Harry Potter books on my own, and look forward to re-reading the series with my kids. It will be like introducing them to an old friend.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. This book is about a 5th grade boy who was born with facial abnormalities. He wants to be treated like an ordinary kid, but his classmates can’t get past his extraordinary face. Wonder’s messages about kindness and friendship are so important for kids these days.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney. I enjoy reading about Greg’s antics as much the kids do. We have read these books together several times, and they are always good for a laugh.
The Giver by Lois Lowry. You may remember reading this book in school as a kid. It was a 1994 Newbery Medal Winner and has become one of the most influential novels of our time. This book gives us a lot to think about and talk about together. It’s about life in a Utopian society where the main character, Jonas, discovers everything is not as perfect as it seems.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. This was one of my favorite childhood books by one of my favorite childhood authors. It’s the first book in a hilarious series that follows two brothers, Peter and his younger brother, Fudgie, baby sister Tootsie, their neighbor Sheila Tubman, various pets, and minor characters through New York City and on treks to suburbs and camps.
The books listed above are literally just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many wonderful books out there to enjoy reading with your tween. These are just a few that my children and I have really enjoyed reading together so far. Please feel free to comment below and share your favorite tween and middle school book titles with us.