Books for Family Reading Groups to Read Out Loud


Last week, I offered up a few tips on how to get a family reading group going. Today, I’m recommending a few titles in three age brackets that are good books to read out loud in your family. November is National Family Literacy month, which is a good time to think about adding more reading time into your family time. To help get you started, I’m giving away a signed copy of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs each Friday of the month. See this previous post to enter by leaving a comment.

Here are the titles I recommend. Many of them are classics that children will be exposed to for the first time, and some of them are new. In addition to telling a good story, most of these books are also laugh-out-loud funny.

Ages 2 to 4

At this age, children love to have the same books read to them over and over. They often memorize the words in picture books , which lets them “read” pages themselves. Here are a few new books mixed in with a few classics that you won’t mind reading and enjoying often.

  • More Bears! By Kenn Nesbitt and Troy Cummings
  • If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond
  • My Name Is Not Isabella and My Name is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry and Mike Litwin
  • Go, Dog. Go! By P. D. Eastman
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
  • Before You Were Born by Jennifer Davis and Laura Cornell
  • Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • If you Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

Ages 5 to 8

At this age kids can understand a lot more than they can read on their own. They like stories about friendship and family.

  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

Ages 9 to 12

Reading with your kids when they are this age is particularly rewarding. They may be spending less time with you and more time with their friends, so reading together is a good way to connect on a regular basis.

  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  • Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Boy by Roald Dahl
  • Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
  • Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine and Christopher Russell


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