Read Aloud Thursday: 2012 Chapter Books

For the last (!) Read Aloud Thursday of 2012 I thought I’d highlight the chapter books we’ve enjoyed together this year. As I’ve described before, I read a “special” book to each boy before bed each night. I read to David first and John listens, many of the books are ones he’s heard before and is excited to hear again. Then I read to John from his book while David listens. Typically David falls asleep sometime while I’m reading to John. I also read a  book to all three kids during lunch. The lunchtime book is usually read only 2-3 days a week and we often don’t have time for it so it takes us much longer to get through a book. Still, it’s something they enjoy. In 2013,  I’d like to figure out how to add a “special” chapter book time with Ruth into the routine.



David’s Special Books: 

Nim at Sea by Wendy Orr
Secrets at Sea
by Richard Peck
Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith
Clever Lollipop by Dick King-Smith
School Days According to Humphrey by Betty Birney
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warren
Toys Come Home by Emily Jenkins
Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins
Toys Dance Party
by Emily Jenkins
Half Magic
by Edward Eager
The Water Horse
by Dick King-Smith
Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall
by Emily Bearn
by Prudence Breitrose
The Hobbit
by J.R.R. Tolkien
by Nancy Li Fan
by Beverly Cleary
Malcolm at Midnight
by W. H. Beck

David reports that his favorite read-alouds this year were The Hobbit, Swordbird, Socks and Malcolm at Midnight (our current special book). While those are all excellent books, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they also happen to be the last four books we read. He did really love Swordbird, much more than me, and is anxiously waiting to begin on the next book in the series.  The two series that I enjoyed reading with him the most were Toys Come Home (and the two others in the series) and the Tumtum and Nutmeg books. Both were new to us and both were enjoyed by all three of us.






John’s Special Books:

Mattimeo by Brian Jacques
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
The Grey King by Susan Cooper
Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

John reported that he liked all his books but when pressed to pick his favorites he chose The Dark is Rising series and our current read-aloud, The Fellowship of the Ring. I have also greatly enjoyed reading both of these with him. Both demonstrate to me the distinct pleasure of reading aloud with older kids. John is only 9 but is a very good reader and is fully capable of reading any of the books we read together on his own. But there is something special about sharing the books together that I think we both appreciate. At times I’m sure it’s frustrating to him that we read the books much more slowly together than he would on his own, but he still enjoys the read aloud time every night enough to be patient and not read ahead in whatever book we are currently reading together.

Lunchtime books:

By the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder (*2012)
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

We finally finished our time with the Wilder family, reading through the first three Laura books and Farmer Boy. We’re currently reading The Moffats by Eleanor Estes and we’re all enjoying it enough that I plan on having us spend more time with this family when we’re done.





We also listen to a lot of audiobooks, all in the car. We pretty much always have an audiobook going whether it is a short errand or a long drive. John in particular requests  the “story, please” everytime we get in the car, sometimes before I’ve started the engine. This is partially because he gets carsick when reading in the car (something that may be going away based on a few recent trips) and partially because he just loves books.

We enjoyed a lot of series that are old favorites this year (Fudge, Ramona, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle). Ella Enchanted stands out as a new-to-us book that we all enjoyed, especially John and me. John also really liked The Great Brain series and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Which he listened to alone on the Kindle Fire on our vacation in October. Multiple times.)David particularly enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Rabbit Ears multiple volumes (world folktales)
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Soup by Robert Newton Peck
Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren (2012)
Tale of Despeareaux by Kate DiCamillo
Pinocchio by Carlo Callodi
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm by Betty MacDonald
Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
The Willoughby’s by Lois Lowry
The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff: You Wish by Jason Lethcoe
Clementine and the Secret Meeting by Sara Pennypacker
Superfudge by Judy Blume
Double Fudge by Judy Blume
Fudge-a-mania by Judy Blume
Ramona’s World by Beverly Cleary
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo
The Tiger Rising by Kate Dicamillo
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan
Caleb’s Song by Patricia MacLachlan
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great Brain by Judy Blume
Fairies and the Quest for Never Land by Gail Carson Levine
The Million Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman
The Game of Sunken Places by M. T. Anderson
Homer Price
by Robert McCloskey
some Encyclopedia Brown
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Heat by Mike Lupica
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Soup by Robert Newton Peck
Tumtum and Nutmeg: A Seaside Adventure by Emily Bearn
Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke
Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
All of a Kind Family Downtown by Sydney Taylor
Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
More All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

All in all, a great year of reading. I love all the end of year book lists that abound this time of year. I get many ideas for our reading from them. Be sure to stop by Hope is the Word to see more end of the year favorites and just more of what parents and kids are enjoying reading aloud together.

3 thoughts on “Read Aloud Thursday: 2012 Chapter Books

  1. Pingback: Best of 2012 in Books | Supratentorial

  2. Wow! That is an impressive list, Alice! I don’t know what’s more impressive–the number of titles or the fact that you kept up with them all! 🙂 Your post inspires me to get some new audiobooks. The girls have listened to all the ones we own over and over (and over and over), and I haven’t gotten any from the library in a long, long time.

    I see quite a few titles I’d like to read with my girls on your list. I’m most interested in the Emily Jenkins titles. I think they’d like those. I’d also really like to get into the routine of reading a book with each of them and one together, though I’ve yet to figure out how to accomplish it.

    I’m so glad you shared your end-of-the-year post!

  3. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2012 | Semicolon

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