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January 03, 2018

New Traditions: Classic and New Books to Read Aloud with the Family

New Traditions: Classic and New Books to Read Aloud with the Family

By: Allison Kartman, Noblesville Youth Service Librarian

Is spending more time together as a family at the top of your 2018 New Year’s resolution list? Reading aloud for 20 minutes a night can be easily incorporated into your nightly routine. Along with building vocabulary (Children’s books contain 50% more rare words than prime-time television or even college students’ conversations), learning life lessons, and promoting listening skills; reading aloud with your children can provide them with a sense of belonging and closeness as well as create lasting memories.

My own father loved to read aloud to my brother and I as we were growing up, one of my favorites started out like this:

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

I still remember my father reading this opening line of what would become my favorite book series, Harry Potter. He had picked it up at the bookstore and brought it home to share with my brother and I. By the end of the book my imagination was captured. Could it be possible that an entire other world, a world filled with magic, existed right alongside my own?

Below is a mix of classic and new titles to get you started on creating your own read aloud family memories. Each are available in a variety of formats and can be found in our catalog or inquired about at any of our reference desks. Happy reading!


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 
With sheer storytelling delight and pure adventure, this novel creates scenes and characters that have fired the imaginations of generations of readers.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Because, who doesn’t dream of discovering a secret world in the back of their closet?

Matilda by Roald Dahl
A courageous young girl inspired by the kindness of her teacher and fueled by the passion for reading? We librarians might be a little bias for this story.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Re-experience this Newberry award winning novel  before the movie adaptation comes out in 2018. If you are a visual person try the graphic novel version!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Get swept away as Dorothy and her dog Toto find themselves stranded in the fantastical Land of Oz.

Newer Titles:

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
When a father goes out for milk and is absent for hours, he returns with an elaborate story and fortunately the milk, as well.

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
What happens when a few friends get stuck inside a game board? Find out in this fantastic adventure story filled with a dazzling world with fantastic imagery and pulse quickening puzzles.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 
Recently becoming an onscreen hit, this book will soften your heart and remind you what real kindness means.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
What would it be like if your Grandfather suddenly reverse aged himself into a teenager, find out from this author of the much loved “Babymouse” graphic novel series.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
With an absolutely magical and lyrical writing style, Kelly Barnhill draws you right into this story about a young girl dealing with the consequences of drinking too much moonlight.