Read Out Loud

Hi! This is Shaunta.

And this is my daughter, Ruby, the day after she begged to have her waist-length hair cut like Ramona’s:

If you asked Ruby to describe herself, she’d tell you that she’s a tomboy and that she loves to ride her bike, swim, make art, and read. As I write this (June 2012), she’s seven and just finished up first grade. She’s the youngest of my three kids, by eleven years.

I’ve decided to work on an experiment, here at Story Carnivores. I want to keep a record of the books I read out loud to Ruby. Not the little chapter books she could read to herself, or the picture books we’ve read eleventy-billion times (We’ll eat you up, we love you so!) I’m talking about books that are at least a little outside her read-to-herself reading level. Books that her big sister loved as a kid, and books I loved as a kid, and that sometimes my mom and even my grandma loved. Old classics and new classics.

Below is our ever-growing list of books to read out loud. I’ll mark our current read, plus link to reviews of the books that we’ve already read. My criteria for adding a book to our list are:

1. I found a copy for $3.00 or less. I know, I know. Libraries are free. But I like having a shelf of books for her to pick from. And I want a permanent library of our own. Plus, finding them for less than $3.00 makes it a treasure hunt. Fun!

2. It’s not a book that Ruby could easily read on her own. Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House level books are her read-to-herself level right now. The books we’ll read out loud will be age appropriate, but since I’m reading them to her and can explain words or themes that are a little over her head, age appropriateness is slightly different than if she was reading to herself. I know that before too much longer, these books will be at her reading level, but for now, at age 7, she still needs her mama to read them to her.

3. We’ll both enjoy it.

I’ll post a review of each book we read. The reviews will talk about both my experience reading the book out loud, and Ruby’s as the one being read to. I’ll also post a monthly update of our read out loud project. I’d love to hear from any of you on your experiences, too!

Below is our list of books. It’s ever evolving as we find new books to add to our little library. The title in red is what we’re working on now. Click on any blue title for the review.

Welcome to the Story Carnivore Read Out Loud Library!


Averil, Esther: Jenny and the Cat Club


Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan

Blume, Judy: Superfudge


Carroll, Lewis: Alice in Wonderland

Cleary, Beverly: Mouse and the Motorcycle

Cleary, Beverly: Ralph S. Mouse


Dahl, Roald: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Dahl, Roald: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Dahl, Roald: Matilda

Dahl, Roald: The Witches



Farjeon, Eleanor: The Little Bookroom

Fitzhugh, Louise: Harriet the Spy



Hale, Shannon: Princess Academy



Justor, Norton: The Phantom Tollbooth



L’Engle, Madeleine: An Acceptable Time

L’Engle, Madeleine: A Swiftly Tilting Planet

L’Engle, Madeleine: A Wrinkle in Time

Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi Goes on Board

Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi in the South Seas

Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi Longstocking


Milne, A. A.: Winnie-the-Pooh

L.M. Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables


Nix, Garth: Mister Monday

Norton, Mary: The Borrowers


O’Dell, Scott: Island of the Blue Dolphins


Paterson, Katherine: Bridge to Terabithia

Peterson, John: The Littles and the Lost Children



Rodgers, Mary: Freaky Friday

Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Sachar, Louis: Sideways Stories From Wayside School

Sachar, Louis: Wayside School is Falling Down

Streatfeild, Noel: Dancing Shoes

Stewart, Trenton Lee: The Mysterious Benedict Society


Travers, P. L.: Mary Poppins

Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn




White, E. B.: Charlotte’s Web

White, E.BE.: The Trumpet of the Swan

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: By the Shores of Silver Lake

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Farmer Boy

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little House in the Big Woods

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little House on the Prairie

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little Town on the Prairie

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: On the Banks of Plum Creek

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: On the Way Home

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: The Long Winter

Wilder, Laura Ingalls: These Happy Golden Years






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  4. Kristine Loveland Hartlaub

    I also love reading aloud to my children. I suggest reading aloud to your children even when they are able to read the text on their own. When my oldest child was in middles school, we still piled on the youngest child’s bed for family story time right before bedtime. After the chapter for the night was finished, the girls went to their rooms to silently read before lights out while the youngest went to sleep. You have listed some of my family’s favorites! Other classics to consider The Wizard of Oz (here’s my review ), Perloo the Bold, The Hobbit (and the following Lord of the Rings series), and C.S. Lewis’ series on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

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