Read Across America

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Well, friends, we are entering one of my favorite weeks of the school year. On Wednesday, March 2, we celebrate Read Across America, in honor of one of my absolute favorites, Dr. Seuss. I’ll be doing another blog on my favorite Dr. Seuss books, but thought today I’d share some of my favorite read aloud books.

Can I tell you how lucky I am? I get to read to children for a living. I take my read aloud time very seriously. I tell my students that this is the one time of the day in the classroom that they aren’t being tested or told to perform a task. Their only job is to relax and listen to a story. It’s honestly my favorite block of the school day, especially when students are disappointed when the time is up and we have to move on to something else.

Therefore, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite read aloud books…

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I love this book because it teaches students about how important it is to be selfless. After all, the tree gave the boy everything she had because she loved him.

Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White. How can you not love this book? My absolute favorite line is at the very end. “It’s not often someone comes along who is a true friend and a great writer. Charlotte was both.” Pass the Kleenex.

Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes. Lily loves her purple plastic purse, movie star glasses, and jingly quarters, however she can’t seem to stop playing with them in class and they are confiscated by Mr. Slinger. Nooooooo! Consequently this is a great book to teach primary students about powerful adjectives in writing. The shiny quarters and pointy pencils. Actually, you should read all of Henkes’ books. The characters are beyond awesome.

Holes, by Louis Sachar. This book is just plain fun. It’s also great for teaching students about multiple perspectives and foreshadowing. Although confusing at times because the storyline switches from one time to the next, it’s fun to watch students make connections when it all wraps together.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume. I love Judy Blume, always have. Her books are so realistic and this book is hilarious. Kids find it relatable as most have siblings. I feel that they also appreciate their siblings more when they realize how hard Peter has it with Fudge.

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, by Liesl Shurtliff. I love a fairy tale rendition that tells the other side of the story. Rumpelstiltskin as also been, in my opinion, a bad guy. This tells us his truth, and well, we all know not everything is as it seems.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar. I love reading this book to elementary students. It’s hilarious and pretty much my favorite because the chapters are short and the kids love it.

Matilda, by Roald Dahl. You can’t help but feel sorry for Matilda. Her parents are pathetic and neglectful, her brother isn’t much better, and the headmistress of her school, Miss Trunchbull, is the worst of all. Matilda’s special, however, and when she meets Miss Honey, she finds out all that she’s capable of. There’s some magical elements mixed in with some outlandish. It’s a lot of fun.

What are your favorite children’s books? I’d love some recommendations!

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