Monday, June 18, 2007

Books to Read Together

The post introducing the Read Together mission for the summer can be found HERE.

I wanted to share a few suggestions for books that you might want to Read Together. You do not have to read one of these books to participate, but I do have discussion guides** for these, so I thought that might make it easy, and it might make it more interesting if some of us are reading the same books at the same time. If you are trying to read with an older teen, you might suggest that they pick a book that they would like to share with you.

Some suggested books:

Toys Go Out is appropriate for boys and girls from ages 4 through elementary school (so it would be good if you wanted to read a book together as a family). It's a great book about friendship and conquering fears. This was the book that Amanda's entire elementary school read and studied. I have a discussion guide that they gave us that goes chapter by chapter and is great for sharing thoughts with one another.

The Penderwicks--
I honestly think that this book can be appreciated by boys and girls, from early elementary through early high school, making it another great choice for a family read. I thought that it was such a great book to share that I wrote questions to go along with it that Amanda and I discussed last summer. It's one of my favorite books, and I just can't stop recommending it (my full review is HERE).

The Fairy Chronicles--This book would probably be of interest to girls, ages five or six up to ten, at least. It's a story of Girl Power! Amanda and I both recently enjoyed the first two in the series. My review appears today at 5 Minutes for Mom, so click over to find out more (and enter to win one of 5 copies this week).

First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover would be a good read for girls ages ten or twelve up through teens. As I stated in my review at 5 Minutes for Mom, I loved this book reading it solely for myself. My full review is HERE.

by Andrew Clements could be enjoyed by girls or boys ages seven to twelve. It's an interesting read and brings up issues of authority, creativity, success, and the power of suggestion. My review is HERE.

I also wanted to mention a great resource I found from Yearling books. They have created an excellent teacher's guide featuring 40 titles including classics such as Where the Red Fern Grows and Island of the Blue Dolphins and newer titles such as Hoot and Holes. It highlights themes worthy of discussion and vocabulary builders in each of these books. It's a PDF file and is available for free download. This would be a great reference to any homeschooler or parent looking to read and discuss books together. Most of these books seem to be for 4th grade up through junior high.

**As mentioned, The Penderwicks and Toys Go Out have chapter by chapter question guides. I have (or will) write general end-of-book guides for the others. If you are interested, please email me at jennifer(dot)snapshot yahoo (dot) com, or leave a comment here with your email address. Please put the name of the book in which you are specifically interested in the title line of the email.

If you can suggest any great books for parents and kids to discuss, feel free to leave the title and age range in the comments, and what specifically would make it a great book to spark togetherness.


Misslionheart said...

Any ideas for books for a two year old? We've read the same pile of books over and over! He reads them to *me* now!

He looks a lot like your little boy!

Heidi said...


I have 3 boys (5,3, and 10 months). I would *highly* recommend any books by Virginia Lee Burton, Robert McCloskey, or Arnold Lobel. Any of William Steig books would also be a great choice and they provide lots of discussion material. I particularly like Amos and Boris.

I know you didn't ask for my suggestions, but I thought I'd throw them out there. :)

Jennifer, I'm looking forward to participating!


Jennifer, Snapshot said...


I had commented at misslionheart's blog in answer to her question. I didn't want you (or anyone) to think that I ignored it.

I am always open for someone jumping in with suggestions--no invitations needed.

The authors that my kids loved when they were 2 - 3 were Eric Carle, and Sandra Boynton, specifically. But I also suggested library trips to try new things. I also hide books that my kids get stuck on so that they will choose other books (repetition is good, but so is diversity).

Heidi said...

No worries. :) I just had to add my two cents! We love Sandra Boynton around here, too.

Karlene said...

If you have teens, I want to suggest Uglies by Scott Westerfield. My daughter and I just read it together. You can read my review here.