Read Aloud book titles for 8-12 year olds???
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The Hobbit -- obviously!
Ivan Southall, Hill's End --very exciting
Joan Aiken, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and the next two books in the series.
Antonia Forest, The Marlows and the Traitor -- slow beginning but they loved this
Ian Serraillier, The Silver Sword
Mary Chase, The Wicked Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House
Norah Lofts, The Story of Maude Reed
Helen Cresswell, Ordinary Jack --sometimes slow but very funny
Edward Eager, Half Magic and others
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Cheaper by the Dozen and sequel--huge favorites
Rumer Godden, Impunity Jane and Story of Holly and Ivy -- younger
Diana Wynne Jones, Witch Week
E. L. Koningsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time -- they loved this
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and a few others, including The Magician's Nephew
K.M. Peyton, Blind Beauty
Noel Streatfield, Ballet Shoes
Margaret Anderson, Searching for Shona
I am a teacher myself (in NZ) and the most popular class read-alouds I have ever done were The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins with a class of 11-12 year olds. But I think they would be too violent for younger levels.
I would second The Silver Sword – I have had success with this with 8 – 12 year olds. Also agree with Louis Sachar, although I have never read Holes to a class, I have often read There’s A Boy in the Girls' Bathroom. Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes would work too. His Marvin Redpost books are excellent for the younger kids.
I read Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan to a class of 11 & 12 year olds and they enjoyed it – this would be good for the younger kids too, as the books are plentiful, short and pretty easy to read - I’ve found them very good with reluctant or struggling readers.
The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe would probably be quite good – I read it once to a class of 8-9 yr olds, but of course many of the kids will most likely have read it already.
I read The Hobbit to a class of 9 & 10 year olds once, but most struggled with the long descriptive passages. They weren’t a particularly literate or focused class though, other kids may well cope better.
What about Morris Gleitzman? I have read Boy Overboard, Once and Two Weeks with the Queen, all to 11 & 12 yr olds. Boy Overboard would prob be ok for the younger kids, but he has written lots of other books that would probably work too.
For a bit of fun, I sometimes read my classes the first Famous Five book. You need to have a class with a good sense of humour though. They find the first few chapters hilarious but they actually really enjoy the story too.
If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Any suggestions for me to read to my class of 11 & 12 yr olds also gratefully received!
All of these books (not sure why the Touchstones is throwing up Hexwood - I haven't read that) have both male and female main characters in them. There's gun-totin' in ALWFC, blended families in TOD, and TLOCC was Harry Potter before there was Harry Potter.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card might be too dark for parental happiness, but my son read it out loud to his brother and sister when they were in this age range. He started on a long car trip, and they stayed up until 1 AM in the morning (parents exhausted and oblivious due to said long drive) to finish it. They all still remember both the book and the reading with great fondness.
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey is a great short novel that works as a stand-alone and, that has the advantage, if some children are captivated by it, that there is an immediate sequel and then a whole world of Pern stories waiting for them to explore.
I read the Prydain chronicles, beginning with The Book of Three to my kids at that age, but we had a lot more reading time (perhaps) than a teacher might have. And they were drawn into the story partially by their Mom's enthusiasm and determination, at least to begin with. Eventually, they caught on, but as I recall it took time. These are by Lloyd Alexander.