Great Family Read-Alouds: Longer Stories to Share

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Even when the kids are older and ready for chapter books, reading aloud together is still a great way to share stories--whether it's at the end of the day, on vacation, on a rainy day, on a snowy day, whenever! These titles are long enough to enjoy for more than a few sittings for families with kids in elementary school and beyond.

  • The One and Only Ivan

    2012 by Applegate, Katherine

    The best books can be sad and adventurous and joyful all at the same time. Reading this book out loud is a perfect way to share all the feelings.

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  • Frindle

    1996 by Clements, Andrew

    Every kid wants to know what a "frindle" is. Once you've read the book, you will never forget. Who says a kid can't make a difference?

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  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes: A Story

    2011 by Auxier, Jonathan

    Auxier's masterful writing and lyrical cadence make this book a joy to read aloud. It feels like storytelling in the best way--the words are written to be spoken--creating a bonding experience of thrills and anticipation for reader and listener. It's a real treat, but be warned: it's not for the faint of heart!

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  • The Witches

    2013 by Dahl, Roald

    Delightfully creepy and atmospheric. Reading this book aloud feels like a theatrical performance! Each character's voice is unique and over the top. It's a treat to experience.

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  • The Lemonade War

    2007 by Davies, Jacqueline

    What really sells lemonade--math skills or people skills? An age-old question is battled out by a brother and sister. There's lots to talk about while enjoying this excellent book together.

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  • Out of My Mind

    2010 by Draper, Sharon M.

    This book is told from inside the mind of a 5th grader, which gives the words a lot of honesty and power. Reading it aloud feels like a conversation with the listener and a chance to really get to know Melody. It's beautifully written, and there are many opportunities for discussion throughout.

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  • The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread

    2003 by DiCamillo, Kate

    Every book by Kate DiCamillo is a gift to read aloud. This one is no exception. Danger, adventure, love, and self-worth are woven throughout this book that is so beautifully written, reading aloud feels almost like singing.

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  • The Graveyard Book

    2008 by Gaiman, Neil

    A delightful fantasy about a boy named Bod (short for nobody) raised in a graveyard after his whole family was murdered! This shivery fantasy, perfect for reading together, is excellent for lovers of ghost stories, adventure, and really good writing.

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  • Me and Marvin Gardens

    2017 by King, A. S.

    There are so many different topics to talk about while reading this wonderful book: friendship, kindness, the environment, and much more.

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  • Ungifted

    2012 by Korman, Gordon

    An administrative error lands Donovan Curtis, a reckless boy with "poor impulse control," in an elite school for gifted children rather being expelled. This funny book about the boy voted "Most Likely to Wind up in Jail," will have you laughing out loud. From labels to living up to expectations, there's lots to talk about here.

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  • Travel Team

    2004 by Lupica, Mike

    The best of the best of sports books! Twelve-year-old Danny will capture your heart as you feel both his pain when he doesn't make the team and his fear of losing his dad. Danny stays with you.

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  • Fair Weather

    2001 by Peck, Richard

    Not only are the characters in this book quirky and delightful to read aloud, but the story is also so much fun. The Chicago connection is an added bonus!

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  • Ways to Make Sunshine

    2020 by Watson, Renée

    Ryan is a beautiful Black girl who deals with race in simple, honest ways. Her life is not always easy, but she finds a way to put a positive spin on everything, making her voice one that's truly delightful to share.

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  • One Crazy Summer

    2010 by Williams-Garcia, Rita

    A beautiful work of historical fiction about three sisters who travel to Oakland, California in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them--a summer unlike anything they could have imagined. There are great opportunities for learning and talking about history, justice, social change, and more as you read this book together.

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  • Brown Girl Dreaming

    2014 by Woodson, Jacqueline

    This memoir in verse recalls the author's childhood growing up in the 1960s in Ohio, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, NY--a unique perspective on segregation, racism, and the dichotomy between North and South.

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