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Read-Aloud Books for Everyone!

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 08, 2019

We let down our guard when someone we love is reading us a story. We exist together in a little patch of warmth and light.
— Author, Kate DiCamillo

Parents of young children often talk about how much screen time they let their kids have. They understand that it is important for kids to unplug. They make a habit of turning off the TV and putting away their devices to read to their wee ones because they know that kids who have this experience will have improved cognitive skills and better concentration. The cozy ritual also brings parents and kids closer together and helps everyone calm down after busy days. But all too often the practice is abandoned as children get older and are able to read on their own.

The truth is everyone benefits from reading aloud. Even adults reading to each other report that the act makes them calmer, more focused, and more bonded. If reading aloud is an activity that has fallen by the wayside in your house, think about bringing it back. It's not just for kids! Here are some of the best read-aloud books—for all ages.

Approved For All Ages

If you're reading as a growing family, the key is to find books that will keep everyone engaged, from little ones to adults. Luckily this is not a problem! There are so many great options out there. There are the obvious favorites—like Little House on the Prairie and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle—but we're highlighting a handful of gems that are lesser known with the hope that readers will find something new.

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

It can be tricky to keep older kids excited about sitting down to read together. Employing bribery consistency and flattery positive reinforcement will get them in the door and then these addictive reads will seal the deal. Bonus: Several of these books deal with complex and serious topics that will get kids thinking.

No Kids Required!

Who said reading aloud was just for kids! This can be a great bonding activity for couples. It's also a wonderful way to connect with friends, adult children, and elderly relatives.

  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle—It may not sound like a book for grownups, but believe us, it most certainly is.
  • Naked by David Sedaris—Mining the depths of his eccentric family and his sharp-eyed observations, Sedaris has written many great collections of laugh-out-loud vignettes. This one may be the best.
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman—Part of a bestselling series, this is the story of a young man learning to practice magic in the real world.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates—Written in the form of a letter to his adolescent son, the author offers a profound and powerful exploration of the history of race in America.
  • The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka—A breathtaking historic novel tracing the stories of a group of women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture wives" a century ago.
  • Pastoralia by George Saunders—A collection of five short stories and a novella from a writer of arresting brilliance and originality.

Turn Off the TV

Hopefully we've convinced you! If you aren't already reading aloud with your people, find the time and give it a whirl. It will enrich your life and improve your relationships. These suggestions are some of our faves, but of course any book can be read aloud. It just depends on what you like. What are your recommendations? Let us know in the comments. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily book suggestions, book news, and more.

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