Many parents enjoy reading picture books to their young children but reading aloud to children doesn't need to stop once they are able to read on their own. On the contrary, many child development studies have found that parents reading to their children in elementary school and beyond can have a very positive impact on the children’s language and literacy development.
One study from the OECD discovered that these impacts are long-lasting – children whose parents regularly read to them as 1st graders performed significantly better in reading at age 15 than children whose parents rarely, if ever, read to them. Plus, reading together provides a great bonding opportunity for parents and children – a little dose of quiet, reflective time in the midst of a hectic day.
With these benefits in mind, we’re pleased to present A Mighty Girl’s newest special feature – the Top Read Aloud Chapter Books starring Mighty Girls. This list was compiled with elementary-aged students in mind but many of these stories are also excellent for older children as well. Here's a summary of the types of books found in this collection:
- The Classics: Many beloved classics are excellent for reading aloud including The Secret Garden, Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, The Westing Game, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Charlotte’s Web, The Hundred Dresses, and Strawberry Girl.
- The Independent Princesses: There are many fabulous stories of courageous princesses who are anything but damsels in distress including A Little Princess, Princess Academy, The Ordinary Princess, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, The Thirteenth Princess, The Lacemaker and the Princess, Dealing with Dragons, and The Princess and the Goblin.
Fantasy and Adventure: These fantastic tales of daring girls are perfect for captivating a child’s imagination including Ella Enchanted, The Wee Free Men, The BFG, The Search for WondLa, Ronia, the Robber's Daughter, Savvy, When You Reach Me, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, A Wrinkle in Time, Our Only May Amelia, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Howl's Moving Castle, and The Night Fairy.
- Realistic Fiction: These are novels explore the fictional lives of Mighty Girls in contemporary and historic times and many are also excellent for introducing various social issues and more complex themes to children. Selections include: The Year of the Dog, The Birchbark House, Glory Be, May B., Number the Stars, The Breadwinner, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, Walk Two Moons, Bread and Roses, Too, The Hope Chest, Mockingbird, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Rules, The Mighty Miss Malone, Out of My Mind, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi Leon, and Rickshaw Girl.
For more reading recommendations, you can view the complete list in our Top Read Aloud Chapter Books starring Mighty Girls section.
Recommended Read Aloud Resources
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of reading aloud or pick up some tips on how to more effectively read aloud, here are a few recommended resources:
- The Reading Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
- Tips on Reading Aloud to Children: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/reading-aloud-to-your-child.htm
- Reading Aloud to Elementary School Students: http://www.rif.org/kids/leer/en/barrio/leerninosescolar_english.htm
- On the benefits of reading aloud: http://literacyconnections.com/reading-with-my-child.php
- Facts about reading aloud: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/facts-about-reading-aloud.htm