Monday, January 7, 2013

My "Kid Lit" Year Wrap-Up

At the end of the year, I shared my personal reading totals, but mentioned that I was not including the books I read aloud with the kids in the count.  However, for years I have been keeping a simple list of the books we share together.  I make a copy for each child and put it in their school portfolios at the end of the school year.

Click to download your FREE copy of my basic Read Aloud Log Sheet.

I began choosing longer books with chapters to read aloud in the afternoon when Gavin was three and Maddie was almost two.  Sometimes I read to Gavin during Maddie's nap time and sometimes she would join us, playing quietly on the floor. Each child develops differently, but Gavin had the attention span to stay with a book over several days or weeks of reading, plus reading good children's literature was more stimulating to me-- a mom of tiny children-- than endless board books.  To this day, Maddie will sit and listen to anything-- from a simple picture book to an advanced classic. 

Now, with five children, boys and girls, ranging in age from two to ten, the choosing of read aloud material is trickier.  Good books bridge age gaps and gender gaps, but I try to vary between adventure and gentility, mystery and comedy, animal stories and biographies.   I don't require that every child listen to every book.  Knowing that they have their own tastes, I let their interests lead. 

Now on to the highlights...and a look ahead to our 2013 reading plans. 


The kids and I shared twenty books together this year, which does not count school books or picture books. (It doesn't even count The Trumpet of the Swan that we finished reading with our small homeschool co-op this year. That was a great one, though, so I should count it!  Okay.  We read twenty-one books together this year. 

In January 2012, we began the Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary.  Geared towards boys, this six book set has stories of fishing, a clubhouse, a mangy dog, and responsibility.  Geared towards boys, it was still my favorite of all the books I read aloud to the kids the whole rest of the year!

We also read the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing series by Judy Blume.  It was wildly funny, but I was glad to be reading aloud because, beyond the first book, I needed to edit a few things out as I read.

We sprinkled a few independent choices in among our series reading, like Lassie Come-Home adapted by Rosemary Wells and illustrated by Susan Jeffers (two of our favorites!), Palm Tree Manhunt by Paul Hutchens, and Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

We ended the year with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever because we read it every year and who am I to mess with tradition? 


I'm beginning this New Year with the Rebecca (American Girl) series.  Maddie has been wanting to read this series for a couple of years and I think Alaine is old enough to enjoy them, too.  The stories are simple (though often educational) and there are just enough illustrations to keep her interest. I won't ask my boys to listen in, but I bet they will anyway.  If we get time, we'll  tackle the  Caroline series, too.

For the boys, I'll swing over to some of the Encyclopedia Brown series.  My husband read them as a kid, and I did, too, and I know my mystery-solving boys will eat it up.  I especially love that each chapter is its own stand-alone mystery so even if we go days without reading, we can pick the book back up without a problem.  We don't plan to go days without reading, though! For now, we're  reading one mystery a day at the table after we've all finished eating.

I also have plans to read books with wide appeal this year like The Borrowers and  Pippi Longstocking,  Maybe we'll even finish up our Beverly Cleary run with Emily's Runaway Imagination and Mitch and Amy.

What did you read with your children last year?  Do you have plans for 2013?


  1. I've chosen 12 chapter books to read to my young crew this year.

    I'm hoping we are able to squeeze in a few more along with stacks and stacks of picture books, too.

  2. I started to leave a comment earlier today, but discovered I was taking over. Instead I decided to do a similar post and link back! I hope you don't mind.

    We too do a lot of read alouds. Truth be told, I do better with them than the smaller picture books.

    Thanks for the inspiration to look back on what we read last year, and to, soon, look at what we want to do this year!

  3. Oops, I meant to leave the link...

    Sorry. :)


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