When I asked my daughter (StrawberryGirl) what some of her favorite books of all time were, she mentioned one that I had read aloud to her (along with her younger brother, GreenGuy) when she was still in elementary school. She liked it so much that she read it again to herself later on.
Her mention of that book made me think of the many books that I read aloud to my children over the years. Sometimes I read picture books, but we would also read more advanced novels together, especially during the summer.
Most of these books are intended for independent readers between the ages of 9 and 12, but they also make great read alouds for even younger children. While children should read independently at their level, it is also important for children to hear more sophisticated language once in a while. That's why it's important to continue reading aloud to your children as long as you can. In doing so, you will help them to build listening, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills.
The favorite book that StrawberryGirl read along with GreenGuy and me, and then later read again on her own, is The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. It's a very unique book that boys and girls will enjoy.
Here are some other high quality children's books that my both of my children enjoyed as read alouds when they were between the ages of 5 and 10:
The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden.
The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
Far North, by Will Hobbs (advanced readers 10 and up - mature theme and language)
James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
By the way, my daughter's 3rd grade teacher sparked her interest in reading other books (on her own) by Roald Dahl. Her favorite book was The BFG . His books also appeal to boys and girls. My son loved that particular book as well.
Another great book that both of my children enjoyed on their own is Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen.
I'm sure I will think of many more in the coming months, and my children are working on some of their own book reviews.
In the meantime, would you like to add some of your favorites to this list?