What I’m Reading To My Children

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald


Last night my children begged to stay awake a little longer. Just ten more minutes. They weren’t playing video games or watching a movie. They weren’t even building with their precious Legos. My boys (ages 8 and 7) were cozied up in my bed listening to chapter eight of The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. They wanted me to read just one more chapter. And seeing as how I learned the art of reading to children at the knee of my own mother, I know never to refuse a child that request.

One more chapter it was!

What I'm Reading To My Children


“Are You A Gifted Child Looking For Special Opportunities?”

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. With their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Why I love this book:

  • My boys bring the book to me throughout the day asking me to read–perhaps to get out of chores or homework, but still, I’m impressed.
  • One chapter is never enough. They want me to read two or three or ten.

Why my children love this book:

  • The book contains numerous built-in riddles, puzzles, clues, and codes that they get to solve right along with the characters.
  • There is danger aplenty. My children love danger. Blame it on the Y chromosome.

See The Reading Rules for a few tips on how to train young kiddos to listen during story time.

Your turn. Reading any great books to your kids, grand kids, nieces or nephews?


11 Responses to What I’m Reading To My Children

  1. Shelly February 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I will have to check this out! My youngest is seven and loves to read and for me to read to him. Thanks!

  2. Noel Fagan February 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds great and we are putting it on our list! Currently, my 9 year old son and I are reading The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton! EXCELLENT!

  3. Anne Mateer February 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I LOVE that book! I picked it up on a whim at our school book fair a couple of years ago and was completely enamored by the story. I’ve recommended it so many times!

  4. Janet Hannah February 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you! I’m worried my 8 yr old if left to his own choices, will only read books about football, basketball and soccer, so I’m always on the lookout for good, age appropriate books for him. He’s tried Harry Potter on his own, but stopped, so maybe I need to read w/ him? I’m also looking at the Invention of Hugo Cabret, I’ve heard that is good for this age group too.

  5. Barb February 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    That was a GREAT read-aloud with my three boys, age 11, 9, and 8 at the time. Since then they have gone on to read both sequels.

    Our current read aloud is the first book in the series The Guardians of Ga’Hoole called The Capture. I also struggle to tuck them in when they are all chanting, “Another chapter, another chapter!”

  6. Ariel February 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Barb, it’s impossible for me to tells my boys no when they ask for another chapter. I’ll have to look into The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series. They loved the first movie. But I’m sure the books are better. They always are.


  7. Ariel February 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Janet, I definitely say read out loud to your son. It’s the best way to get them engaged with great literature. I try to read to my boys for at least half an hour each night (but it often stretches on longer than that). We’ve been doing it for a while now and they’re so used to me reading to them that they refuse to go to bed without it.

    And ABSOLUTELY get a copy of Hugo Cabret. My eight-year-old is reading it on his own and adores the book. It’s an amazing book.

    Happy reading!

  8. Ariel February 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Anne, my boys are loving it so far (and so am I).

  9. Ariel February 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Noel, The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic is a great book! I read it to my boys last year and they loved it. Jennifer Trafton is one classy gal.


  10. Shannon B. February 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    It actually is a book my Dad is “reading” to my 4 year old daughter. He gave my daughter a recordable copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with him reading it to her. She pulls it out at least once a day.

    I love this because my Dad will be 70 this year, and now my daughter will have something of his that will last long after he isn’t here anymore.

  11. Meg February 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    1rst graders love the Little House on the Prairie Series
    Big Red for bigger boys-
    Trail blazer of the Seas by Jean Lee Latham for 4th and 5th and graders has to be one of my all time favorites
    also Carry on Mr Bowditch by the same author.

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