Thursday, June 06, 2013

Read Aloud Time Rocks!

That time after lunch, when my students are seated after recess is a magical time. I quietly grab the book, settle onto my bar stool, and open the book. The students watch in quiet anticipation. I look up and hands shoot in the air. They know that I want a summary of what we read yesterday. After a brief review, we start into the reading. 

This is my favorite part of the day. And I would love to share a few of my read-aloud books from this past year in hopes that you might find a new book to love OR have a trip down memory lane as you think about the last time you read that one.

1) Go Jump in the Pool by Gordon Korman.
I love this quirky series about two boys who living in an all boys boarding school in Canada. They tend to get  into a lot of trouble with their headmaster, Mr. Sturgeon. My 6th graders laughed and laughed at the silly antics Bruno and Boots go through in hopes of getting a swimming pool at their school. LOVE THIS! (Plus Gordon Korman is a great writing mentor since these books were published while he was still in high school!)

2) Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
This is a favorite that I will read every few years. It presents some interesting discussions as the story goes from realistic fiction to almost fantasy and the students don't really notice the difference. It allows for discussion of beliefs of other cultures and also about prehistoric times. The premise is a young boy's father is killed by a evil bear. The boy must find a way to destroy the bear before the bear destroys the entire forest. There is just one problem. Torak has never been around other humans, aside from his father, so he has much to learn.

3) Thunder Cave by Roland Smith
If I had to choose one book my student loved most this year, this is the one. We learned so much about Africa. We looked at pictures of the landscape, the culture, the Masai people. We used Google maps to find the actual places that Jacob Lansa traveled to as he searched for his father after his mother's untimely death. Better yet, this is the first of three books about Jacob. Since I NEVER read more than one book in a series, the students were motivated to read more books. BONUS!

4) One of our last reads was The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong. Mr. DeJong tells an amazing story about a Chinese boy in war torn China (World War II setting) and gives an interesting perspective of those people who struggled to survive against the Japanese soldiers who had taken over their part of China. It is a heart-wrenching story that took a very close second place of favorites with my students this year. I even created a comprehension packet that goes with this book to help my students stay focused on the reading. Perfect for studying WWII, Chinese Culture, and more. 

5) The Roar by Emma Clayton is amazing! It is set in a futuristic Europe with a dystopian plot. While I didn't have a chance to read this entire book due to the year ending, my students were very receptive to the story and were upset that we didn't get to finish the book. This is the first time I had ever tried to read it as a read aloud. I had read it previously for my own enjoyment, but had forgotten so much over the several years since, that it was almost like reading it for the first time. It brings up a lot of social issues about what rights should people have and who should get to control those rights. It presents a scary and interesting future picture of our Earth. I will say that there are words and sentences that I do have to skip here and there, but for the most part, it is a straight through read.

These were just five of the books we read this year. There were others, but these are the ones that really stood out.I hope you have found a new book or two to take for a test-drive!

Happy Reading,
Mr. Hughes

Just a heads-up. These books and many more can be found on the Read-Aloud Round-Up! Just click on the picture to check it out! I invite YOU to blog about YOUR top 5 favorite books and then share them in the Read-Aloud Round-Up! Be sure to use the logo below in your post and link it back to the Read-Aloud Round-Up page! WAHOO!


  1. I can't believe it. I have not heard of any of those books. Thanks for sharing (and hosting).

    room 4 imagination

    1. You are so welcome. I hope you will get a chance to stop by often. :) It seems the lists are growing bigger each day on the Round-Up post! WAHOO!

      I think you will enjoy many, if not all, of these books.

  2. The Roar sounds fascinating! I'm a total dystopia junky! I'm gonna have to track that one down. Thanks for the recommends!

    1. @Les-
      You are so very welcome. I decided to finish it out, even though I read it years ago. I love the story line. I don't want to say too much more for fear or ruining the story, but love the twists and turns. Have a great day and please stop by often. :)


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