Reading Harry Potter to my boys + an eclectic dress up bin = some crazy variations on the Harry Potter theme. Here’s to creative little boys with wild imaginations!

By the way, I’d love to hear any book recommendations you have for reading aloud to kids and/or chapter books my older boys (ages 6 and 8) would love. With weekly trips to the library, we are always looking for new, well-recommended books (some of their favorite past reads are A to Z Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown, Magic Treehouse, Flat Stanley and The Mouse & the Motorcycle novels)

*UPDATE!
Thanks for all of your recommendations! My boys read through the comments with me and we can’t wait to hit the library with our new list in hand. I compiled all the recommendations (so far) in a little document since I want to have all these ideas in one great place. If you want the list, click HERE for a Word doc or HERE for a .pdf. You guys are the best!

If you’d like to check out past Snapshot Saturdays, click HERE.

95 Responses to Snapshot Saturday

  1. Megan says:

    I have three boys. We love any Roald Dahl books. I think the BFG and the Twits are their favorites so far.

  2. amanda says:

    Boxcar children, Percy Jackson, Hardy boys, chronicles of narnia

  3. Gina White says:

    Andrew Clements is an excellent author.

  4. Brinestone says:

    My favorites have already been said (though James and the Giant Peach was a great favorite at our house), and we read the first Series of Unfortunate Events book. I think my six-year-old may have been a little too young for the humor in that, though.

    I had thought about starting the Prydain Chronicles when we ran out of other stuff, but I don’t remember what reading level they are. I remember loving them (the Black Caldron books).

  5. Dorothy says:

    Have they read the other two Ralph Mouse books? And indeed, any books by Beverly Cleary are great. The Edgar Eager books about children and their adventures with magic are really good, though these are better if you read in order. If they really like Harry Potter, then they would probably like the various series by Diana Wynne Jones. The classic “Tom’s Midnight Garden” would be a good read aloud. And at your public library, they should have list of books that are like other books, and also books that are good for boys, or books that are for a certain reading level, etc.

  6. Brooke says:

    All the Roald Dahl books are fun to read aloud, the 39 Clues series is really cool, The Indian in the Cupboard, Rick Riordan has 2 great series (Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson) and Erin hunter has several Warriors series (about cats) that my 8 year old has enjoyed. We also liked Suzanne Collins’ Gregor books, The Emerald Atlas, and the Artemis Fowl series. There are many more (we love to read) but I think that list should give you plenty to consider. :)

  7. Heather K Miller says:

    If you guys love Harry Potter, the Fablehaven series might be good for you. My husband and I love it. Actually, even before that, The Candy Shop War by the same author (Brandon Mull) is what I would strongly recommend. It’s a really fun story! I just read it for my own enjoyment, but my sister read it to her second or third grade students, and they all loved it!

  8. Deb says:

    Adorable picture Mel! My boys (9,7 and 5) love many of the books already mentioned but an additional favorite is the books by Kate Dicamillo. The most famous is The Tale of Desperaux (which is a FANTASTIC animated movie also about a mouse learning to be brave and honorable) but the boys also like the series she wrote a pig named Mercy Watson (Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Mercy Watson Fights Crime, etc). Enjoy!

  9. Jackie says:

    Check out the book The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. It’s a book with lists of good books to read aloud to kids of different ages!

  10. Stacey says:

    The Geronimo Stilton books are really funny and well done (about a timid, book-ish mouse that is the editor of a newspaper who is always being pulled into crazy adventures by his family). My boys (6 & 7) love the books and the books on CD, especially for car trips.

    We just finished The Mouse and the Motorcycle yesterday. I think I read all Beverly Cleary’s stuff as a kid, except those! My boys and I loved it.

  11. Teresa says:

    Dr. Doolittle is one of our favorite books and the Berenstein Bears are great books with great lessons in them!

  12. Sarah says:

    Boxcar children

  13. Kayli says:

    Ranger’s Apprentice series by Jogn Flanagan.

  14. Emily Price says:

    Nate the Great series and Fantastic Mr. Fox. My 8 year old boy loves “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series and “Big Nate” series.

  15. I’d recommend Charlotte’s Web. I think I read that in 2nd grade, so it’s right in the middle for that age group.

  16. Val Shelley says:

    These books (available on Amazon) are awesome! My kids are 20 somethings now, but this book was on target for different kids, different levels, etc.–The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition by Jim Trelease (Jul 25, 2006). And this book: Parents Who Love Reading, Kids Who Don’t: How It Happens and What You Can Do About It by Mary Leonhardt (Mar 28, 1995) is also really good. I also read and referred to it. My kids really benefited academically from all the reading aloud we did. It made it EASY for them to love reading for pleasure on their own.

  17. Carla says:

    I know they are kind of old and some don’t like them, but my 1st and 2nd graders loved when I read the Junie B. Jones series aloud to them. They are also easy to read for kids that are ready for “chapter books” but not really quite ready! Junie is a quirky little character and the way she talks is not always with the best grammar so some teachers don’t like to read them for that reason. I loved them but that’s my teaching personality!

  18. Meridith says:

    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is absolutely delightful.

  19. StephenC says:

    I will have to recuse myself from suggesting books for you to read to your boys. My 14-year old (spaniel) enjoys the contents list from the Milk Bone box.

  20. Annie says:

    OMG! My sweet “almost 9″ boy loves the Bunnicula series…by James Howe. And…goin’ old school on ya: 2 of our faves from Bill Wallace are Pick of the Litter, and Coyote Autumn. Enjoy!! I can see that you have a nice list in front of you (as well as your readers! Yea for us!)

  21. Clare says:

    When my brother was that age, he loves the Hank the CowDog books. There’s always a mystery on the farm.

  22. Kylee says:

    I agree with all of these great suggestions. With our 4 kids we have read aloud Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, Geronimo Stilton, Magic Tree house, Fablehaven and other fun books. The only series I would add that my kids absolutely loved is The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis. These are great read alouds and then we could have a movie viewing party afterwards. Super fun!

  23. kaylene says:

    I remember loving Soccer Shock (after he gets hit by lightning his freckles talk to him), Harriet the Spy, and Chocolate Fever.

  24. JJ says:

    My 6 year old has enjoyed listening to Inkheart (we’re now listening to the sequel Inkspell) Audiobook in the car this year. They are narrated by Brendan Frasier who stared in the film version of Inkheart (which we haven’t watched yet). Some of the language is a bit beyond them but overall she likes it. At the very least I enjoy the Audiobooks because it keeps them mostly quiet in the car without a DVD player or something like that.

  25. Divya says:

    The Percy Jackson series!!

  26. Kelly says:

    I don’t usually comment, but I love reading and I have four boys. One series that hasn’t been mentioned is the Magic Thief by Sarah Pineas (sp?). This series was the one that really pulled my oldest in and made him realize that reading is fun. I enjoyed the story too.

  27. Laurel says:

    Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. Excellent adventure book, first in a long series, set in England in the early 1930′s. It is all about sailing and adventure!

  28. Whitney says:

    You all should read Evertaster (it’s available on Amazon I know). It’s going to be a new series and its all about a kid and FOOD! Perfect for kids of a food blogger, right?

  29. Hannah says:

    You should try the Indian in the Cupboard series, they are awesome! Little House on the Prairie has some excitement for boys, Pippi Longstocking is hilarious, as well. Charlotte’s Web, Old Yeller, Holes, Hatchet, The Incredible Journey, My side of the Mountain, Treasure Island, I think it’s fun to read books to my kids and then show them the movie after, good luck, love your blog!

  30. Melanie C. says:

    Hi Mel!

    my son will be 6 in two weeks, and my husband has REALLY enjoyed reading him the ‘shredderman’ series. we have gotten all of them from our local library. they are about an elementary school boy who develops a website to ‘out’ a school bully by recording him bullying kids. he becomes kind of a masked hero, and calls himself shredderman! they are chapter books, and it takes them a few nights to get through one (we read to him about 20 min each night before bed). there are 4 shredderman books, and then there are ‘gecko and sticky’ spin-off books with characters from the shredderman series.
    also, if you haven’t read the Junie B. Jones books, my son and I LOVE those! SO much fun to read, these books really make us laugh!!

    OH, and we also love the Magic Treehouse books!

  31. Liz says:

    I miss reading to my boys (now 13 & 16 & think they should read to themselves!!)! There are so many wonderful books listed here, I totally agree with the Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Ranger’s apprentice, and Inkheart series. I would also add the Peter & the Starcatchers series, it was a lot of fun to read to them. My kids read the Pendragon series themselves and loved it. I used to read to my kids every night, and now they are both book lovers themselves. We love to read! Have fun!

  32. Rachel says:

    My 8 year old love sto laugh when reading and her most fav author (and mine from childhood) is Gordon Korman. If yours loves a belly laugh out loud every chapter, he may want to try 2 of Gordon Korman’s best books (I Want to Go Home) about a boy who keeps trying to escape from summer camp and (No Coins Please) about a group of kids on a cross country summer camp ‘road trip’). Promise you will hear him laughing like a nut in the wee hours when he is supposed to be asleep. .. . After my 8 year old had polished off a whack of his funny books (those 2 above are his best we think!), – we are now reading some of his ‘adventure’ series out loud to my 5 and 8 year old as well. They loved the ‘Everest’ series (3 thin books about a group of 12 year olds who get to climb Everest and the suspense that goes along with that) and now we are on the Island series (about a group of 12 year olds who get stranded on a desert Island). There are 3 thin books in each ‘adventure’ series and there are very ‘page turn-ery’ for the 8 year old -she howls when we stop each night and can’t want to find out what happens etc. Love the list you have now created above- I am going to grab a pen and write some of these down!! THANK YOU!!

  33. Monica says:

    Beginning readers love “The Magic Treehouse” series. They develop an early interest in history, plus there are non-fiction companion books to go with them, if the reader is especially interested in that subject. Also–I see that “Hank the Cowdog” has been suggested, but I strongly recommend the audio version because the author uses different voices for each character. My kids LOVE these stories!

  34. Ruth says:

    Your fans have given you some great recommendations for books!! I too wanted to recommend audio books, in addition to hard copy books. Most audio books are recorded by actors/actresses and individuals who have had voice training. They can make a trip—-even a short one to the grocery store , to school, or the park– so much more enjoyable…….. esp. with all those boys. My grandchildren love them and ask for them. I really enjoy them, too!! We don’t go anywhere without a book on CD. I get all our audio books from the library. Did I say I love, love, love the library?

    Thanks for including that photo. It just made this Nana smile. He is so precious and so handsome!!

  35. Wanda says:

    We read our way through many of these. I would also add Black Beauty. As the kids got older, we listened to the Star Wars audiobooks which took us through many lengthy drives!

  36. Cotton says:

    I love the Box Car Kids, children love it.

  37. Cara says:

    Hi Mel!

    Well, you have just hit what my specialty is. Books for boys! I have three boys, ages 11, 9 & 6. I dearly love to read and made it a goal to find books that they would be hooked on. I have Pinterest board for all our tried and true boy books. My personal favorite is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Went to a book signing on my son’s birthday. It was the coolest thing to hear kids cheering for an author and high school teacher. They treated him like a rock star. Mr. Riordan has a son with learning difficulties and wanted to write a book for him, featuring a hero that struggled with learning too. Such a fantastic read. My 11 year old read Harry Potter, loved it and can’t decide which series is his favorite. Thanks for the Saturday snap shot. It is really fun to hear a bit about your life.

    http://pinterest.com/caramo/good-books-for-boys/

  38. Sarah says:

    I think your boys would like The Mysterious Benedict Society books. They are really good!

  39. Cindy Cole says:

    Mel,

    I hope I do not offend you, but I feel that I must tell you what God’s Word says about the books choices you are making for your boys.
    Harry Potter is dangerous. It glorifies the practices of the devil. The Bible is very clear about staying away from witchcraft.
    “There shall not be found among you anyone who …practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”
    Deut. 18:10-14

    A quote from Christiananswers.net:
    “While a few Christians don’t even like to read or see classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia due to the mere presence of evil, most Christians recognize the good vs. evil element as being clearly delineated. Evil is evil, and good is good, and good is promoted while evil is not.

    But in the Potter series, the line is not so clear. The “good” guys practice “white magic”, while the bad guys practice the “Dark Arts”. Readers become fascinated with the magic used (explained in remarkable detail). Yet God is clear in Scripture that any practice of magic is an “abomination” to him. God doesn’t distinguish between “white” and “dark” magic since they both originate from the same source.”

    We are very careful about what we choose for our kids to read and movies they watch. Books make a huge impact on young minds. What you read as a child will stay with you all of your life. There is a company whom we buy alot of books for our children. Our older kids shop there too. The name is Grace and Truth Books. Do a search for books for young boys on their website. They have missionary stories, character building stories, etc. Who do you want your kids to become? Give them Godly role models when they are young. Another resource is Bob Jones University Press Journey Forth novels. They are divided up by age group. We have almost all of their 100+ books. Excellent books!! They have all genres.

    I highly encourage you and anyone else reading this to evaluate reading material by the standards Paul set forth in Phil 4:8.

    ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

    God bless you as you seek to raise your children in Godliness,

    Cindy

  40. Jenny says:

    The Secret Zoo

  41. Emily says:

    Box car children, Matt Christopher (sports books), C.S. Lewis- chronicles of Narnia, Farmer Boy (and any Little House books- boys like them too), E.B. White books are great too.

  42. Bethany says:

    I have the perfect book for you!

    Evertaster by Adam Sidwell, a local (utah!) author, was just released about two months ago on Amazon, so I’m not sure if a library would have it yet, but it’s a great book. I just read it (yes, I’m an adult) and it’s target audience is 8+ so maybe give it a couple years. Just a few (almost) scary scenes, nothing worse than Harry Potter, though. It’s about a little boy who is a super picky eater, but then he comes to find out that he’s actually an Evertaster, which means he’s just got an ultra-refined palate. He and his family go on a quest to find and make the perfect recipe with the finest ingredients (made me hungry). I think you’d all like it. It’s pretty funny. Great family-togetherness book, where mom is celebrated, as well as food. I think it’s right up your alley!

  43. Jone says:

    My first-graders always loved the Bunnicula series by James Howe: Bunnicula, Howliday Inn, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, and Nighty Nightmare, all “written” by Harold, the dog.

  44. Joyce says:

    I’m loving all these recommendations for you. I think I shall make a list of these for my own 3 boys. Yay!

  45. Alyssa says:

    ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ My mom read it to us growing up. I loved it.

  46. Heidi says:

    If they like boy humor try “The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters” series.

  47. Norma says:

    Flawed Dogs, fabulous

  48. Danielle says:

    I love Diana Wynne Jones’ books. Also the A wrinkle in Time series by Margaret L’Engle. And Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne collins. :)

  49. Danielle says:

    Oh and the Ranger series by John Flanagan.

  50. Laura says:

    My boys loved My Father’s Dragon and the sequels that go along with it!

  51. LoraLynn Allen says:

    A lot of my favorites have already been mentioned, but I have to echo them! Percy Jackson, the Prydain series, The Inheritance Cycle (the Eragon books- they are very, very good!), The Wrinkle in Time books, Chronicles of Narnia, Fablehaven. I just read The Hobbit to my 11 year old brother- it was a little tough at first, but he ended up loving it! Also, the Septemus Heap series is about the perfect age level for all of your boys! Happy reading :)

  52. Nicole Hunn says:

    My son absolutely loves the “My Weird School” books by Dan Gutman!

    They’re very easy chapter books, and he and his little sister laugh out loud when they read them. Dan Gutman wrote them to be the “Junie B. Jones” series for boys. We also love Junie B. Jones. The grammar is deliberately off (like another poster said), but even my 6 year old gets the joke. And we all roar together. She’s hysterical.

  53. Rachael Ritter says:

    I love all the ideas posted so far, I’ll have to check some out roo;) — One that I don’t think was mentioned though was “The Hobbit.” by J.R.R. Tolkien. My boys loved (loved) this book!

  54. Bri says:

    Oh my goodness, there are so many fabulous books! I see someone above me recommended “The Hobbit”. A great read. I can’t wait to read chapter books as my kids get older. “Where the Red Fern Grows” is an absolute must. It teaches hard work, faith in God, and the love of animals. I absolutely adore that book. Another book that is just incredible piece of art is “The Secret Garden”. I LOVE that book, and your boys don’t have to know it’s not really a boys book because I’m sure they would enjoy it. Teaches wonderful lessons too, and so well written. My pediatrician said her boys loved “The Phantom in the Toll Booth”. I loved “The Box Car Children” growing up. Another great dog book that is so sad but such a great story is “Stone Fox”. It’s short and could be read quickly. But be prepared to have crying boys because it really is a tear jerk-er. I LOVED “The Education of Little Tree”. Hmmm, what else. This gets me so excited to read to my kids!

  55. Bri says:

    P.S. I like the older books because your kids will actually learn vocabulary. Seems like kids books these days are so dumbed down.

  56. Camille says:

    Hi Mel,
    I have six kids 3 months to 11 years. Their bedrooms are all next to each other, so at night when everyone is tucked in bed my husband or I will sit in the hall and read a book out loud to all of them. We love that tradition and have made it through a lot of books! One of my favorites we just finished are “The Great Brain” books. It’s a series written in the 70′s. So great for little boys. The kids have also really enjoyed the original Hardy Boys books as well. Happy Reading :)

  57. Jen T says:

    My kids have loved “The Ranger’s Apprentice” series by John Flanagan. A little older (10+) is Michael Scott’s Alchemist series. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull is a fun fantasy one. We love Richard Peck’s books–”A long way from Chicago” and “A Year Down Yonder” are hilarious read-alouds. “Dragon Rider” by Cornelia Funke, and most of her other books are great too. Harry Potter is just the best, though!!! Great fun! Happy Reading!

  58. Jennifer says:

    The Spiderwick Chronicles are great. And Henry Huggins is right along the same lines as the Mouse and the Motorcycle. Hardy Boys is fun if they are into mysteries and detectives.

  59. Brittany C. says:

    The Boxcar Children series!! I absolutely loved them when I was a kid, and though my kid are still a bit young for them, I do plan on reading them to them as soon as they are old enough. All my “of age” nieces and nephews have read and loved them.

  60. Amy Asistin says:

    I teach 4th graders and this past year my boy students were very into the Chet Gecko series by ? Hale, Sammy Keyes series by wendolyn van drannen, and my most favorite read aloud for boys this age is By The Great Horn Spoon by Sid fleichman.

  61. Amy Asistin says:

    How could I forget captain underpants?! Not my favorite to read, but it makes my kids belly laugh, and THAT I love! Happy reading :)

  62. Rachael says:

    What a fun list! I’m loving reading through this. Most of my favorites (Narnia, Prydain, Diana Wynne Jones, Fablehaven) have already been mentioned, but I just wanted to say that we do a couple of ways of reading aloud in our house: I read to the kids during the day, and we read at their level (i.e. Little House on the Prairie for the 5-year-old, the seven-year-old snuggles up next to us and listens while she’s flipping through Harry Potter for the millionth time, and then I read picture books to the 3-year-old and the baby), but one of my favorite favorite things is reading “harder” books as a family when their dad gets home. We’re just finishing up The Hobbit, and honestly, it’s a little old for our kids, but they are totally willing to listen when we have the whole family sprawled on the living room floor listening together.

    I’ve read quite a bit about how children (especially boys) are more motivated to keep reading throughout their lives if a) their father reads aloud to them and b) the entire family reads together, so we instituted this about a year ago. I have fond memories of my dad lying by the fire and reciting Milton and I’m hoping to do the same thing for our kids. :-) We’ve found that most weeks are crazy when Daddy is home, so we declared Wednesday night our “Fireplace Night” and we all grab our blankies and head to the living room after dinner (we light a fire in winter, hence the name). Anyway, this is insanely long, so I’ll end now. :-)

  63. Heidi says:

    I have girls (4 and 6), but we have really enjoyed A Cricket in Times Square, which I think your boys would like. Stuart Little- also a great one to read out loud! Pippi Lockstocking, Black Beauty if they like horses at all, and Charlotte’s Web were all wonderful.

    Thank you for all you do! I am so thankful for all the recipes you share!

  64. Katie says:

    Reading is so great for kids. My favorite series of kids books are Chronicles of Narnia and Deltora Quest. Deltora Quest is by Emily Rodda and isn’t very well known in America (she’s an Australian author) but her books are fabulous. I’ve never recommended them to someone who hasn’t liked them–adults and children alike. My mom read them out loud to us, and I’ve read them out loud to my husband. We just love them!

  65. Lila says:

    So many wonderful recommendations! I just wanted to add the Susan Cooper ‘Dark is Rising’ series and the Artemis Fowle series by Eoin Colfer. Both have heroes who are very capable, smart little boys who accomplish big things. Reading is so much fun!

  66. Jess in ND says:

    Judy Blume’s… Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, SuperFudge, DoubleFudge and Fudgemania. My kids laughed through the antics of Peter and his younger brother Fudge.

  67. P 32 says:

    Mel,
    I have 3 boys and we read a lot around here. Many of our favorites have already been mentioned (Percy Jackson, Harry Pottery, Ranger’s Apprentice, Gregor the Overlander, Magik Series, Alchemist series, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Fablehaven, etc…). Oh, there are so many good books out there! But for the younger reader (your six year old), I would mention, The Dragon Slayer’s Academy. My son read these when he was 6 and it really jump started his “self reading”. There is also the, How to Train your Dragon series and Charlie Bone Series (similar to Harry Potty, just not the depth). Also, if you happen to be LDS, the Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series. Oh, we love the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew books as well. Surprisingly, my boys like the Nancy ones better than the Hardy boys. Enjoy!
    And, thank you, Thank you for sharing your culinary talents so freely with all of us!
    PS. There is also a list on Wired “67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10” that has some great suggestions as well. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/03/67-books-for-kids/?pid=1185&viewall=true

  68. Leslie says:

    I see others have recommended “Hank the Cowdog” and I’d like to add my vote to those books. Absolutely delightful! Also, what a wonderful list of books to read to kids … I’m taking notes from this stream of comments. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

  69. Nancy says:

    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
    Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (won the Newberry)
    The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
    Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

    Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
    The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Cay by Theodore Taylor
    The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

  70. Kathryn says:

    The Fablehaven series is a must. I really like that at the back of some of the books he gives discussion points to have with your kids. Kinda like your own family book club.

  71. Stephanie says:

    My book club just finished reading “The Adventures of Dod”. It’s an interesting tale. Nothing bad, just interesting. Anyways, I’m reading to my 9 year old son right now for a ed time book. He’s really loving it!!!!

  72. Dixie Dixon says:

    Some great read-alouds for us this summer were: Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles by Julie Andrews. And also Holes. We watched the movie of Holes when we finished too. My kids LOVED it. So much fun.

  73. Mel says:

    Ok, you guys are awesome! I can’t wait to check out all of these ideas. In fact, I’m going to compile this list into a quick little document for easy reference and I’ll post it here in case anyone else wants to download it.

  74. Katrina says:

    Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I love that series!

  75. Lacee says:

    THE GREAT BRAIN books. MY husband LOVED them growing up.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks again for everyone’s recommendations! My boys read through the comments with me and we can’t wait to hit the library with our new list in hand. I compiled all the recommendations (so far) in a little document since I want to have all these ideas in one great place. If you want the list, click HERE for a Word doc or HERE for a .pdf. You guys are the best!

  76. Jenn Patterson says:

    My daughter is eight. She loved the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins, the Hunger Games author. She also loved The Secret Garden, Treasure Island, black Beauty.

    On her own, she loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid, magic Tree House (especially the fact books), and the DK books (informational). Also, she LOVES the magazines Ranger Rick and National Geographic Kids.

    Yes, my child is a walking encyclopedia.

  77. Emily says:

    The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne – tons of different stories, great introduction to the chapter book for 1st/2nd graders. My son loves them.

  78. Michelle T. says:

    Frindle by Andrew Clements
    Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald
    Bruno & Boots books by Gordon Korman
    The Indian in the Cupboard series by Lyn Reid Banks

  79. Nancy says:

    I have to say I was surprised not to see Freak the Mighty on this list. Fabulous read aloud book that my kids laughed and cried listening too. Also loved The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nymph. Also have read Castle in the Attic aloud. Good luck!

  80. Jackie says:

    I have 3 boys and it’s ALL about Harry Potter right now at my house. Other series they have loved though (besides those already listed) are Dragon Slayers Academy and The Secrets of Droon.

  81. Chels says:

    My son and I really enjoyed reading Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi when he was 4 but I’d recommend it for any age. My son is 6 and currently can’t get enough of the comics Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar. Both my daughter (age 9) and son like the graphic novels Owly by Andy Runton.

  82. Nichole says:

    How to Eat Fried Worms — Thomas Rockwell
    The Last Unicorn — Peter Beagle
    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher — Bruce Coville
    Keys to the Kingdom (series) — Garth Nix
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler — E.L. Konigsburg

  83. Sarah McEwen says:

    Mel, I love your site! I have recommended it to so many people and they love it too! You have an amazing understanding of food and life, and I always enjoy your posts! So I’ve never commented before, but having boys of my own, being an AVID reader, and having taught 3rd grade for 5 years reading aloud to both boys and girls, I felt that I had to comment :) I think that most of my book pics have been mentioned, but I still really wanted to comment. Here are some of my favorites:

    Any book by Andrew Clements–his books are always funny and inspiring to children
    Brandon Mull books–all amazing
    Roald Dahl books–super funny and entertaining
    Ellan Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine–(There are tons of Ogres and magical elements that the boys love)
    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle–by Avi (Fun mystery and adventure book)
    Rick Riordan books–loved them all
    Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell–(This is a brand new book that I just read this weekend. It was clean, fun, full of adventure and surprises, and…all about food. Loved it!)
    THANKS!!

  84. Cutest picture ever! We had a dress up bin growing up, too. I need to do one at my house. Your such an on-the-ball and FUN mom!

  85. Jackie says:

    Oh yeah- how could I forget Mrs. Piggle Wiggle- hilarious!

  86. Shannon says:

    I have three boys, the youngest is now at college, and we read out loud together every night, listened to books on CD in the car, and generally spent LOTS of time together reading. When the youngest left home, I decided I needed to share some of our favorite books to read aloud. I started a blog Shannon’s Book Nook, that shares not only some of our favorite books, but also I have found or designed easy-to-do at home activities to make the time together even more fun. I usually try out my activity ideas on my granddaughter. I had to pick a place to start, so I started with picture books–there are over 100–and just recently moved onto chapter books. I only have about 20 of those, but I’m working on it! So if you get a chance, check out my blog at shannonsbooknook.com for ideas for some chapter books and LOTS of ideas and activities for your younger crowd with picture books.

  87. Ann B says:

    The Great Brain books by John Dennis Fitzgerald

  88. ScampsGirl says:

    Sorry for being so late to the party! The Redwall Series by Brian Jaques is a lot of fun..for all!

  89. Too cute! I wish as an adult I was ‘allowed’ to dress up as Harry Potter as I read the book! : ) There are some great books on the list, I didn’t see Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, or Holes, by Louis Sachar. More great reads for kids!

  90. Beth says:

    Joining you late…For good read alouds, my kids loved all The Great Brain books. Also, Sideways School stories by Louis Sachar are very silly. One more with lots of titles are the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. Eventhough my kids are teenagers now, they still reference sideways school at times. Good memories!

  91. Kathy says:

    With a new little sister the book – All About Sam is pretty funny.

  92. Michele says:

    Mel, I love your blog. I don’t follow many, but we’ve enjoyed several of your recipes so far. How delightful to be able to share something in return. I have two boys, a 7 and 10 year old, who are voracious readers. We read every night and listen to books on CD in the car from the library as well. Here are a few I didn’t see on your list :
    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, The Hobbit, Crunch, George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen Hawking, The Shark in Charlie’s Window, and The Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. We also have enjoyed Sarah Plain and Tall and some of the Little House series.

  93. Kayla says:

    While I’m clearly a bit late to the game, I love suggesting the books I loved to read as a child, and I love suggesting the books that I’ve read (that I may or may not be too old for) that have come out since then.

    The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop
    Troubletwisters, by Garth Nix
    Wizard’s Hall, by Jane Yolen (really, really good for HP fans)
    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, by Bruce Coville (anything by him tends to be amazing, but watch out for a few potentially scary short stories. There’s one about a monster under the bed that gave me nightmares for months.)
    Any of the Bailey School Kids books. They’re written by a few different people.
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konisburg
    Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell
    Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
    Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
    The Last Piper, by Helen Cavanagh
    The Farthest Away Mountain, by Lynne Reid Banks
    The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary
    The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick Skene Catling
    The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
    The Animorphs, by K. A. Applegate
    So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane

  94. SMT says:

    BOXCAR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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