My wife and I have four girls ages eight to fifteen, and we dedicate family time three nights a week to reading. Reading has always been an important part of my life, and has enabled me access to a world beyond the mundane, the ordinary, the every day. Although we have new tales that we read with them today, we are sure to include the classics that we also grew up with. Some books are meant to be read within every generation. The books I have listed are in no particular order, although my favorite is number ten. I love Encyclopedia Brown.
Ages: All Ages
We usually use a huge illustrated family Bible when reading together. The stories come to life when paired with a vivid image, and the kids enjoy the unique ways of our ancestors. We find the illustrated Bible works best, so that the younger children do not have to stumble over some of the more archaic language of King James’ period.
Who doesn’t like to be scared? Okay, this may not be the best reading material for tucking your kids in at night, but most children enjoy the raw images and stories that R.L. Stine has put together for many years now. There are quite a few different series incorporated within the Goosebumps brand, well over 150 books to enjoy.
Older kids like to read this series themselves, but a parent may need to read most of these monstrous-sized novels to younger children. J.K. Rowling has made an indelible mark on both children and adults alike. Many viewers of the movie series want to then read the books, and vice-versa.
Little Golden Books
I remember reading Golden Books when I was probably five or six. There are countless titles available, and many companies (Disney, Mattell, etc…) allow their characters to be immortalized in gold. These books are classics, and more are being created even today.
Chronicles of Narnia
I read this entire series by C.S. Lewis as an 11 year old child. The fantasy books have definitely had a recent boost, mainly attributed to the films which finally arrived.
Any books by Roald Dahl
I put a higher age on Mr. Dahl’s fiction, because most of his humor is dark and is tinged with adult themes. His books are highly satirical, yet still appropriate for most tweens.
Winnie The Pooh
A classic set of characters and a great informal setting make these books still incredible to read. Many older children may not admit to reading them, but one quick look under the bed tells otherwise.
I also remember reading the Pippi series of books. Our girls enjoy having a strong girl character, especially with so many male lead characters from classic books.
Any books by Judy Blume
Mainly written for the middle-school audience, her books include many themes which have stirred controversy in myriad schools and churches across America. However, many parents struggle to talk with their children about certain subjects, and sometimes, a well-written book can help make those talks easier to have.
These are mystery books which let the reader solve the case before turning to the back to find how the young Encyclopedia Brown managed to defeat Bugs Meany. These books have been around for almost half a century, and more titles are being produced today.