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Read While You Ride!

Category: Where The Child Things Are
Posted: July 13, 2017

By: Angela Vahle, Youth Associate

Six Read Alouds to Make the Longest Trips Fly By

Now that July has come, I dare say we have all realized summer is here to stay. What may not have set in, is that summer sometimes means road trips, and road trips often bring you to “What on earth are my kids going to do for 10 hours in the car!?!” While you are going to have to figure out how to fit everything in the van, I think I can help you figure out what to do with the kids in the car all day long. Below are some chapter book recommendations I think will make you feel like you’ve arrived at your destination in no time.

These books have themes and stories that are appropriate for younger kids while still appealing to the older ones. While the vocabulary may be more advanced, through read alouds you give kids access to content they would not get on their own, since kids’ listening comprehension is higher than what they can understand independently.

The books are all part of a series, in case you have a really long trip and want to grab books 1-4, or in case your kids fall in love with the characters and beg you for more. Either way, these recommendations should have you covered.

Check out My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles GannettMy Father’s Dragon (Book 1) by Ruth Stiles Gannett

When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of a poor overworked baby dragon, he knows he has to save it. He travels to Wild Island and, through a series of crazy events, saves the dragon from the animals keeping it prisoner.

This choice is a perfect first chapter book to read to young children because there are pictures on almost every page. The chapters are short and simple, and it moves along at a great pace. Since it is action based, it appeals to young and old readers alike.

Check Out Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla Enchanted (Enchanted Book 1) by Gail Carson Levine

A re-imagining of the classic Cinderella story, this book tells the story of a young girl who is “gifted” with obedience, which turns out to be more of a curse.

It is a story of adventure and a girl trying to be herself. Along the way, she meets many creatures such as giants, trolls and even a very heroic prince.

This is one book that I personally hold very dear to my heart.

Check out Inkheart by Cornelia FunkeInkheart (Book 1) by Cornelia Funke

One ordinary night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book and an evil ruler is able to escape the binding of the book and land in their living room.

Suddenly, Meggie finds herself in the middle of the type of adventure she has only read about in books.

This book is a bit more lengthy. While it is very captivating, read it with kids who have developed a bit of reading stamina already.

Check out Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of MysteryBunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Book 1) by Deborah and James Howe

Bunnicula follows the story of a family who finds a rabbit and adopts it as the newest member of their clan. However, a few things aren’t quite right with Bunnicula.

Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household.

Bunnicula sounds a bit scary as described, but it is really a fun book for most ages. If your child does get very afraid you may tell them that the rabbit is not really a vampire (Gasp!).

Check out Half Magic by Edward EagerHalf Magic (Tales of Magic, Book 1) by Edward Eager

This book follows four siblings who find a coin that spices up their very boring summer vacation.

Hoping things will change, Jane wishes something exciting will happen. It turns out the coin grants wishes — but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want which at times, makes matters more complicated.

This book is very fun and an easy read with adventure, magic and humor.

Check Out The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauCity of Ember (Book of Ember, Book 1) by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember was built as a last safe haven for the human race. Two hundred years later, the electricity starts to falter and the lanterns that light the city are beginning to flicker.

When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon follow clues in the message to save the city before everything is lost!

This book hooked me from the start! The world they live in, though sad and dark, is beautifully described and so easy to imagine. I also love how this book can start great conversations and get kids thinking!

So there you have it! Before you go on your next trip, add a trip to the library to your list of things to do. I hope you find these suggestions enlightening and that your next road trip will be full of silly voices and a little less screen time.

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