Book Week: Finding a Summer Read Aloud

I am on the hunt for a good read aloud for vacation. We love to sit about and work on puzzles while someone reads. Some of the books I'm considering are:

I will admit that we tried Swallow and Amazons a few years ago and it did not go over well. Time to try again!  Past successful read alouds have included: Little Women, Little Men, Jack and Jill, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Princess, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Burgess Bird Book. I tend to go for the classics when reading to the girls as I know they won't necessarily choose them on their own.

I chose these because they all take place by the sea--the house we have rented for our vacation is an old fisherman's cape located on an isolated spit of water in Nova Scotia. 

I am always on the hunt for good books to suggest to Lou. She doesn't dive into books as readily as her sister. Any title suggestions would be appreciated. She is at a tricky age--she wants more sophisticated material, but the YA books are too mature for her.  The last time I asked for suggestions was two years ago when she was nine. Wow did we gain a lot of good ideas and many were perfect for a 9 year old.  All those recommendations are at the top of the blog. Can't wait to see what some of you with older children suggest.

Anonymous –   – (July 28, 2010 at 7:40 AM)  

Your list already contains a lot of wonderful books, it is hard to think of new ones.... mine loved E. Nesbits books at this age, and what about Edward Eager: the Half Magic books... fantasy without the modern themes. And what about Jane Austen.. is it too early? Mansfield Park or Emma might be a fun read aloud, saving P and P and S and S for later...And then there is Homer Price... he is fun to read.

Bending Birches  – (July 28, 2010 at 8:16 AM)  

I LOVED island of the blue dolphins when I was a girl....other favorties included "hatchet" and "the giver"...maybe she would like those? so glad to have stumbled upon your beautiful little world! ::hugs::

Anonymous –   – (July 28, 2010 at 8:22 AM)  

Oh.. I just thought of one I loved and my boys love: The Gammage Cup. (Carol Kendall)

Tammy  – (July 28, 2010 at 8:26 AM)  

I read all 3 of those books with my older girls way back when. We'll be re-reading Swallows and Amazons again this year for Kayla's benefit.

The book we are reading right now is Daddy Long Legs. I can not recommend this book enough. It is a classic written in the very early 1900's. The language is a little difficult simply because we don't speak like that anymore, so it makes a perfect read aloud. The story is sweet, the style it's written in is very humorous, the drawings are numerous and done by the author, and there is a surprise ending. Lovely, lovely book.

renee ~ heirloom seasons  – (July 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM)  

Have you ever heard of The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew? This is one of our most favorite chapter books, it was great when I had a young 5 year old and a 9 year old, but even at 11 I think Lou may like it. I can tell you that Chloe, now 10, is never going to tire of this book!
It is an older story, written in 1881, there are actually more titles that come after, I only recently discovered this, saving as a surprise for the girls.
We have my own copy from when I was little, Chloe has her own special copy, and I even have an extra one, cause I love it that much, and plan to soon include it in a giveaway on my blog.
Thanks Sarah, I'm very happy to have you as a wonderful book resource!
Happy reading!

sarah  – (July 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM)  

we have read all of those and can recommend them all. Swallows and Amazons was life-changing around here when my dd was seven.

I'm afraid I have few suggestions for appropriate YA material, we are really struggling with that issue ourselves. Although my dd recently read Watership Down and loved it.

Angela  – (July 29, 2010 at 6:15 AM)  

Have you ever tried Burgess book for the Seashore? I don't have it handy, and it is not as readily available, but just as wonderful as the Bird and Animal book. We have done it and then spent afternoons in tide pools and ocean, expanding our new-found knowledge.

Sarah  – (July 30, 2010 at 8:00 AM)  

I am definitely putting The Gammage Cup and Daddy Long Legs on my list for Fall. I read The Five Little Peppers to Helen so long ago that I doubt she remembers it. I am going to bring Swallows and Amazons and give it another try. It just seems like everyone who has read it loves it. Thanks to all of your for the comments.

Anonymous –   – (July 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM)  

Cheaper by the Dozen and Bells on Their Toes are great read aloud books. Nothing like the movies and were written by the family members. I shared books last year and appreciate how you support your girls in their growth

Nan  – (July 31, 2010 at 9:09 AM)  

I'm looking back at what my daughter liked around that age: The Tillerman series by Cynthia Voigt; the Sally Lockhart series which begins with Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman - nothing like his more famous books; Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian (and there is a dvd starring the late, wonderful John Thaw); the Ann Rinaldi historical fiction books; the Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynne Reid Banks. And I am quite sure she read Gone With the Wind at ten, but can that really be right??

Mary  – (July 31, 2010 at 12:24 PM)  

How about Louisa May Alcott's "An Old Fashioned girl" ? I found an older copy and gave it to one of my grandaughters and she and her sister were tandem reading it until my daughter happened upon another copy in a thrift store and gave it to the other grandaughter. One of them is now 18 and recently mentioned how much she had enjoyed that book when she was a little younger. I LOVED "Jane of Lantern Hill" when I was your daughters' ages. It is a lesser known book by the author of the "Anne of Green Gables" books and is still my favorite.

Happy Vacation...


Tammy  – (July 31, 2010 at 12:42 PM)  

I forgot to mention...the author of Daddy Long Legs is the great niece of Mark Twain! :) :) :)

Mary  – (July 31, 2010 at 3:43 PM)  

I forgot to mention that Alibris has inexpensive copies of "Jane of Lantern Hill" available in paperback. Amazon's older copies are quite expensive. Amazon also has many copies of "An Old Fashioned Girl" available. Another Great book is "Bright Island" by Mabel L. Robinson - about a wholesome girl in her teens who lives on an Island off the coast of Maine. It was written in 1937 and Amazon has some fairly reasonably priced hard copies. Happy reading...

Anonymous –   – (July 31, 2010 at 4:05 PM)  

There's a copy of Daddy Long Legs just waiting for you to discover it at the Lake House. Love, MOM

Sarah  – (August 2, 2010 at 8:54 AM)  

Mary --I'm excited to go look for "Jane of Lantern Hill" and "Bright Island". I've got "An Old Fashioned Girl" on my shelf. I loved it when I was a teen. Thanks for the suggestions.

Mom --Thanks for letting me know it's there. I'll hunt it up next time we are over.

kelly –   – (August 3, 2010 at 2:08 AM)  

my daughter is the same age and i'm forever on the hunt for quality reading material
favourites for us have been -
chaos clock & chaos quest by gill arbuthnott
winterbringers, also by gil arbuthnott
little fur series by isobelle carmody
the red wind, again, isobelle carmody - 1st book in new series called, the lost kingdom
they came on viking ships by jackie french
pharaoh, again, jackie french
loved, loved, loved swallows & amazons series, especially, we didn't mean to go to sea
famous five series by enid blytton, another of our favourites (you may have to track these down in 2nd hand book shops in the us)
my story series of books put out by scholastic
happy reading, happy holidays!!!

Aliadelaide  – (August 23, 2010 at 1:04 AM)  

Have you read "The Penderwicks"(can't think of author but there are 2 books in the series so far(they are about girls but would also appeal to boys. Then there's Elizabeth Enright's The Four Story Mistake series(brilliant! incorporates a lot of nature study and very funny too in parts...just fabulous family books)Also Eleanor Estes is another author who writes family type readalouds which my boys really liked.Finally by Hilda van Stockum "the Mitchells" and the other books in that series. My boys also enjoyed "little Britches" by Ralph Moody; but not sure they would appeal to girls.ooops nearly forgot sarah Plain and Tall,Skylark etc and Caddie Woodlawn.Commenting here has made me think I should list all my favorite readalouds on our blog. Thanks for giving me the idea!

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