My memories of growing up have my mother reading to me at bedtime up until I could read to myself. After that, she left me to read what I chose before I went to bed. My sister, who is two years younger, also followed in that same pattern. My brother, ten years younger than me, was read aloud to for slightly longer.
My mom is a teacher, not disinterested in books and reading. Yet, I don't think she ever thought twice about not reading to me for my entire childhood. Reading aloud to my own girls is one of my very favorite things to do. Yes, it does cut in to my leisure reading time. But, I enjoy discussing books with them, giving them some background information that they might not have to better appreciate what we are reading.
Last week we finished Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, an absolute favorite of mine. Both enjoyed it and were upset that I didn't immediately start in on Hattie Ever After. Instead we have moved to Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. This is going quickly for us, and right now the girls are asking for me to continue reading each night.
I doubt there will be a lack of read alouds any time soon. My youngest daughter is just seven and missed out on some of the novels I read to her sisters a few years ago. My middle daughter has no recollection of some of the stories we read aloud. Here's what's coming up on my night-time read aloud list:
1. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
2. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (re-read)
3. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
4. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (re-read)
5. The Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
What are my absolute must read aloud books? Any suggestions?