Top picks of 2016: read-aloud edition

I shared what we read in 2016 yesterday, as well as my top picks of the year.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the booklist for our read-alouds and audiobooks enjoyed together.)  It was something of an odd year for read alouds because several of our favorites ended up being audiobooks instead of read-alouds.  Also, Steady Eddie took over reading aloud to the boys toward the end of the year because I cannot be in two places at once.  I’ll admit that it was hard for me to give that up–I want to read all the books to everyone!  🙂

The girls and I ended up reading something like nineteen titles together.  The only audiobook counted in this total is A Comedy of Errors because we read part of it aloud when the CDs proved to be too scratched up to work and because it was a very active listening experience during our circle time.  (Most of our audiobooks are enjoyed in the van as a way to pass the travel time.)  Five audiobooks (none of which both girls listened to in their entireties) bring that total up to about twenty-four books (including a play).  This is a respectable number and equates to hours upon hours of quality time spent together.

I asked the girls independently to pick their top three titles each, and they picked two of the same titles:

I wasn’t surprised by this in the least, for these two books made our fall read-aloud times a joy, and they were the ones after which I was most likely to hear “just one more chapter!” You can read my thoughts about them here and here. I spent a lot of time with L’Engle and Stead this year (I read both books at least twice), and it was a highlight of my year to share them with my girls. (And now, because they picked them, I don’t have to. 🙂 )

Lulu’s other pick was A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, which we actually listened to in audio. I’m so glad she enjoyed it because it is one of my favorite books.  We spent a lot of time this year with Grandma Dowdel, and it was time well spent.  In fact, I will probably remember this year as The Year of Peck.

Louise’s other pick was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.  I loved sharing this one with the girls, and I’m not surprised she picked it, either.  Read my thoughts here.

I also polled the DLM as to his favorite.  I only let him choose from among the chapter books read specifically to him and Benny, though in reality he listened in to at least half (usually more) of many of the books I read to the girls.  That amounted to about eight titles, and he liked them all except Little House in the Big Woods.  🙁  (Yes, this pains me a bit.)  He mentioned these as his favorites:

Picking my own favorites this year is something like trying to pick a favorite child.  This has been our Year of Anne, so the girls and I have read the first five titles.  We will pick back up with the series in January and finish in the early spring, I expect.  However, I cannot pick which of the titles I love the most, so I will just say that our Year of Anne tops my read aloud list this year.

Richard Peck is one of my favorite modern authors of juvenile/YA literature, and this year might also be considered the Year of Peck for us.  I laughed through Fair Weather with my girls.  We also listened to both A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Chicago in audio.  Then, to finish the year, we read A Season of Gifts together. What fun!  No other author makes me laugh as much as Peck.

Does Charlotte’s Web ever grow old?  I don’t think it does.  Introducing the DLM to Wilbur, Fern, and Charlotte was a distinct privilege of the year for sure.  

Last, it was my honor to share The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom with my girls.  Oh, my heart.  Read my walk down memory lane here.

I consider reading aloud the cornerstone of both my educational philosophy and our family life.  It is such a privilege to share books with my children.  I am so grateful!


Top picks read-aloud posts of years gone by:

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