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Summer Read-Aloud Resolutions 2017

June 8th, 2017

{photo by congerdesign}

Earlier this week we shared some inspiration and resources for reading aloud. So today, instead of a regular “Reading Resolutions” post with books that SLOCA parents are planning to read, we thought it would be fun to ask a few parents which read-aloud books they are hoping to read this summer with their kids. There are SO many wonderful books to enjoy together as a family, and we know this is only a tiny selection – please join in the conversation by adding your own suggestions to the comments at the end!

Before we get to their answers, here’s a sweet poem from our Favorite Poems Old and New book:

When Mother Reads Aloud
Author Unknown

When Mother reads aloud, the past
     Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
     I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud. 

When Mother reads aloud, far lands
     Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert's gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle's prowling bands
     Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud. 

When Mother reads aloud, I long
     For noble deeds to do —
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
     So simple and so true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.


Aren’t you ready to read now? Listed below are a few SLOCA families with students' current levels (soon to change!), the books they are resolving to read aloud this summer, and their comments:

Jenny Bischoff, Track A

kids: Kate (HS Junior), Georgia (UMS 7), and Calvin (Int 4)

  • Straw Into Gold by Gary Schmidt
  • Bud & Me: The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys by Alta Aberanthy
  • Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

Although I have 3 books listed, we may realistically get to only 1 or 2 (unless we get them on audio and listen during a long road trip we plan to take this summer – I have a separate audiobook list for that trip!). The first book, Straw Into Gold, is by an author we love (Gary Schmidt) and I recently heard Adam Andrews (from Center for Lit) say that this is his family’s favorite Gary Schmidt book to read together – high praise indeed! The second book, Bud & Me, was also recommended by an educator I look up to – Andrew Pudewa. The last time he was at SLOCA, he mentioned that this book was a great family read-aloud, and I’ve been wanting to read it with the kids ever since. And then of course we will try to read Time Cat, since we love Lloyd Alexander and this time-traveling adventure sounds like a perfect SLOCA book! 

I’d also love to recommend the book Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls as a read-aloud for any family who has never read it – it’s one of our favorites! 


Joy Newman, Track A

kids: Eli (UMS 8), Abraham (LMS 5), Esther (Int 4) and Ezra (Kinder)

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

We began reading Treasure Island earlier this year and it was pushed to the side. This summer, we plan on picking it up and beginning again. We will hopefully also read SLOCA’s recommended book, Time Cat.


Gina Jenkins, Track A

kids: Jonah (HS Freshman), Jackson (Kinder), and Colie (soon to be 4 years old)

  • Magical Animal Adoption Agency by Kallie George
  • Rascal by Sterling North
  • There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar
  • Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

The first two books looked good when I went on a search based on another book we recently read – Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale (highly recommend as an alternative view and play on The Three Little Pigs). The third was displayed at the library when I went to pick the others up and it looked like a fun one. I’ll also add Time Cat to our list as I trust any book that SLOCA recommends!


Mary Knudson, Track A

kids: Payton (Int 4), Tobin (Primary 2), Ella (soon to be 3 years old) and Corbin (6 months)

  • Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth by Lloyd Alexander
  • Freddy the Detective (The Freddy Books) by Walter R. Brooks
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

These are three I am hoping we'll get to... I chose Time Cat because we always enjoy reading SLOCA's recommended summer read aloud! The Freddy books sound fun after reading Sherlock this year. From what I gather after reading reviews, this book is about a pig named Freddy who has been inspired by Sherlock Holmes to become a detective on his farm. It is a part of a well-loved series that was written between 1927 and 1958. And finally, I picked Peter Nimble because I thought the boys might enjoy a fantasy. From the reviews I've read, this one is supposed to be a bit creepy, but also hilarious.  We'll soon find out!


Julie Lynem, Track B

kids: Garrett (Int 4), Skylar (Primary 1)

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1 by Lemony Snicket
  • The Land of Stories, Book 3 by Chris Colfer

Our summer read-aloud list includes Tuck Everlasting, just because it’s an excellent book, and I’ve wanted the kids to read it. It brings up great questions/debate about mortality/immortality. A Series of Unfortunate Events…the kids happened to find the TV show, and so I thought, why not read the books! The Land of Stories – the kids have read the first two, and they’re hooked. The children love tales of fantasy. Who doesn’t, right? We might also read another Harry Potter book… it’s just fun and Skylar hasn’t had as much exposure to it as Garrett. We may only have time for one on this list, but we will aim for these.


Joy Erb, Track B

kids: Katie (HS Sophomore), Austin (UMS 8), Cameron (Int 4), and Colton (Primary 1)

  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

We are looking forward to reading these books aloud, and bringing some restful bonding time to our chaotic household! If we finish these, we will add in Time Cat.


What about you? Share your own read-aloud resolutions in the comments below, or any great read-aloud suggestions that your family enjoyed in the past!