Read-alouds are a big part of our family culture. I’ve written several posts about different read-alouds that we love over the years, but we have recently discovered several new (or new to us) books and series that I wanted to share with you.
We listen to audiobooks in the car while we drive (yes, this totally counts as read-aloud time) as well as me reading books aloud in the evening several nights a week (with two younger children and two active teens, it doesn’t happen every night but that doesn’t mean we don’t fit it in whenever we can make it work).
Towers of Light Series
We were blessed with a chance to review the first book in the Towers of Light series and really enjoyed it. It is a fictional adventure story that shares gospel truths and spiritual warfare in a way that makes it understandable to children. I love it when we can enjoy a story for its own merits but also use it to help our children learn and grow in the truth of God.
For independent reading, I’d probably recommend it for upper elementary and middle grades students. However, we listened to the audio as a family, and everyone enjoyed it. If you have sensitive young children, there are a few intense scenes, but my five-year-old was fine with it.
They also have workbooks that you can use to accompany the novels if you want to make it into a unit study. (You can see my full review here.)
- *You can get 10% off of these books from the website by using code schoolinswag*
Our family loves the Green Ember series by S.D. Smith, so we were excited to get the first book in his new series, Jack Zulu, this year for Christmas. He is writing this one with his teenage son, which was a big hit for us, and it had my children asking for one more chapter every time we read it.
It is a fantasy book that shares the same excellent writing style as The Green Ember but is very different in that it features humans as the main characters. It occurs in a small town in West Virginia and other worlds.
It is fun, exciting, and a little suspenseful, but it also teaches some valuable life lessons without feeling preachy. We read through it quickly because the whole family was enthralled, and the only negative is that we now have to wait for them to finish the next book!
I had heard of the series several years ago, but we had not yet had a chance to start reading them. A couple of months ago, I found the first book on audio and decided it was time to try them. We adored this fun and endearing adventure story about Growly the Bear and his friends Chippy and Tully.
While it is ideal for elementary and middle grades students, my high schoolers also enjoyed it. ( I would not pick it if I only had middle and high school students, but it is excellent for a mixed-age group.)
The story was exciting; the characters were lovable and fun. When we finished the first one, we were traveling, and they wanted me to immediately buy the next one so we could keep listening. Unfortunately, only the first one is on audio, so we had to wait until we were not on the road to keep reading.
My one complaint is that the first book leaves you at a very unfinished point, and that is a personal pet peeve of mine; however, it also made you really want to grab the next one and keep reading. A big bonus for this series is that it is also available on Kindle Unlimited!
Mistmantle Chronicles was a series that I had never seen until my daughter’s friend recommended the first book for our book club. It is a fantasy series that features animals as the main characters, battles of good versus evil, sweet stories, and tales of adventure.
The first three books in the series are available on Kindle Unlimited, a great way to read a wide variety of books. We have yet to finish the series, but finding the last couple of books in the series can be challenging as they are currently out of print. However, I have seen that there is a company that is bringing the books back one by one, so hopefully, by the time we get to the last books, they will be reprinting them as well.
These mystery and adventure books take place in different national parks and follow the same fictional family as they vacation in various national parks. Each book has a different mystery/adventure as well as life and moral lessons woven through the story.
We have particularly enjoyed reading these while we travel in our camper, but they are also a fun way to travel vicariously.
To Be Read and Reading Journal
We have a Two Be Read list that is pretty long, including finishing these series, waiting not so patiently for the sequel to Jack Zulu, listening to Mary Poppins for our book club, and wanting to start The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place on the recommendation of a friend.
If you are like me and need a way to track all of the books you are reading and/or the ones, you want to read, check out our new reading journal and log. You can use code SWAGREADS to get 25% off.
However, we are always looking for great books to read, so I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations. In the comments, share your favorite read-alouds, particularly those that are good for multiple ages.
More Reading Posts
Tip Tuesday: Our Homeschool Secret Weapon-Audiobooks
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
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