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books to read aloud to siblings age 6-12

(51 Posts)
Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 16:44:52

I know that people will probably fall over themselves to insist that this is a weird thing to do, because their children choose their own books and wouldn't want to be read to, and their 12 year old is reading Finigans Wake and their 6 year old is reading the Hunger Games etc...

However knowing that some people will be desperate to tell me that, I'd still like to ask:

Does anyone read aloud to mixed age (but old enough to read to themselves) siblings? If so what do you recommend?

My kids do read to themselves, but they are growing up with two languages, and their education and friendships are not in English - neither are the books in the school library for the younger ones (secondary school library does have a lot of foreign language books but mainly either aimed at older teens). I've always read aloud to them and they enjoy it and show no signs of wanting me to stop, and it is excellent for their English vocabulary to be read to, I want their English to stay native speaker standard so I'm going to keep doing it.

It's getting harder to find books though, so I'd love suggestions. We read before bed and they don't really do scary. They don't really take to sci fi either, which limits us a bit.

It's ok to go about young for bedtime when everyone is tired as all the kids, but especially the older two, have very vivid imaginations and tend to visualise what we read and think a lot about it. They have been troubled by books which they've not long after watched the film of with total nonchalance. I think it's also because reading aloud spreads the book over a couple of weeks so there is a lot of time for unresolved storylines to play on the mind, unlike films which leave little to the imagination and are over before you can think too much! They found the first Harry Potter book scary but the first 3 film's not scary!

I guess I'm looking for books aimed more at older primary age for those reasons.

Things they enjoyed together in the past include

Wilf the mighty worrier
13 etc story tree house
A boy called Christmas
Jane blond
Ramona Quimby

I'd like to move them forward a bit, but what on earth will be a bit more advanced without being difficult for the 6 year old to follow, or scary!

Leeds2 Fri 12-Jan-18 16:57:15

How about the How To Train Your Dragon series?
Jeremy Strong books eg Hundred Mile An Hour Dog.
David Walliams books.

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 17:03:53

Leeds those are perfect - exactly what they like. Problem is we've read a lot of David Walliams ,(though he's quite ecclectic in a way - Gangsta Granny they loved but other stuff of his they asked to stop reading), we've read 100 mile an hour dog, I forgot about that.

They have How to Train Your Dragon as an audio book and enjoy it (they often choose to share a room at weekends and listen to audio books).

Another thing they really liked was The Person Controller, and United Kiddom (I think it's called) by the same author.

We haven't read the rest of the How to Train Your Dragon series so I think I will buy the next one as a paper, not audio, book and try that!

Thank you

Almondsupreme Fri 12-Jan-18 17:05:45

Roald Dahl

SandLand Fri 12-Jan-18 17:13:41

Dick King Smith and Michael Morpurgo might be worth looking at to.
I hate reading it aloud, but Tom Gates and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 17:21:04

Tom Gates and Diary of a Wimpy kid the older two have read a lot of in German, so I'm saved from that wink but it's the right type of thing.

Mr Gum they loved - have read them all.

Michael Morpago is too sad - tried that.

Dick King Smith we haven't tried, but good idea.

Roald Dahl - they lived Danny Champion of the world and Charlie and the chocolate factory as audio books but might need to try others again. I find Roald Dahl very mixed tbh - brilliance mixed with wtf! We tried The Great Glass Elevator, it's unreadable!

missperegrinespeculiar Fri 12-Jan-18 17:27:43

hmm, from what you say our DCs have different tastes to mine, so suggestions might not work!

That said, I read aloud to mine, too, who are also bilingual, they are 10 and 6

At the moment we are reading Harry Potter n.5, Lord of the Rings and Wonder (this might work as not scary, but a little difficult on the emotional side for the 6 year old)

We have also read: A series of Unfortunate Events, Narnia, Wings of Fire (some of the scenes were a bit violent, I had to edit while reading) and The Hobbit.

My kids also enjoyed The 13-storey Tree-house series, although my eldest read that on his own

The next big project, after we finish either Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series is His Dark Materials, we started it some time ago and they loved it, but we got distracted and never went back after a few chapters!

I also want to start on some of the classics, like Call of the Wild and the Secret Garden etc., will see if they like them!

lovelyjubilly Fri 12-Jan-18 17:30:30

I'd also recommend looking at Michael Morpurgo.

missperegrinespeculiar Fri 12-Jan-18 17:31:26

oh, yes, forgot about Diary of a Wimpy Kid! My eldest loved it and read it on his own (Thank God, not my cup of tea!)

Oh, they also liked the Black Cauldron series, it is fantasy but a little easier than the Lord of the Rings and Narnia, good for the little ones!

Waddlelikeapenguin Fri 12-Jan-18 17:31:50

Mine - 10, 7 (& 2) - have enjoyed.
Dark is rising series
Narnia series
Percy jackson
Dragon rider & other Cornelia Funke
George's cosmic treasure hunt & the rest by Lucy & Stephen Hawking

PhilODox Fri 12-Jan-18 17:37:34

My gap is three years, but:
Stig of the Dump by Clive King (small one enjoyed more than older one!)
The How to Train Your Dragon series (all of them, as published!!)
Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow
Little House on the Prairie
Box of Delights (ending on Christmas Eve, so it's timely with the book)
The Hobbit
Now they're a bit older-
Around the World in 80 Days
Treasure Island
Lord of The Rings
Wizard of Earthsea
Charmed Life

Chillywhippet Fri 12-Jan-18 17:47:13

Reading aloud is hard as the kids have to enjoy them but you need to be able to stand reading them too.

I've enjoyed reading my DC

A classic - Tom's Midnight Garden

Artemis Fowl - we liked these. I would carry on reading when the kids had fallen asleep and these books got one of mine reading when she just couldn't wait for me to settle the baby.

Percy Jackson

We liked Mr Gum and How to train your dragon too as they made me laugh but you have those. I swore I would never, ever, never read another Beastquest book aloud.

We liked His Dark Materials Trilogy (Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass) but would save these for when they are older as they are actually quite dark in parts and made me shudder unexpectedly. Darker than the film. But then it's hard as some stuff bothers some people more than others and some things bother adults more than kids e.g. The premise behind Hunger Games which my teens just took in their stride. Hunger Games obvs for teens.

Leeds2 Fri 12-Jan-18 18:14:44

Ok, given you like my first suggestions grin, how about;

Spy Dog series by Andrew Cope
Pippi Longstocking
Buried Alive by Jacqueline Wilson.
Paddington. May be of interest given Paddington 2 has just been released at the cinema.
Cows In Action series.
Malory Towers/St Clare's series by Enid Blyton. I know these aren't universally acclaimed, but they are very popular in the children's library where I volunteer! Equally, Secret Seven if you checked first that they weren't too scary.
Humphrey the Hamster books by Betty Birney.

BertieBotts Fri 12-Jan-18 18:21:17

We're also in Germany and I read Harry potter to DS who is now 9. Well, we read it together.

Lemony Snicket might be good? Poss a bit scary.

DS loved the Magic Tree House series, which we got from American friends. Dick King Smith and other Jeremy Strong books have gone down well too.

He also likes the series called Stink which is about Judy Moody's little brother. I refused to read that to him so he read them himself.

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 19:33:34

Yep gap is big because there are 3 kids - 12, 10 and 6.

I read Lord of the rings at 11 by myself in 2 days (my horrible uncle was staying and was given my room so I hid in the study where my sleeping bag had been put and just read). I also read The Rainbow and Lady Chatterley's lover at 12 because my parents, who read Agatha Christie and biographies, had all "the classics" in compendiums with uncut pages on their bookshelves.

However reading aloud is totally different, seems it's a very vivid thing and stays in their minds because it's so spread out, and my children seem to have startling and visual imaginations and more empathy than me, and things get to them more than they did/ do me.

We may try Percy Jackson. His dark materials is one I've read and love but I think will scare my kids - I have it on the shelf though...

Mallory Towers DD has read already by herself.

Most stuff for over 8s seems to be frightening, so may have to push a bit, but I get up for work at 5am so am heavily invested in not being up in the night with children with nightmares and/ or whirring minds...

Wonder we have, kids vetoed but may encourage them to rethink...

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 19:35:38

Pippi Langstrumpf DH has read to them in German already. Paddington I've read them already.

Spy dog I've never heard of - will definitely look!

isittheholidaysyet Fri 12-Jan-18 19:39:30

Swallows and Amazons. A bit old fashioned in its language, but not all scary. Kids camping sailing and enjoying their imaginary play world, but plenty to keep a 12 year old interested.

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 19:41:10

Chilly my older two would absolutely see and be incredibly disturbed by the premis behind Hunger Games. There is no way they'd cope with the part where the younger girl Candice works with (I've forgotten her name) is killed, nor the basic horror of being sent away to fight to the death by their community, their mums letting them go, the whole why would people let that happen of it...

If they want to read it themselves I won't stop them of course, again we have the books on a shelf, but I won't be leading them to it!

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 19:42:17

Swallows and Amazon's might just work! I'll order a 2nd hand copy.

Evelynismyformerspyname Fri 12-Jan-18 19:43:20

I might try Artimus Fowl too - it's kinds of a step on from Jane Blond wink

GU24Mum Fri 12-Jan-18 19:45:10

We don't read aloud nearly enough but one of the books I did manage that we all enjoyed was "The Indian in the Cupboard" - Lynn Reid Banks.

ParadiseCity Fri 12-Jan-18 19:47:01

At the younger end of the range my DC loved me reading roddy Doyle aloud. The meanwhile tales/adventure/rover does this that and the other. Nightmare free.

nemno Fri 12-Jan-18 19:47:13

I came on to say Swallows and Amazons. My Dad read all of them to my kids whenever they had a chunk of time together (we lived abroad and visits to each other were never less than 3 weeks). It is old fashioned but my dad did have the knowledge to talk around the topics and explain, also they did similar adventures with him. And they discussed the illustrations. It is a cherished memory for my DC and me, Dad died 2 years ago.

ParadiseCity Fri 12-Jan-18 19:48:28

Oh and how about Diana Wynne Jones? I've only read one but DD has loads of hers and enjoyed them. I think they are fairly comforting. Also Lauren St James animal welfare books.

ClashCityRocker Fri 12-Jan-18 19:51:53

What about some of the Terry pratchett ones aimed at a younger audience?

I imagine they'd be great read aloud.

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