Before Jack was born I received a gift from one of my mom's friends: a bunch of wonderful children's books along with The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. I started reading the handbook right away, mostly because the woman who gifted it to me spoke so highly of the book and the concepts in it, so I was intrigued. I found the book fascinating and I was inspired to start reading more fiction. I read relatively frequently, but the books I read are mostly non fiction or sort of self-help type books.
I really want to read aloud to Jack, but in order to do that, I want to have books I've read and am familiar with to read to him. I have plenty that I remember reading in grade school, but there were also lots that I remember not reading. Classics and such. Books that I was *supposed* to read for class but ended up procrastinating to the last minute and relying on spark notes to do my essays/assignments. I read for pleasure, I guess, when I read self-help books (I mean, I like the content) but having the goal of self improvement doesn't really mean I'm reading for pure enjoyment.
So, since it's the beginning of a new year, I decided to make a resolution to read more fiction for pure enjoyment. We have a local used bookstore that is being sold soon and my mom has a ton of credit there from selling books to them, so I've been putting together a list of great books to buy there to use up her credit! It's perfectly serendipitous that right when I decide to get a bunch of books to read, she's got this crazy huge credit she needs to use up in the next couple months!
So far on my list I've got:
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Hatchet by Gary Paulson
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dogsong by Gary Paulson
The Raven's Gift by Don J. Rearden
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Dream of Night by Heather Hensen
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
Scorpions by Walter Dean Meyers
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
I plowed through Wonder in about 2.5 days, so my next one to read is Where the Red Fern Grows. A lot of these are young adult and children's books so they're pretty quick reads, but I want to read them so I can at least be familiar with the stories when Jack is old enough for me to read them to him.
If you're curious about the effects of reading aloud on children's reading ability and education, I definitely suggest checking out The Read Aloud Handbook. The research is fascinating and I'm really inspired by the anecdotal evidence and Jim's passion as well. Super super interesting stuff.
If you guys have great book suggestions (fiction only!), share your favorites with me in the comments! I'm trying to read a lot of books that are more kid friendly just because I want to find some really awesome books to read to Jack when he's older, but I'll probably also want some books with more adult themes/complexity sprinkled in there too. Let me know what your all time favorite fiction books are, or what you're reading now and loving!