Star Trek and Star Wars Book Challenges are fascinating dive into some of our favorite universes, but just because you’re busy reading them doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy sharing some (hopefully nerdy) reading time with your family. Reading with your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to promote literacy, cultivate a love of learning, and nurture bonding. Here are five tried and true books aimed at a wide range of age levels that are exceptional choices for parent-child read-aloud:
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS BY SHEL SILVERSTEIN: This traditional collection of children’s poems is the ideal book to introduce children to the beautiful world of poetry. By combining profound stories with fanciful characters and humor, Silverstein has created a beloved masterpiece partnered with imaginative illustrations.
HARRY POTTER BY (Series) J.K. ROWLING: This venerable series of fantasy novels is a favorite with kids and adults alike, making it the perfect choice for a parent-child read-aloud. Although the books can look daunting at first glance, try not to let the high word count deter you. The entire series has won critical acclaim and garnered much commercial success by combining the fantasy world of witchcraft with a myriad of vulnerable coming of age themes.
WONDER BY R.J. PALACIO: Although not as high as the Harry Potter word count, Wonder still provides a challenging read for tween kids. This award-winning children’s novel follows the story of the precocious Auggie Pullman, a fifth-grade boy living with a disfigured face. Up until this school year, Auggie had been homeschooled due to his medical condition and the hardships it causes him. The heartwarming book centers around Auggie’s launch into a mainstream school and how he deals with the emotional and social stresses that come along with this transition.
READY PLAYER ONE BY ERNEST CLINE: This book has been hailed as a nerdy favorite, so if you want to share some of your nerdy childhood with your kids, then you should definitely take a look at “Ready Player One”. Set in 2044, this young adult novel will unite both kids and their parents as they explore a fantastical world together. “Ready Player One” appeals to science fiction fans as well as gamers and those just looking for a fast-paced adventure. This is an ideal book for the teenage age group.
CHARLOTTE’S WEB BY E.B. WHITE: This classic children’s novel has stood the test of time, as evidenced by its legions of fans from all generations. The beloved book uses a simple story in a farm setting to explore themes of death, innocence, and coming of age.
And additionally, though this might take some work, you can take it up a notch and write your own stories for your children. This is a great creative exercise and a great opportunity to see what you find valuable for children to learn. Just make sure to keep the word count reasonable for their age, which varies quite a bit. If your kid is around 8-10 years old, you can count that a story from 20,000 to 25,000 words. Be sure to use a word counter as you finish chapter after chapter, and have some friends ready for feedback.
An alternative to this, if both you and your child are particularly patient and creative, is to both work together to write a story (illustration books can be really fun with this ideas). This can be highly imaginative exercise for both you and your child.
All five of these books will spark your child’s imagination and provide the opportunity for you to bond with your child in both an educational and nurturing manner.