Two Chapter Books to Read Aloud

“Well,” said Hannah, age five, “I think you should put James and the Giant Peach on the blog because other kids might like to know about him too.”

We’ve enjoyed reading several chapter books this summer, especially since the sun stays out so late and it makes it hard for little eyes to feel sleepy without a lot of winding down time.  I remembered reading this book as a child and the kids were intrigued by the title.  It did not disappoint.

The story follows James Henry Trotter, a little boy who lives with his two horrible aunts due to tragic circumstances.  One day a giant peach miraculously grows in his back garden and James rolls away in it, accompanied by several giant insects.  They go on to have all sorts of adventures and come up with several ingenious ways out of tight spots, and all’s well in the end.

I did find I had to switch out a couple of words here and there, primarily ones that have different shades of meaning these days or which I don’t care to hear bandied about the playroom.  But it was not that big of a deal.

When next we scanned our shelf of chapter books, Sarah demanded the book with her name on it.  Jack sounded out Sarah, Plain and Tall slowly, and then promptly forgot what he’d just read and took to calling the book “Sarah, the Airplane book.”  Fortunately it didn’t take many nights to read through this classic.  I read it as a child and had forgotten that the book is about two children whose mother had died, so that was sort of sad, but the book as a whole is quite redemptive and shows good examples of life on the prairie, working together as a family, siblings who love each other and get along, and learning to accept new things.  We all enjoyed the story, especially Sarah who doggedly refused to admit that the book was not about her.  Maybe someday she’ll live in Maine and love the sea, who knows.  If she does, I look forward to the lobster I will eat when I am visiting her there.

Next we have voted to take up Mr. Popper’s Penguins yet again.  In a few weeks we’ll be beginning school, and I’ve mapped out the first eight weeks or so of our evening read aloud books to correspond to things we’ll be studying.  I’m looking forward to that.

Did your kids read any good books this summer?

I’m linking this post up at Read Aloud Thursday – be sure to head over there to get more ideas for things to read to your little ones!


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10 thoughts on “Two Chapter Books to Read Aloud

  1. I loved Roald Dahl as a girl. I remember reading James and the Giant Peach in one night when I was about 7 as I just couldn’t put it down.

    Have you read any of his adult short stories? They are works of art.

  2. My SIL just asked me the same question and I realized the answer, which had been nagging me up until that point. We’re not reading anything more than picture books this summer, due to the baby and the wild rumpus that summer seems to be. I’ve been missing it…

    With that in mind, I started Homer Price today, which my boys (6 & almost-4) loved, but I practically had to yell above the noise of the baby to be heard and now my throat is a little sore. Not to mention the juggle of trying to keep him satiated, not grabbing the book, and being able to read the text simultaneously. Ahhhhh. Yes. I just have to remember the various “seasons of life”.

    I’d be extremely curious to see how you mapped out your first 8 weeks — what you are choosing to study, why, the general schedule, and the corresponding read-alouds. My oldest is 6, we are planning on homeschooling (using the CM method), and I don’t have anything (and I mean NOTHING) planned in a strategic manner for this year.

    How and where are you choosing to “start” (knowing that you have already been in process for awhile)?

      1. Sa-weet. Def. looking forward to it. During a conversation with my husband this afternoon, I realized that I have more of a grip on things that I’ve been feeling of late — narration, book of the centuries, nature observation/science, math manipulatives, and to a lesser degree, art and music — I have the philosophical and ideological framework laid, but I’m still totally clueless on implementation into the daily structure. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the 7 month hiatus in planning and strategy that came along with my new baby. But it still hard not to feel like a deer in the headlights when someone says, “Soooooo, you’re homeschooling, right…?” Errrr, ahhhhhh, yes.

        Speaking of, the first day of school for kids in our district is tomorrow. So early. Amazing. It made me realize that our oldest boy would be heading to kindergarten tomorrow morning if we were following that route. I can hardly even imagine it — it is such a foreign concept in my mind — and the thought of getting ready and sending him off on the bus tomorrow was a very strange contemplation indeed.

        Also, egads . . . I just read the first sentence in previous comment above and it MAKES NO SENSE. I must have been rushed. Crap.

        1. Your oldest and Hannah are the same age. Kind of exciting and weird that they are already Kindergarteners, right?

          I think the level of planning required for K can vary widely from family to family. I’m planning more this year because we are doing a homeschool group I need to keep up with, and because I’m juggling work and school so we have to be disciplined about getting things done in the mornings.

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