What We’re Reading Wednesday: Read Alouds

I’m baaaaack!  The term is relative because, here today, gone tomorrow and all.  As of today, though, I finished up a couple extra-blog-ular projects.  The hope is that I’ll have a little more free evening-time to write.  Cause you know what?  It makes me craaaaanky when I don’t have time to jot down a few of my thoughts.  How about you?

On to the discussion of the words from the pages of the chapters of the books…

11329942_10153288910983672_1920312320609885060_nFirst of all, this month in the Stella Maris Book Club, we’re reading 4 Flannery O’Connor short stories.  The first one this week is “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”  Which is the only book on this list that I did not read aloud to my kids.  {shivers}







On to the kiddos:


prairieThe Prairie Thief by Melissa Wiley

Louisa Brody is a settler girl living on the plains of Kansas.  Her Pa has just been arrested for stealing, but Louisa knows he’s been falsely accused.  She’s as confused as everyone else, but determined to clear her Pa’s name.  If only the neighbors who are caring for her (who happen to be her Pa’s accusers) weren’t so darn cruel.

We just finished this one today.  It was super fun as a read-aloud. Wiley writes in some fun accents (Irish, Scottish, and a prairie drawl) which FOR ONCE my kids let me perform.  The story is light enough for even young kids (no dark magic or super scary themes, except for Pa being gone) but the vocabulary is better suited to older kids/those with a bigger mental word bank.  Both my big girls loved it and Gabe (5.5 y.o.) enjoyed it as well, when I took some time to explain.


blue willowBlue Willow by Doris Gates

Janey Larkin is a tough kid in difficult circumstances.  Her dad and stepmom lost their farm in Texas and the family now travels the California farm circuit, finding work where they can.  Janey’s one and only beloved possession is a  blue willow plate, and her one dream is to have a home nice enough to keep it on display all the time.  Through the hardships they endure, including manipulative ranch hands, illness and plain old loneliness, Janey’s determined nature finds her family (and the blue willow plate!) a home they never thought possible.

We read this for our Little Flower’s Book Club.  This is the first children’s book I’ve read about the farm workers in the central valley of California.  I sincerely enjoyed it, even if it was a little drier than more contemporary novels.  Janey’s ability to stick with her family and overcome adversity were important qualities to discuss with my girls, too.

cherry pieHow to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA by Marjorie Priceman

We were at the library looking for another book by Priceman, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, when we found this fun book.  Priceman’s style of illustration is whimsical and imaginative.  The story takes place around 4th of July, when the Cook Shop is closed.  A little girl leads us all over the U.S. to find the source materials for the items needed to bake a pie.  From Pennsylvania for coal to make a steel pie pan, to the Pacific Northwest to get a tree branch for a rolling pin, and so on.  Fun maps and cheerful prose made this a delightful read aloud, and my boys concurred. “Again!  Again!”



velveteenThe Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

I can hardly talk about this book without getting choked up.  I still remember the ragged cover of the one we had growing up.  I checked this out of the library recently and my kids all reacted the same way.  Gabriel turned to me in the middle and begged me to buy a copy “to have and keep forever.”

Sure thing, little guy.

Oh, and do me a favor and check out the one with the original illustrations.  Tell me how your kids react to them, would you?  Mine were goggly-eyed and gushing and I was all, “Really?”  It just doesn’t seem to be their usual style of artistry, but they truly enjoyed them.  Go figure.


alfie and annieAlfie and Annie books by Shirley Hughes

These books about a little brother and sister are about the sweetest picture books I’ve come across lately.  Just a loving brother and a sister in their everyday-ness. No big plot twists, just sweetness.



That’s it, folks.  Head on over to Jessica at Housewifespice for more great book suggestions.

Other posts you may enjoy:

5 reasons to read aloud to older kids, and 5 great read-aloud books

My wholly unscientific, highly subjective opinion on advanced books for children





  1. Oh! Adding a couple of these books to our list! 🙂
    Erica Saint @ Saint Affairs recently posted…I Should’ve Been Happy {my battle with postpartum depression}My Profile

  2. I just picked up my copy of Flannery from the library, because, to be perfectly honest, I’m too lazy to dig out my own copy. Shirley Hughes makes me so happy. I’ll have to check out Blue Willow. You’re rocking the Instagram and the Graphics and all the things. You go, Girl!

  3. Oh my goodness that short story was creepy!! It gets less creepy after this, right? 🙂
    Katerina recently posted…What We’re Reading Wednesday: Read AloudsMy Profile


  1. […] of the Stella Maris book club and right now we are reading a few Flannery O’Connor short stories. We just had our […]

  2. […] usual… It’s so great to be able to run into an imaginary world for a while.  Besides reading the late great Flannery O’Connor for book club, I’ve also been enjoying these good […]