I’m a teacher and my favorite part of my teaching day is when I get to read to my students. If you polled them, for most, it’s one of their favorite parts of the day too. I am very intentional and thoughtful with the books I choose to read to them. I have my tried and true favorites and it’s hard for me to make room sometimes for new chapter books because our time is precious. This year I did, and I’m so thankful!
There is a program that a Wisconsin teacher started a few years back called Global Read Aloud. It’s an initiative that encourages schools and classrooms from all around the globe to read the same book at the same time and then connect to talk about it! It has grown so now tens of thousands of kids do this every year! We did it for the first time this past fall and connected with a class in Canada. It was so neat! This is also how I came upon this book. It was the Global Read Aloud for the upper elementary band of kids.
I’ll be completely honest that I think this book best fits the 2nd – 5th grade group of kids. Middle school might still like it and younger might not understand it all. So if you have littles, you might just want to tuck this away for a future year. (I’ll do another blog post soon on picture book must-reads.) But ironically 2nd through 5th grade kids are the ones who can read independently too! And yet, I will tell you, they still LOVE to be read to! Just because they can read on their own, doesn’t mean you should drop family read together time. There were tears shed, by both myself and my students, the last week of school knowing we’d never read a book together again. So please, this summer, continue to read books aloud to your kids, as a family!
So what are these two magical books that are so amazing? Besides being the pick for Global Read Aloud (which usually means it’s pretty darn good). My students also vote on books after we finish them. This is the first book to ever get unanimous two thumbs up (highest rating). They begged for the sequel and loved it as well. They are already begging for a movie to come out (I’m sure it will).
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
The author is best known for his picture books. This is his first novel and its sequel. The story is set in the future and it’s about a robot who lands on an island from a shipwreck. She’s the only one to survive and isn’t like a normal robot. She has feelings. She has a personality. She doesn’t just follow commands! She has to adapt to life on the island with animals who don’t always want her there. It has humor, suspense, and the kids just ate it up! Once you finish the first book, you will see why they were begging to read the second.
So if you are looking for a new family read, especially for those elementary kids, please check these out! And most of all, keep reading to your kids. Trust me, they love it.