8 Great Read-Aloud Chapter Books for Bedtime
Looking for a story that will be as fun for you to read as it will be for your child to listen to? Children's book authors share the chapter books that captured their own attention as kids.
Hitty, Her First Hundred Years
"In third grade, the 'library lady' handed me Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, by Rachel Field (ages 8 to 12) and said, 'I think you'll like this.' I'm still in love with the clumsy-looking carved wooden doll and her hundred years of adventures ... some 80 years later."
—The late Tomie dePaola, author of Strega Nona
Anne of Green Gables
"Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery (ages 8 to 12), made me a reader because of the pathos, the wry humor, and Anne herself, who breaks a slate over Gilbert Blythe's head. I was an obedient child (hmm ...), but I wished we still had slates and that I had nerve!"
—Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted
The Search for Delicious
"When I was in second grade, the student teacher read aloud a chapter a day from The Search for Delicious, by Natalie Babbitt (ages 8 to 12). I was entranced by it and looked forward to the reading. When the story was finished, I took the book out of the library and started reading it on my own."
—Grace Lin, author of A Big Bed for Little Snow
"I wasn't much of a reader until I met Charlotte and Wilbur in Charlotte's Web, by E. B. White (ages 8 to 12). I think it's fair to say that a spider and a pig forever changed my life."
—Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree
James and the Giant Peach
"In fifth grade, I never knew books could be like James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl (ages 8 to 12). A little weird. Kinda quirky. A bit naughty. Like, bad grown-ups got what they deserved! I loved it."
—Aaron Reynolds, author of Creepy Carrots!
"Stuart Little, by E. B. White (ages 8 to 12), is such an odd book—a mouse born to human parents—but I don't remember questioning this too much. I loved watching him figure out how to live a human life in a mouse-size body and wished for a motor car just like he had that would take me anywhere."
—Veera Hiranandani, author of The Night Diary
Uncle Wiggily series
"In third grade, I would come home from school and read a book from the Uncle Wiggily series, by Howard R. Garis (ages 8 to 12). I loved the stories mostly because they were so kindhearted and often involved tasty snacks. At least that's how I remember them."
—Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series
"My love for The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien (ages 12+), was sparked by an animated feature that ran during prime time when I was in fifth grade. I wanted more than the movie could give me, so I grabbed a copy of Tolkien's hefty novel from the library and dove in. I was hooked from the first line."
—Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series