spacer The Read-Aloud Handbook
by Jim Trelease
• Introduction to The Treasury of Read-Alouds •
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The Treasury of Read-Alouds

by Jim Trelease © 2013

Book titles and brief reviews to aid your read-aloud choices

An essential element in reading aloud is what you choose to read. Not everyone reading this book is familiar with children's literature, either yesterday's or today's. Some readers are new parents or teachers and others are veterans to the experience, some are looking for standards and others seeking newer titles. To meet that diversity, I've tried to strike a balance between old and new in compiling this list.

I recognize the danger in compiling any book list. Some will see it as exclusive (“If it’s not mentioned in The Read-Aloud Handbook’s Treasury, it can’t be any good!”), and that's a mistake. Others may be insulted that their all-time favorite has been ignored. Only a 1,000-page volume could do justice to the many titles that deserve mention, and that size a book would put it out of the reach of nearly everyone. Rather than being comprehensive, this list is intended as a starter and time-saver. One thing to keep in mind as you look through the list is that these are read-aloud titles, which eliminates some books that are difficult to read aloud or, because of the subject matter, are best read silently to oneself—like Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War (subject matter) or Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer (dialect).

With each major title, I've included a listening level. Thus, when you read "K-2," that refers to the grade level (kindergarten through second grade) at which the child could hear and understand the story; it is not the reading level of the book. In the book's summary section, related titles are sometimes listed, and if they have their own listing in the Treasury, I've added a link.

I have tried to limit my selections to just those that are still in print, mindful how frustrating it is to have someone recommend a book, only to find it’s out of print (OP). However, OP is far less of a problem today than it was before used bookstores went online. Between or it's nearly impossible to come up empty searching for a book published in the last forty years. Nonetheless, restricting myself to just in-print titles is one way of keeping this book from growing too cumbersome. Happy reading!

Picture Books:  p.1   p.2   p.3
Short Novels :  p.1   p.2   p.3
  Novels:  p.1   p.2   p.3   p.4 Anthologies:  p.1 Fairy & Folk Tales :  p.1  Poetry:  p.1


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