Top Ten Read Aloud Experiences (2015)

The #TopTenTuesday theme this week is the top ten best books read in 2015. How we interpret this theme? Up to us. I have some Best of Lists coming up on the blog so I decided to tackle this list a little differently.

My theme this week: Top Ten Read Aloud experiences of 2015.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.


I am looking at the calendar year of 2015. From January to June I taught a Grade 3/4 class. Since September I have taught a Grade 2/3 class.

The Scar written by Charolette Moundlic and illustrated by Olivier Tallec

I happen to own a number of books that deal with grief. I always figured that when I needed them, I would have them. And so I keep them close. Now, I need them. Sharing this very emotionally challenging book about a little boy whose mother has died with a little one who needed to see herself in the pages of a book was a read aloud experience I will never forget. Ever. Watching her lighter afterwards made me so glad I have that important stack for when.

The Scar

Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney

I appreciated all of the pre-book love this title got in my room. And so, of course, my students from last year had to come in during a recess to have me read this title aloud when Josh Funk sent it our way. This book will always represent serious reading community.

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

This was the first read aloud I attempted with my class this fall. I needed an all kinds of amazing title for a group of kids who had never experienced a chapter book read aloud before. This book delivered!

I was thrilled that Abby Hanlon shared our read aloud joy with this book on her blog.

Dory Fantasmagory

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

When students remain after the bell just to share impressions and reactions, you know you have a winner. I blogged about our beautiful read aloud experience here.

This is Sadie

Wish by Matthew Cordell 

This book means something to me on many, many levels. I read it aloud to my class of three years to send them off on our last day together with the very important message – they were everything I could have wished for and more . . .  And yes, I cried. Those joyous, emotional, meaningful tears.


Little Robot by Ben Hatke

I have never read aloud a graphic novel before. A graphic novel that is basically wordless but for a number of robot noises. This title held my class absolutely spell bound. And inspired!

Little Robot

Little Robot

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Shouting. Shouting. Shouting. This book will always be about the shouting audience. “No! They missed it again!” “Oh my God!” “Seriously?!” This book absolutely surpassed my read aloud expectations!

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

A Boy and A Jaguar written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by

There was some absolute blow me away kind of thinking around this book in my class. I recorded it here. Children’s compassion and wisdom is a beautiful thing.

A Boy and a Jaguar

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea

Reading this title was definitely about watching a book be loved. It was also about watching fans be made. Loved every minute of it!

Ballet Cat

Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles

This is such an incredible title to read aloud. There are moments where the room fills with hold your breath hope that I might not ever forget. This title made funerals such a fascinating prospect that one student earnestly asked my parents (reading volunteers extraordinaire) if she could attend their funerals! I suppose when you spend all day with 8 year olds, the past 65 year olds who visit once a week seem like your best “might have a funeral” prospects. My parents have great senses of humour so recounting this request has been a constant source of amusement!

Each Little Bird That Sings

Do you have some unforgettable read aloud moments?

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Read Aloud Experiences (2015)

  1. We squealed in giggles and cringed for our characters while reading Fuzzy Mud. Another favourite was sharing our predictions of Fish with friends from New Zealand during Global Read Aloud.

    Loved your list, and made some notes of titles for younger classes.

  2. I’ve dived into reading aloud to my 7th and 8th graders this year. My fifth period class is in loose with Margaret Peterson Haddix’s “Found,” and every day wailed and begged for one more chapter. The minute we finished it, they started lobbying for me to read the next book in the series. And when I got to meet Ms. Haddix and sent them a selfie of us together, the sub sent me back the greatest picture of them squealing and gasping.

    The same group (they are such a great audience!) also got really into “Separate is Never Equal.” The class is about 80% Latino, and when I read the line about signs saying “No Dogs or Mexicans,” there were horrified gasps, and one girl looked at me and said, “I gotta say–that hurts, right here,” as she patted her heart. They were proud of Sylvia and her family.

  3. I read Neil Gaiman’s “Fortunately, The Milk” with a class, and it worked brilliantly. The kids were initially reluctant to be read to, thinking themselves “too grown up” for a read aloud, but Gaiman soon had them hanging on every ridiculous sentence. I also did “Moo!” by David LaRochelle with a younger group, and it had them in stitches! We then made our own picture books starring different animals and using only a single word. So much fun! Thank you for sharing these, I’ve got a lot of inspiration here!

  4. I have never, and I do mean never, been steered wrong by you. Each book you’ve recommended I read aloud has been completely and utterly perfect. From Silverwing to The Giants and the Jones, my book reading soars to higher places because of you. xo

  5. Love this list! I had the best response from a group of 1st graders when I read A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell. When the character in the book is upset and says that no one will read and love his story, a little boy said like the character in the book could hear him, “But I love your story!”

  6. Pingback: Links I Loved This Week: A Round-up of Online Reading 12/26/15 | the dirigible plum

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