Book #24: The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

I love books of lists, particularly books that are about books and include lists.  It’s a very specific obsession and I’m always on the prowl for them.  My favorites are Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt (and her companion books, Honey for a Teen’s Heart and Honey for a Woman’s Heart), The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin, and now The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie.

Sarah Mackenzie has a popular blog and podcast where she interviews authors and illustrators.  I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but they’re great for anyone who wants to learn more about the authors of the books they love.  My friend, Tania, who runs Around the World Stories with her husband, Matt, introduced me to Mackenzie’s podcast and I’m so glad she did.

The first book I read of hers was Teaching From Rest: a Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace and was struck by some passages that were exactly what I needed to hear.  I liked her philosophies, so when she had a new book out, I pre-ordered it.  Plus, it’s a book about reading and had lists! It was a no-brainer.

In reading it, there wasn’t a ton that was new to me.  I already try to create a book club culture in my home and feel like I’ve created an environment rich in reading and literature.  But her suggestions on how to discuss books with kids were awesome.  I actually scanned in those pages to use for future training for the mentors in the classes at my homeschool commonwealth.  I’m leading a book discussion class this year and found those passages to be a perfect supplement.

Not exclusively for homeschoolers, and, in fact, I don’t think she even mentions it, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read more as a family.  Her lists are full of books that are specifically for reading aloud, not just great books.  They had to be both.  I found a used copy of 100 Cupboards, one of Mackenzie’s suggestions, at my local used book store and it was an absolute treasure.  My kids and I can’t wait to try more.

Goodreads rating: 4 stars, only because I wish there were more books on the lists.  There’s a bunch, but I wish there were more.


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