I didn’t start off as an avid reader. Most nights I happily went to bed forfeiting the extra half hour of reading time for sleep. My view all changed in grade four (about ten years old) when we read The Hobbit for school. I was hooked on books eventually pursuing a degree in English Literature. Obviously, the ten-year-old me wasn’t thinking “This is the book I want to share with my kids” but within the first few weeks of life I had already read aloud two chapters to my twins.
Now I look at my bookcase wondering “when will I share some of my favorites with my kids” and “which books will resonate with them.”
These are novels that ignite a lifelong love of reading, a tradition to share with our whole family.
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (Fantasy)
The Hobbit changed my view of reading; it will always have the top spot in my heart. This book suits a slightly elevated reader. The story is rich in descriptions that paint vivid, iconic characters and locations. The Hobbit follows the first epic adventure for our reluctant hero Bilbo and all that he overcomes.
Fablehaven – Brandon Mull (Fantasy)
Fablehaven and the rest of the books that make the series are lovely. I read the books as an adult even though they are geared more of juvenile fiction. Although written for children, the well-crafted story appeals to any age. Fablehaven follows the story of two siblings and the mystical sanctuary guarded by their grandparents. The children are faced with difficult choices and must deal with the consequences. Both the length and depth of story increase with each additional book in the series.
The first book, Fablehaven, I will likely want to read to my children as a chapter book…mostly because I am excited to share this book with them. My mom and sisters read it and felt that same attachment to the story and characters. I passed it to a cousin to begin reading to her son, and he took over reading not wanting to wait for her to read it one chapter a night.
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White (Classic Juvenile Fiction)
An utterly adorable story. Charlotte’s Web creates lovable characters with a simple storyline. Above all else the book made me cry. Now, do I want my kids crying? Not so much, but I do want them to get so engrossed and invested in characters that they feel for them.
Anytime a sci-fi movie or television show starts explaining wormholes and the space-time continuum I think of this book. The young heroes struggle against conforming to an oppressive minority. The book is a significant piece of literature enjoyed for decades. Read it before the movie comes out in 2018. The cast and clip look amazing but nothing compares to reading the book first.
To me “Platform 9 3/4s” sums up the creativity in this series of books. My father, who was not a novel reader, could certainly appreciate the sheer brilliance and imagination in this series. The series does get darker as it progresses but can still be appreciated with maturity.
The Call of the Wild – Jack London (Classic)
I didn’t read The Call of the Wild until American Literature in University, but I wish I had read it earlier. Unfortunately, I could only read the book looking for symbolism, id, ego, hero quests. Personally, I liked writing papers and looking at novels from different perspectives. My paper on The Call of the Wild and the Collective Unconcious was one of my best. However, I was never able to appreciate the book about a dog (Buck) and his journey overcoming obstacles.
This book is on the list as an ode to my sister. She absolutely loved the Nancy Drew series and this was the book that started it all. Whether it is Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boy’s these series are a great introduction to mystery novels. Once hooked there are more than 150 Classic Nancy Drew novels before moving into contemporary versions.
The first novel written in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Similar to Fablehaven and A Wrinkle in Time our heroes are children overcoming great odds. Who hasn’t imagined a secret door or access to a magical land? I love the idea of pushing aside some thick winter coats and finding an opening to a beautiful world. Be forewarned there may be cravings for Turkish Delights while reading this book.
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (Classic 19th Century Coming of Age)
Twilight – Stephenie Meyer (Pre-Teen/Teen Romance & Paranormal)
Ok, so this might be a little bit more mature than most of the books on the list. I definitely won’t be suggesting it in the next couple of years. However, depending on their maturity eventually, I will encourage them to read the book. As an avid reader, I loved the way the novel was written and immediate connection to the characters.
Books For Budding New Novel Readers the Whole Family Can Enjoy.
Please check out these books if you haven’t read them already. Leave comments with any other suggestions we should be sharing with our readers.