Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Read-Aloud Handbook” as Want to Read:
The Read-Aloud Handbook
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Read-Aloud Handbook

4.4  ·  Rating details ·  4,982 Ratings  ·  856 Reviews
 A New York Times and million copy bestseller, the classic handbook on reading aloud to children—revised and updated

Recommended by “Dear Abby”, The New York Times and The Washington Post, for three decades, millions of parents and educators have turned to Jim Trelease's beloved classic to help countless children become avid readers through awakening their imaginations and
Paperback, Sixth Edition, 432 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published September 30th 1982)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Read-Aloud Handbook, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Laz PG
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Christina DeVane
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book turned out to be way more informative than I expected. It didn’t only give facts, statistics, and reasons why parents should read to their children, but it also brought to light the recent effects of TV, cell phones, e-readers, the internet, etc, etc, and how this is impacting children and adults alike. It gives healthy information about fathers especially stepping up their game to influence their children (boys in particular) in education and reading. This book made me reflect on my c ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I have really mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Trelease's treasury of read-aloud books is AWESOME. I would buy this book for that alone and I give 5 stars to that part, which is significant because it comprises over half of the book. Plus, the overall thrust of the book (read out loud to your kids) is something I am passionate about.

The rest of the Some of the information is really inspiring and some of it just fell flat for me. For one thing, the writing and reasonin
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a fantastic book that any parent should own. It really helps you understand the need to read out loud to your children (teenagers included)and the benefits that happen from doing so. He also explains that a child's listening level is higher than his reading level, which is important. That is the first part of the book. The rest of it contains reading lists with summaries about the books, which is a great help for picking out books your children will love.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
I had written a scathing review and gave this book one star then my computer did something weird and the review was lost. A friend questioned the one star so I thought I would rewrite the review.

Maybe I am a bit judgmental of books on parenting, I always think "Why is there a book on this?? Why isn't common sense enough? We have to obsessively study the topic too?" Maybe I am the one who is way off and I should be a bit more interested in reading about different ideas as they pertain to raising
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
The "Treasury of Read-Alouds" that comprises the second half of this book salvages the first half, which is basically Trelease's excuse to spout opinions on all aspects of parenting.

I was not a fan of the whole tone of the book, especially the way in which Trelease talks down to his readers. For example, quoted from page 32, "Listening comprehension feeds reading comprehension. Sounds complicated, right? So let's make it simple." The only way that statement would be complicated would be if the
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
This book is a great reference when you want to know what would be a good book to read aloud to your children. The premise is that children can understand text that is too hard for them to read. When we read aloud to our children things that are exciting to them, they develop a love of books. Then, because they know and love books, they will do the work to learn how to read fluently.

The first 1/3 of the book is explaining why and how to read aloud. The rest of the book are lists of books, with
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
Another book I include in baby shower gift baskets. This one includes the research behind the need to read aloud to children of all ages (not just young children). (I'm sure the research part is not for everyone) Includes a great treasury of read aloud books... I actually have the 5th & 4th editions, but not this one yet... The difference between the 4th & 5th editions was an updated treasury of books, & also chapters addressing Harry Potter, Oprah book clubs, Internet, etc... I can' ...more
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tyler by:
I know that this review may seem a little over the top but, this is the first time that I have ever finished reading a library book and then ordered it on within minutes of finishing it. Alison and I will read this one together once we receive it. This is one of the most interesting motivating and inspiring books that I have ever read and I agree with many of the reviews on the book that I have read which state that no household with children should ever be without a copy of this book ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My initial thoughts about this book: I know it's good to read to children. why do I need to read a book to tell me that again. Now however I am so glad I took the time to read this. For starters it is interesting, informative and engaging. Many reports, studies and articles are cited but made accessible.Occasionally some conclusions seemed a bit sweeping but all in all this book is bound to inspire and/or encourage anyone to read to children and even to continue reading as they get older. Even b ...more
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Holyn
Shelves: 2017-read-harder
Read Harder 2017: Book about Books

This is a fabulous book and reference. I found this updated edition especially helpful in the comments on digital learning (including eReaders, audiobooks, television, etc.). I loved that there is an entire chapter on The Print Climate in the Home, School, and Library. Listen to this quote which is absolute perfection to this self-confessed-unable-stop-buying-books-girl,

"The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been measuring student performan
While I've always known the general facts about the benefits of reading aloud and how accessibility to print in the home (and parents who model reading) leads to kids who love reading, much of the exact research was new and fascinating to me. Jim Trelease's writing style is very accessible (not overly academic) and he has lots of great practical tips, some of which were new to me. Plus, his lengthy list of read aloud recommendations (spanning from picture books to high school-level novels) is st ...more
J. Boo
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have three loves: reading to myself, reading aloud to my children, and lists of things. Reading a book about reading aloud, which itself contained a list of further books to read, should have been up my alley. Spoiler! The Read-Aloud Handbook sure wasn't.

Trelease starts with inspirational dubious correlation!=causation studies, anecdotes, and not very much in terms of useful advice for parents and teachers with reasonably normal instincts. I confess I started to skip swaths of the material. Fi
Allison Ruth
Jun 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, 2009
I am already an avid reader and my kids, even at the young ages of 2.5 and 1 are already book lovers. So when I picked this book up I was less interested in his advice about reading and more interested in the treasury - the many pages of book lists in the second half of the book. However, I ended up reading the entire book and enjoying every page. I think this is an important book for both parents and educators to read - whether you consider yourself a "reader" or not. Trelease offers solid evid ...more
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A MUST for all parents of young children. The book consists of two major sections: The first half of the book stresses the importance of reading aloud (even after your children have learned to read on their own). It sites study after study of how reading aloud strongly influences almost every aspect of the child's academic life: vocab, grammar, awareness, IQ, etc. Never too young to start reading and certainly never too old to enjoy a good story together. Even simple baby books use words outside ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
At first, when this book was recommended to me I thought the books contents would be obvious, read aloud to your children. And it was! But it didn't tell me HOW to read out loud to my children, it told me WHY to read out loud to my children and also why I needed to be reading to myself too. Luckily, this has always been the case, but now I understand the importance of it.

One thing that was brought out again and again was the importance of reading and going to the library. I grew up in a very poo
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you have a child? Ever thinking of having a child? Know a child? Live in a community where children live? If so, I suggest you read this book. I got it from the library and now I think I might need to buy it.

The first half is a lot of statistics and info on reading and literacy, many alarming, others inspiring. (Avg # of books in a Beverly Hills home? 199. In a Compton home? 2.7.)

Loved the stories about individuals who helped provide books to libraries in communities that were lacking. And t
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think I read an earlier edition of this book; no matter. I am wavering between four and five stars for this one. For its passion and relevance I will probably give it five. This book is OUTSTANDING. It's a perfect resource for teachers, librarians, booksellers, anyone who is interested in children's/YA literature. I picked it up with just an idle interest but once I read the first part of the book, I became a total zealot. The first part of the book is a PASSIONATE argument for the benefits of ...more
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book consists of two sections: (1) 178 pages detailing Trelease's views of why and how we should read to our children, followed by (2) short descriptions of recommended books for reading aloud. I found the latter to be interesting and potentially useful, while the former was virtually unbearable. Despite having no apparent qualifications in children's literacy, the author is patronizing about why and how we should read to our children, focusing largely on improving their academic performanc ...more
Katie Chatfield
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far one of my most favorite books of all time. I never thought I'd be saying this, but it's true. I devoured it every time I picked it up. This will be my parenting bible until my two kids - now 8 and 5 - move out of the house. This book will be added to every baby shower gift I give from now on. The knowledge, research and case studies that the author, Jim Trelease, shares are incredibly thorough. I chose this book when my son started 'falling behind' in reading at school. I immediat ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and inspiring! I thought I already understood the importance of reading aloud to children of all ages, but I am more convicted than ever! I went ahead and read all the book recommendations in the treasury even though I have younger kids, and I now have many books to look forward to sharing with my girls. I also have suggestions for families with older children, too. This book is wonderful. Go read to a kid today!
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book had me in tears more than once. (Preaching to the choir.) A great book about reading to your kids - its importance and its pleasure.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally I picked up Jim Trelease’s “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because I was searching for a “greatest hits” collection of books I wanted to reference for Dean’s at-home library. And I DEFINITELY hit a home run in that regards, as the last 100 pages of this book is a giant glossary of titles by age range that’s guiding me through creating “Dean’s Library” wishlist on Amazon.

But what surprised me about this book was how much I learned from the chapters Trelease wrote before the glossary. Each i
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
As an avid reader since before I can remember, reading-aloud to our children has always been a priority and a large part of our family culture. I didn't think this book could possibly increase my desire to read-aloud to our children-but it did! I expected more of a laundry list of recommended read-alouds for children, separated by age; this was much more than that (although the reading list is included in the back of the book).

Learning more about the impact of parents reading to their children,
Bernadette Mcclain
I picked up this book to be wowed with overwhelming evidence that I should be reading more to my kids. And boy did I get! In the three weeks or so that I have been reading this book, I started reading more to my kids. Now it's like a runaway train!
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This book contained some great information and helpful tips, but was a bit dry to read. (The title does call it a handbook, so I probably shouldn’t be surprise.) Nevertheless, it did inspire me to read more to the kids and I found the study that subtitles improve reading to be very interesting.
Kaitlin VanNahmen
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing resource! Not to mention chalk full of research backed practical tips on how to help your child learn to love reading, why it is so important (reading for leisure is one of the top indicators of an individuals future success in life), and then to boot this book has a treasury of suggested books. A great read for parents and educators alike!
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Readers Advisory/Reference
For parents, teachers & librarians

Half pep-talk and half readers advisory, this handbook discusses the whys and hows of reading aloud to children and offers heavily annotated read-aloud lists organized by category.

Peppered with anecdotes as well as reading research translated into everyday English, this handbook can be read straight through or picked up at random. In the first half, chapters cover topics like "Why Read Aloud," silent reading, dos and don'ts, and "Le
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The first half of The Read Aloud Handbook lays out facts and figures as well as anecdotes that clearly show the many benefits children reap from being read aloud to, from a fetal age to well after they're capable of reading to themselves.

Most of this feels like common sense to a book lover but many things in life are common sense, that doesn't mean we necessarily take the time to think about them. For example, it makes sense to me that children still benefit from being read to even once they can
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Pretty much it confirmed to me, with statistics, something I already believed earnestly in - Reading, and reading out loud. A teacher of mine used to always say "You should stop reading to your children when they leave the house." Of course she is trying to stress the opposite, if your children live at home: Read Out Loud To Them!

The book shows that not only reading, but listening to a loving parent read aloud, is the single most important thing to help children be successful
Bea Elwood
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: work-stuff
I want to say first of all I don't think Stuart Little is a three inch boy who happens to look like a mouse, admittedly I am going to go check it out from the library here in a minute to reread it but Trelease makes this claim a few times in this guide to reading aloud to children/ teens.

I believe the premise of this book (that we should be reading aloud to children from the earliest possible moment and throughout their life, they are never too young or too old, and it's never too late to start
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
read alouds 2 13 Oct 18, 2013 03:46PM  
the why's and how's of reading to kids 3 34 Nov 24, 2012 05:20PM  
Teachers' Book Club: The Read-Aloud Handbook 2 16 Oct 18, 2011 07:32PM  
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading
  • Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
  • Book Crush: For Kids and Teens--Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest
  • A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research
  • Honey for a Child's Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life
  • What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read Them
  • 100 Best Books for Children
  • Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers
  • Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature
  • From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books
  • Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories
  • What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-Based Programs
  • Guiding Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy
  • Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading
  • Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding
  • Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers
  • The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts ('63) and native of New Jersey (Orange, Union and North Plainfield), Jim Trelease was for 20 years an award-winning artist and journalist before turning his career toward education in 1979 when he wrote the first edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Now the grandfather of three boys and two girls, he resides with his wife Susan in Enfield, Connecticut.

More about Jim Trelease

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God
    $11.49 $2.99
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
    $11.99 $1.99
  • No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Loudest Voice in the Room: How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
    $17.99 $1.99
  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
    $12.49 $2.99
  • When the Game Was Ours
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Power
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Through My Eyes
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Brief History of Everything
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The World's Religions, Revised and Updated (Plus)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Leonardo's Notebooks
    $11.99 $2.99
  • An American Childhood
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Making Toast
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
    $11.99 $2.99
“The more you read, the better you get, the more better you get, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.” 15 likes
“This is not a book about teaching a child how to read; it's about teaching a child to want to read. There's an education adage that goes, "What we teach children to love and desire will always outweigh what we make them learn." The fact is that some children learn to read sooner than others, while some learn better than others. There is a difference. For the parent who thinks that sooner is better, who has an eighteen-month-old child barking at flash cards, my response is: sooner is not better. Are the dinner guests who arrive an hour early better guests than those who arrive on time? Of course not.” 7 likes
More quotes…