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The Read-Aloud Handbook

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  6,412 ratings  ·  1,036 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)
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Rebekah Williams Sarah Mackenzie's The Read Aloud Family is heavily inspired by this book and she made a point to cater her recommendations mostly to the best books of…moreSarah Mackenzie's The Read Aloud Family is heavily inspired by this book and she made a point to cater her recommendations mostly to the best books of recent decades. I know your request is old but hopefully it helps someone else.(less)

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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  6,412 ratings  ·  1,036 reviews

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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
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
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. ...more
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
Joanna Jennings
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book is a game changer! I always knew it was “good” to read to your kids, but never knew how much! This author shares a lot of old-school wisdom: require your kids to read, turn off the TV, reading to your kids provides a great connection, etc. I don’t agree with every point such as: any reading is good reading, Oprah‘s book club is a wonderful thing, and the Harry Potter books lowered crime and teen pregnancies (?!), etc. By sifting through his enthusiasm, this is a really great book.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I found this at the bottom of a bag of clothes being passed to my son. It no doubt came from my sister-in-law who is a mother of 3 and an elementary school teacher.

I am so happy that it came my way. This book is a fantastic resource for parents, teachers and librarians. It discusses the importance of reading aloud to children and the many positive effects it has. The book dives into silent reading, TV watching and other reading-related issues as well. I feel like every parent, teacher and librar
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
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't wait to se ...more
Allison Ruth
Jun 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, parenting
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
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
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
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I absolutely LOVED reading The Read-Aloud Handbook. I already knew I wanted to read aloud to Fox, but this affirmed just how crucially important it is. Reading, in every sense (being read to, reading aloud, reading silently), is one of the greatest indicators for success in school (across subjects). Reading develops vocabulary, enriches context, offers children (and adults) the chance to experience things they can't in their own life, it builds empathy and allows us to enter into someone else's ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, family
My mother-in-law gave me this book as a gift and I have been grateful to her ever since. It convinced me of the importance of reading aloud to my children which I have done hundreds (thousands?) of times, and each time was a great experience. My only regret is that I didn't do it even more regularly before they all grew up. ...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
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Melanie Rightmyer
I have read this book before but enjoyed it even more this time around. If you are ever doubting the power of reading and the roles books play in the life of your children, then this book will be a great encouragement for you.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Reading is very important to me and I’m hoping to make it a priority in my home. I also loved the treasury in the back and will definitely be revisiting it.
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
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
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
Aug 10, 2012 marked it as to-read
My first introduction to this book was when the family I nannied for was given this book when their children started kindergarten. I knew if the teachers at their private school were giving it to all the parents, then it was a book to keep in the back of my head for the future. I skimmed through the chapters that are appropriate for B's age and took note of some really good tips:

-Always read the author's and illustrator's names.
-Paud during predictable parts and see if the child remembers what c
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
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I really, really liked the overall message about the importance of reading aloud to your children and creating positive reading experiences for your child so that they have positive associations with reading. However I feel like the book was very repetitive. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and then found it difficult to finish. The overall message "The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it" ...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.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lib-lew, ed-content, 2011
General Review:
Trelease's general premise: Read to your children 15 - 20 minutes a day from birth. He spends a whole chapter explaining why reading is important, why reading aloud to a child is important, and why reading now is so important. A sampling of his support includes:

* Since humans are pleasure centered and reading takes practice to be done well, reading must be pleasurable for us to want to put in the practice. Being read to from a good book is pleasurable right from birth. Babies enj
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every now and again when I receive new books to shelve, I come across one (or quite a few) that I pull aside to read for myself. That's how I stumbled upon today's book. The Read-Aloud Handbook (7th Edition) by Jim Trelease immediately caught my eye for no other reason than I'm a giant nerd for my profession. :-D The first half of the book is a discussion about the importance of reading and more specifically reading aloud to children from birth to...forever. This is not just Trelease's personal ...more
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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.


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