It’s winter, a great season to dig into a good book. Reading with your kids can a wonderful family night experience! Whether you have one child or several, family book time is a great way to bond and strengthen reading skills. Research shows that reading to kids helps improve their literacy development. Reading together helps promote their love of reading and improves oral reading skills. You can also generate comprehensive discussions after you’re done.

Reading also teaches everything from valuable life lessons to information on animals and people to the history of the earth—and more! Fantasy and adventure books are favorites of children of all ages and help to foster imagination, enrich vocabulary, and, for the reluctant reader, show that books can be fun.

This winter, why not start a new family “book night”? You can do it every other day or once a week, depending on your schedules. Gather in a cozy room, provide snacks and hot cocoa, and dive into a good book. Encourage each child to read a few pages, depending on their ages. Young children will enjoy hearing books above their reading level, and experts say that  even older kids can benefit from reading aloud. Here are some recommendations for ages 5-10+.

  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Wonder (my children voted this their all-time favorite)
  • The Harry Potter Series (parents love it too)
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • The Hank Zipzer series (Hank has learning challenges/dyslexia so some kids can relate)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • The Hobbit
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (oh, what adventure!)
  • The Cricket in Times Square
  • The Ramona Series
  • The Boxcar Children
  • The Magic Tree House series (fun and educational)
  • Charlotte’s Web (my personal favorite on this list and a must-read for families)
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The BFG
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (different than the movie in several ways)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Holes
  • Stuart Little
  • The Jungle Book
  • Clementine
  • Black Beauty
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  • On Christmas Eve (I read this to my daughter for a few years in a row. She loved it)
  • Treasure Island

There are so many other wonderful books but this is a start! Your local library, GreatSchools.org, and Goodreads can make many more suggestions. Start with what your children like (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) but also let them hear stories about other subjects and themes, including nonfiction titles. Which book will you read first?