Happy National Read a Book Day! Reading by yourself can be fun, but reading with your family can be a great, entertaining activity that gives your family a chance to turn off the screens and be present together.
Here are eight books that your family will love. There are some timeless classics that the whole family can enjoy, along with some books that are better suited for older teenagers or younger children.
Louisa May Alcott published this coming-of-age novel in 1868 and it has remained a classic ever since. The novel traces Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they grow up in New England during the Civil War, enduring poverty and learning to value family.
Lois Lowry tells the story of 10-year-old Annemarie, who lives in Denmark during the Holocaust. As part of the Danish Resistance, Annemarie and her family take in Ellen Rosen to conceal her. This coming-of-age novel introduces World War II and shows the courage that people had to protect their Jewish neighbors.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series of classic books focuses on a pioneer family who lives on the American frontier. Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and baby Carrie live in the little house in the Big Woods and experience the frontier together.
Jhumpa Lahiri writes about the Ganguli family, who arrive from Calcutta to America. They have baby, Gogol, and Lahiri traces Gogol’s and the family’s transition to America. Gogol experiences conflict between tradition and the new things that he finds. This novel is both a coming-of-age tale and discusses the complexities of ties between generations. This book is better if your family has older teenagers.
Chinua Achebe tells the story of Okonkwo, who is an Igbo warrior of Umuofia, as he resists British political forces to devalue Igbo traditions. He watches his community change because of colonialism and he despairs. This book is better if your family has older teenagers.
Carolyn Keene describes the story of American teenage sleuth Nancy Drew as she searches for a missing will in this first book of the series — and becomes an iconic detective in the process.
C.S. Lewis transports the reader into the fantasy world of Narnia. Four ordinary children — Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie — have been evacuated to the English countryside during World War II. These children team up with a talking lion, Aslan, to save Narnia from the evil White Witch.
Jane Yolen and Barbara Cooney narrate Sally Jane’s experience living in western Massachusetts. The Swift River towns are drowned in order to create the Quabbin Reservior. Sally Jane has to learn to accept this throughout the book. This book works better for younger readers.