10 Powerful Books to Read Aloud to Upper Elementary Students

Finding read-alouds for older students may be tricky at times. They are into longer stories and reading their favorite genres in chapter books. There are, however, a few fun read-alouds your older students will adore because of their stories and the lessons learned. Look at these 10 Powerful Books to Read Aloud to Upper Elementary Students and introduce them to your class this school year.

Most of these texts are short stories, but some are short-chapter books you can read with your students. Students enjoy reading chapter books as a class and waiting to unveil the rest of the story daily.

Books to read aloud to upper elementary students

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

This heart-warming, realistic fiction story is set in the South and follows the story of Opal and her new dog, Winn-Dixie. The author lays out lovable characters and charm throughout the story, forming unbreakable relationships between them. Kids can relate to the sweetness in the text, and the story is perfect for any time of the year. Add this story to your list of books to read aloud to your students!

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar uses his crazy experiences as a schoolyard teacher to write entertaining stories in this novel. The ridiculous scenarios in this book will have kids in fits, and more often than not, they will find them relatable to their own lives at school. This is a fantastic story to use when discussing recess and the crazy things that can happen (and how we should handle them when they arise). It’s one of those books to read aloud that kids will ask for repeatedly.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

This fantastic story follows three sisters from Oakland, California, during the Civil Rights Movement (1968). Issues like divorce and sibling rivalry are discussed in a way that students can relate to. This is the perfect read-aloud if you are looking for a story to get kids thinking and asking more profound questions during your literacy block. Students will love that this is one of the books to read aloud this school year.

Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli

This sequel to Third Grade Angels follows the main character, Suds, who is transitioning to the next grade. Suds knows he is a big kid, but is he ready to become a big kid? Use this story to discuss overcoming our fears and standing up to peer pressure in and out of the classroom. Students will love this coming-of-age book to read aloud with the whole class.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Do you want to invoke some inspiration and imagination among your students? Frindle is the perfect book because the main character gives a simple object with a simple name a new name. He calls it “frindle” and it will captivate your students. Use this story to invite students to come up with their names for everyday objects. They will get a kick out of the activity and this fun-loving story.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

This realistic fiction is a childhood classic. Maniac is a child without parents who wanders the streets, performing amazing things to survive. He forms lifelong friendships and does something no other child can do. Use this beautiful story to discuss modern prejudices and examine what matters most in our relationships with loved ones. This is one of the books to read aloud that will keep kids on their toes.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Your upper elementary students may think they are too old for picture books, but this will prove them wrong. This story always hits me right in the feels and causes big emotions. It’s a sweet story of a brilliant teacher and his students. Your kids will enjoy learning about perseverance, bullying, and the potential we all have inside us.

Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul by Jack Canfield

Growing up, these were all the rage, and they always had amazing stories. This beloved book has tons of short stories that will inspire and enchant young readers. Use these stories to teach kids about kindness, happiness, and making a difference. They are the perfect morning starters or whole group read-aloud to use daily.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

This short novel is a tear-jerker but an important story to add to your list of stories to read aloud to your students. This story is about Billy and his two hound dogs. Their friendship has been through thick and thin. Read this story to your class to show them the importance of relationships and how to handle challenging situations. Add this to your list of books to read aloud to students this year!

Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Oh

Multiple authors have created exciting short stories to share with upper elementary students. The characters in these stories will captivate your students as they move about their day. Share a short story daily or once a week to get kids thinking about friendship, community, and much more.

Use these ten books to read aloud to upper elementary students to start the day or to wrap up a literacy block. Kids love being read to, so use your voice to draw them into the beautiful world of literature. I hope you enjoy this short list, and happy reading!

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Books to read aloud to upper elementary students
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