The Books We Have Loved Together by Cindy and Bryson Minnich
When I asked my son Bryson about what makes him the luckiest reader on the planet (which is totally my opinion), he told me it’s because he has lots of books to read. But when I asked him which books he liked the most, he was quick to point out that the ones that are the best are the ones you read with others because then you can discuss the books with them and get their opinions.
And that is really the reason why he’s the luckiest reader on the planet. He has three adults who routinely read with him at home – including me, his dad, and his grandfather.
We have learned as much about Bryson as we read as we do about what we are reading together as we stop and check for understanding and answer his questions.
The Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling
My dad and I have been reading these books together quickly. We’re on Book Five. My dad loves these books and I am glad to be part of that.
Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger
This book was funny because its about a kid who fooled the whole world by wearing a fake mustache and suit. My grandfather and I laughed a lot while we read this.
Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run by Tom Angleberger and Micheal Hemphill
I just read this with my grandfather and I enjoyed it because he kept telling me about little details about the Civil War. That has gotten me really interested in learning more.
Three Times Lucky & The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
I liked these mysteries, but I was glad to read these with someone else because there were words and phrases I wouldn’t have understood in them if I had read them by myself. I loved listening to my grandfather’s voices for each of the characters.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
It was nice to be able to talk about parts of this book – like when people were staring at Ivan. I shared a lot of questions with my grandfather about this one – and a few tissues.
The Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac by Anita Silvey
I like finding out facts about authors and hearing about the book of the day. The events from that day in history are interesting, too. (Note: We adults love this book, too, and we’re always happy to be reminded when Ice Cream Day is!)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
My grandfather grew up near Norvelt so reading it with him was cool. He knew a lot about that town so he could add his commentary to the story. I’m still not sure what is true and what is not, but I still enjoyed this book.
The Road to Mr. Mineo’s bv Barbara O’Connor
Knowing from our neighbors that homing pigeons are supposed to take the most direct path home, it was surprising to hear a story about a homing pigeon who did not. The characters who my grandfather and I met along the way with Sherman are really what made this story.
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers (Illustrator)
This was funny to look at how a kid could change a book from sweet and nice to tough and reckless. I liked listening to my mom try to perform the voices – but she mostly giggled a lot at the pictures. I did, too.
Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
You’d think it’d be hard to read aloud a book with no words, but I don’t. Talking about the pictures is easy as pie. Wait. Pie isn’t easy to make. Reading this aloud is just easy. Just ask my grandfather.
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
When you like rodents and you like heroes, it’s hard not to like Despereaux. He’s brave enough to be a hero a hundred times his size – and good enough to rescue the princess, even if he is a mouse. My parents and grandfather took turns reading this with me – and they enjoyed having me retell what they missed from me between readings with me.
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat
This book is perfect to read with someone else because then there is someone else who can laugh with you. And you will laugh when you read this.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Even though it led to some arguments around our house, Mom and I were definitely Team Rabbit. We can’t agree on our favorite picture (I like when the bear is sitting by himself, Mom likes when the bear and rabbit are staring at each other), but we have spent a lot of time laughing over this book.
The Hero’s Guide Books by Christopher Healy
These books are about the four princes that end up making the generic Prince Charming from the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty. Their lives get tangled up when someone tries to attack all four of their kingdoms and they have to join together even if they were competing against one another before. My grandfather and I laughed a lot over the characters and their actions. (My favorite character was the one who was afraid of getting dirty.)
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
I read and reread this one with my mom. And I cried as we read it – but I always ask her to reread it. Mom said it’s because I have a big heart. Kate DiCamillo told her that my loving this book might mean I’ll be a writer some day.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
This tale is sort of sad because the main character’s mom is gone and she doesn’t know when or if she’ll be back. But everything cheers up when she finds a dog that destined to be hers at the supermarket. I love that the dog helps her acclimate to the new town and acquire a varied group of new friends. Reading this book with my mom made me appreciate her being with me even more.
Bryson is a third grader this year. He loves to read – with his family, friends, and by himself. He may not have siblings, but he has three cats, four goldfish, a guinea pig and a dog. Some of those pets actually enjoy it when he reads to them. He would like to be a librarian when he grows up – like Mr. Schu – and maybe an author like Kate DiCamillo.
Cindy Minnich is mom to Bryson. When she’s not reading and talking books at home with her family, she’s busy book-talking and teaching high school English.