Read Aloud Books for 9-Year-Olds

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Finding read aloud books for 9-year-olds when you've got older (or younger) kids in the house can be a challenge. These chapter books are great for whole families to read together.

A row of great read aloud books are on the living room mantle.

I have always read out loud to my kids. There was never a time we didn't have some book or other in the rotation. We sometimes struggled to find titles that appealed to both girls at the same time when they were at different stages, but we always made it work.

That was when I could pick books just based on what THEY would like to hear, not necessarily what my HUSBAND could tolerate sitting through.

When we made the decision to read aloud books together as a whole family last year, I knew I had to be careful to pick books that every single member of the family would enjoy if I was going to keep Tim involved with the effort.

I assumed this meant I had to pick all adventure-style books, but he surprised me by requesting the Little House on the Prairie series after a trip to his family reunion back in Minnesota. 

After a year of read-aloud family time, I want to share the books that made our reading list. Some were perfect hits all around, some fell a little bit short for Tim but were still fun enough to keep him involved with our read aloud project. The girls and I loved each of these enough that I feel perfectly confident in recommending them to you and your family.

Though I have two daughters, I am fairly certain all the read aloud books on this list would appeal to boys as well. You'll have to let me know which ones are your family's favorites!

Read aloud books your 9-year-old will LOVE (and so will you!) These phenomenal chapter books are perfect for reading together as a family with mixed ages of kids.

Read-Aloud Books 9-year-olds Love

1. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder: 

This book absolutely surprised me. I remember loving the series as a child myself, but when Tim specifically requested it for one of our first books as a family I was shocked. He loved stopping the story to pull up more information on some of the historical references from the book on his phone. We showed the kids photos of different tools, people, and landmarks mentioned in the tale and it was so fun to see the kids' reactions to the realities of pioneer life. 

We immediately jumped into Little House on the Prairie right after and it was just as big of a hit. 

Tim's Rating: 5 stars
The rest of us: 5 stars

Buy the Book: I highly recommend this full-color edition here.

Little House in the Big Woods is one of several read aloud books 9 year olds will love (and so will you)

2. Frindle by Andrew Clement:

This short and easy read might be one of my favorites from the whole year. I don't usually recommend books that make me cry, that's not a feeling I enjoy. But the ending of this one was so sweet, I had a hard time reading it out loud over the lump in my throat. It is the perfect book for back to school season or any time you need an easy win with a read aloud book for your family.

Tim's Rating: 5 stars
The rest of us: 5 stars

Buy the Book: Get your copy here.

Read-aloud books your entire family will love reading together.

3. Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton:

I was sure Tim would love this book but in the end, I think it was just a little too fantastical for him. However, the girls and I loved it and I have several quotes highlighted in my Kindle version. Anyone who appreciates the importance of imagination and creativity is sure to find this a very meaningful story. I know that as a dad in a house full of girls, Tim definitely appreciated that the hero of the story is a young boy. We made several connections to his childhood while we read the book together.

Tim's Rating: 3.5 stars
The rest of us: 5 stars

Buy the Book: We read it on Kindle because it is free with Kindle Unlimited right now.

Read aloud books your 9 year old will love (and so will you!)

4. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate di Camillo:

We attempted this story as an audiobook on a family road trip a few years ago when Little Pea was still quite small. The narrator's voice brought such energy to the tale that it actually scared the girls and we had to turn it off. Now at ages 9 & 12, I'm certain the audio version is going to be just fine and we plan to listen to it on a road trip this week. I'll check back with our ratings when we're done but I feel confident recommending it just from the snippet we previewed already!

Related: 12 best audiobooks for families on road trips

Tim's Rating: TBD
The rest of us: TBD

Buy the Book: Get your copy here.

Tumtum & Nutmeg is one of several Read-Aloud Books 9 year olds love (and you will too!)

5. Tumtum & Nutmeg -- Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn:

I've been reading this sweet book to Little Pea for some special mommy time. All year, we had 30 minutes just to ourselves in the morning after the Peanut was off to middle school and Tim was already at work. Tumtum and Nutmeg are a married pair of mice that secretly care for the family who's house they live in. The adventures they have involve real, mortal danger and kept both of us eager to find out what happens. 

Tim's Rating: He hasn't heard it, but I'm guessing he'd give it 3 stars.
Little Pea & Me: 4.5 stars

Buy the Book: There are several different versions of the book, our copy has the first 3 books in 1. Get a copy right here.

Read-aloud books 9 year olds love (and so will you!)

6. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart:

This was one of the read aloud books I read to the Peanut 4 years ago and we loved it. I've got the book on our pile of things to read next as a family and am hoping to introduce it to Tim & Little Pea this fall. It is a fun mystery book featuring 4 brilliant kids and plenty of evil plot and adventure. I think Tim is going to love it.

Tim's Rating: I'm hoping at least a 4!
The Peanut & me: 5 stars

Buy the Book: Man I'm a sucker for a hardcover book. This one is so worth it. Get a copy here.

The Search for Delicious is one of the many read aloud books 9 year olds will love (and so will you!)

7. The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbit:

This is one of our current read aloud books. Don't be fooled by the cover, this isn't a Little Mermaid tale. Sidenote: Our family has been working our way through the Marvel movies this summer, one evening they were eager to watch the next movie on our list but I was feeling the pull to read together. We compromised and agreed to read just one chapter before the movie started and I pulled this book off the shelf. One chapter turned into three before we put the book down. Everyone was shocked at how much they enjoyed the start.

If it is good enough to compete with a Marvel movie, I feel confident sharing it even if we haven't finished. I'll circle back with our scores when we're done.

Tim's Rating: TBD
The rest of us: TBD

Buy the Book: Get your copy here.

8. The Vanderbeekers of 141st St. by Karina Yan Glaser:

St. Nick brought us this book last December and we read it through the Christmas season. The girls and I enjoyed it very much, but it was far too slow for Tim. It is a sweet family drama that takes place in New York at Christmastime. Not a lot of adventure or action, but charming children characters that my girls and I loved.

Tim's Rating: 3 stars
The rest of us: 4.5 stars

Buy the Book: St. Nick brought us this pretty hardcover, but it is now available in paperback, too. Get your copy here.

Read Aloud Books your 9-year-old will love (and so will you!) These fun chapter books for families to read together will make wonderful memories for parents and their kids.

More Great Read Aloud Books

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  1. I know you said you don’t like tear jerkers, but THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN is a must read! The story is told by the gorilla and is loosely based on a real primates life.

  2. You should add The Underneath and True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp. My kids loved those. Read with different voices

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