Recent Post


Follow Us

Like the article?

Never miss a post.

We have a lot more just for you! Let's join us now

Reading Aloud: The Magic Tonic

Have you ever been so bored, sad, or ill you didn’t feel like reading? Now I know some people never feel like reading. But if you’re reading this, you probably are not one of those specimens of humanity. But everyone has an occasional terrible day or month, and on those days I have a suggestion for you: listen to someone reading aloud.

Reading Aloud: Distracts the Nauseated Pregnant Woman

When I was pregnant with our daughter, I found myself lying nauseated and exhausted on the couch. I certainly didn’t feel like writing. Reading often repulsed me too. After all, that required holding a book.

One thing helped me pass the long hours: listening to someone else reading. I listened to the entire Anne of Green Gables series, and my spirits lifted. Who can remain despondent while absorbing these unique and hilarious tales?

Oddly enough, reading out loud to my husband Marnell also soothed me. Lost in Unbroken or The Boys in the Boat, my nausea faded. We still read out loud to each other most nights.

Reading Aloud: Appeals to the Sad Toddler

Now the baby is two years old. For a long time, she was passionately attached to her passy. Finally, we explained to Anina that she could have the passy at bedtime or naptime only. The passy would live upstairs in bed.

One afternoon, she wailed that she wanted to go to bed. It was pretty clear that she just wanted her passy, but I told her she could go up if she wanted. Or I could read books to her downstairs. But she wanted me to go up with her and read books up there. When I told her that I wasn’t going up right then, she wailed.

“But I can’t say them!” she said.

Interpretation: You need to read them to me, and it needs to be upstairs so I can have my passy.

In this case, I knew I couldn’t bend to her manipulation. But her wail cut me to the heart all the same.

It’s hard for me to deny someone a read-aloud story. But I daresay she’ll get her fill in our potty-training blitz, about to begin.

Reading Aloud: Attracts the Disinterested Boy Under the Blanket

In my years as a teacher at small private schools, I saw story time as a safe experience everyone could enjoy. Including myself. Even if I read A Single Shard five times before, I still grew tense when Tree-ear finds himself on the top of a cliff with a bandit. Or when Lanus is captured by the evil ones in The Shining Sword. Or when Ranofer finds himself trapped in the Egyptian tombs of The Golden Goblet.

When we hosted two tween boys in our home, story time once again became the calm in the storm. One night, one of the boys put a blanket over his head to show his refusal to listen to the story since it wasn’t the book he had wanted us to read. But later, he admitted that he had been listening under the blanket.

Not everyone loves reading a good story. We can’t relate, but that’s okay. Text on a page overwhelms some people.

But almost everyone loves hearing a good story. It might even be the tonic your household or road trip needs this summer.

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

Note: this article contains affiliate links to, a store that supports small bookstores.

I’d love to say I have audio book versions of The Brady Street Boys Adventure Series. We are working on it, but it’s not here yet. To stay updated, make sure you are subscribed to the Brady Street Boys updates. But the good news is that your children probably love your reading voice, and you get to be the audiobook!

More in good news – Book 5, Rivals on the River, has just released. You can purchase it below individually or as part of a set.

A few audio options too!

5 thoughts on “Reading Aloud: The Magic Tonic”

  1. How inspiring! I would love to have some recommendations from you or your readers, especially poetry, to read to kids ages 7-15.

    1. Hi Christy! The books I mentioned in the article are some of my favorite. I also have so many good childhood memories of my Dad reading the Ralph Moody series. Poetry is a little more challenging for that age – I don’t feel like it is my niche. Maybe someone else will have a thought. But for young children, I really love some of the rhyming picture books available now that are parodies of old rhymes, such as those by Jane Cabrerra.

  2. I believe wholeheartedly in “the magic of reading aloud.” I have read aloud nearly daily since my oldest was a few months old, 24 years ago. Many times, a good story has instantly brought peace to our home. For several years now, I have been recording the chapter books I read so the older ones who can’t be home to listen can still participate. In January this year my 21-year-old broke his collar bone. While he and his older sister were waiting to be seen for an entire afternoon in the hospital four hours away, she sent me a photo of him. He was listening to one of my recordings while he lay on a bed, and the sound of my voice apparently soothed him enough that he actually fell asleep for awhile, despite the pain.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top