The Reading-Aloud Revival

What started as a plan to read aloud to her children turned into blog posts, then a podcast, and now a book for homeschool mom and new author Sarah Mackenzie.

The Read-Aloud Family is a combination of theory and practicality. Mackenzie recounts her journey from a young mom who discovered Jim Trelease’s classic The Read-Aloud Handbook to her current role as a mom of six children ranging in age from 4 to 16, with whom she reads almost every day. She is creator and host of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, which has had over 3 million downloads since beginning in 2014.

“I want to offer practical strategies for helping parents read aloud amid the noise of modern society,” says Mackenzie.

The first third of the book is a discussion of the benefits of reading aloud to children, from advice from experts to helpful information on how to choose books wisely. One unique aspect involves discussions on how parents talk to their kids about books and questions they can ask about a book to get youngsters thinking and engaging in conversation.

The final sections are lists of books and brief descriptions divided by age group and genre. Mackenzie recommends almost 400 books from classics to new releases—and has read every one—and will offer updates on the newest books on her podcast.

“There’s been a paradigm shift that shows reading aloud isn’t just for small children but for all ages,” said Mackenzie. “Any situation you’re in—blended family, homeschool family, whatever—any time you spend reading aloud is a benefit.”

—Ann Byle