Although children are starting to read on their own by age 6 to 7, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of still reading aloud to them. For most children in this age range, their reading level will lag behind their comprehension level. Reading aloud bridges the gap and provides them with more complex ideas and themes to mull over then they would otherwise receive. Of course, reading aloud also provides a perfect opportunity to discuss the books! So you’ll find two lists here, really: one to read aloud and one for your child to read alone. For a particularly advanced reader or listener, I recommend checking out my list Good Books for… Catholic 8 to 9 year olds .
Books to Read Aloud
The Squire and the Scroll and its counterpart for girls The Princess and the Kiss: A Story of God’s Gift of Purity are two wonderful books about purity written specifically for Catholic children. These books talk about purity of heart and body as a precious gift from God and how one must resist temptations to impurity. These two books provide a gentle introduction to purity that even our very young children need in this day and age.
The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur is a retelling by Margaret Hodges of a classic Arthurian legend of a humble knight rescuing a fair maiden. Complete with intricate and richly colored illustrations which will fascinate children, this story offers a glimpse into a world of chivalry, knighthood, and honor.
Margaret Hodges also has a retelling of Saint George and the Dragon with equally lavish illustrations. This retelling features a real fire-breathing dragon that George fights, but you can discuss with children how the
is story can be seen as an allegory of the fight against temptation and the devil. This story also offers a great lesson in perseverance as George continues his battle despite the seeming impossibility of his task.
Roses in the Snow: A Tale of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary tells your child the story of Saint Elizabeth complete with gorgeous illustrations.
Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls is an awesome book from modern day mystic Carryll Houselander. This is the first in a series of stories that explain Christ’s suffering and redemption to young children through simple stories.
Saints Tell Their Stories is a collection of first-person narrative style lives of 26 well known saints. The text is simple enough that a more advanced reader might be able to tackle this independently.
Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1 and its sequels are simply written stories about all sorts of living things. The authors’ intent is to awaken the child’s interest in and sense of wonder at God’s creation.
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook is a collection of stories featuring Milly-Molly-Mandy’s adventures and everyday dilemnas. Good discussion points are what virtues Milly-Molly-Mandy is showing, or occasionally not showing, in each story.
Although you may think The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh are too childish for a 6 or 7 year old, you may find your child enjoys them more at this age and will understand more of the humor. This book is a great opportunity to talk about the four temperaments. Is Rabbit choleric? Pooh phlegmatic? Tigger sanguine? Eeyore melancholic? (If you unfamiliar with the temperaments, check out The Temperament God Gave Your Kids: Motivate, Discipline, and Love Your Children!)
The Happy Little Family series chronicles episodes in the lives of an early American family, the Fairchilds. Beautifully written, with characters that jump off the page, these four books are very enjoyable read alouds with great lessons and vivid descriptions of nineteenth century life on a farm in Kentucky. For example, in a chapter of the first book, Happy Little Family , the father offers a special arrowhead for whichever of his children first shows true bravery. Stories like these provide great discussion themes: what is bravery or courage, are there different types of courage, how would your child act in the story, how could your child show courage in daily life?
The Happy Hollisters is the first in a long series of mysteries featuring the Hollister family. Each book features the large Hollister family who exemplify cheerfulness and teamwork as they help others by solving mysteries. These are not great classics of literature, but wholesome, simple, enjoyable books for if you are looking for a light read aloud.
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 are fun, easy to read mysteries about four siblings which an advanced early reader could read on their own but are also great read alouds. The later books in the series fall off greatly in quality, but the original books by Gertrude Warner from the 1940s are enjoyable classic children’s stories, with good lessons about responsibility, perseverance, and kindness. Prepare to be amazed at the ingenuity of four children making a home in an old boxcar. Journey with the Aldens to Surprise Island for a unique tropical vacation and find a castaway. These were my very favorite books at this age!
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is an American classic about Mr. Popper, a housepainter, and the escepades of his penguins. Funny and touching both, this is a book about dreams coming true, showing both the good and bad consequences.
Books for your 6-7 year old to Read
I love the simple humor of Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter and Tabby series. Not only do these books offer lessons in friendship and kindness, they show children that elderly people can be funny, happy, sad, or lonely too. You will love kind hearted Mr. Putter and his fine cat Tabby, and smile at his eccentric neighbor Mrs. Teaberry and her crazy dog Zeke. Some of our favorites are Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog and Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears.
For more easy readers for an emergent reader, check out my post Good Easy Readers for Catholic Kids!
The Billy And Blaze books chronicle the adventures of Billy and his pony Blaze at home in the country and on vacation in the west. Billy and Blaze explore lost trails, rescue dogs and calves in distress, and even save the country from a forest fire. These books encourage self reliance, bravery, perseverance, and friendship.
The Gospel Time-Trekkers series from Pauline Books and Media is a fun Catholic series for early readers.Shepherds to the Rescue (Gospel Time Trekkers) and its sequels chronicle the adventures of three children who travel back in time to encounter Jesus and the Gospel in a personal way.
Devotional Stories for Little Folks are simple stories about a modern day Catholic family. Each short chapter has a moral and discussion questions included. These stories are also great to read aloud.
For a more advanced reader, The Littles is an imaginative story about a family of little people with tails living in the human world. This series abounds with ingenuous inventions and clever solutions to problems.
I also recommend checking out my list for 4-5 year olds for other books your 6-7 year old will enjoy practicing reading.
If you have a very early reader who is ready for more chapter books, move onto my list Good Books for… Catholic 8 to 9 year olds!