Skip to Content

10 books to read to your kids this winter

10 books to read to your kids this winter

In the summer I make my kids read.  Over the long Christmas break I read to them.  Here are 10 chapter books to read with your 8-12 year old over the winter break that are a little (well a lot) deeper than Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Lemonade Wars. Enjoy!


The one and only IvanThe One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate
– Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal is about one little girl who made a difference in the lives of her animal friends and the gorilla who made it all possible. Parts are a little sad as the poor baby elephant is mistreated by the owner of the mall where the animals live, but the happy ending is a joy worth waiting for.
Amazon Rating 4.7/5


by R. J. Palacio
– Wonder is a normal middle schooler. Well as long as you keep your eyes closed. Wonder is deformed and you can just imagine how fun middle school it for a deformed kid, especially with the bully at a ritzy prep school. I didn’t realize how great this book really was until we got to the end. The chapter where the bully gets a life lesson about people who are different from his very English grandmother left our mouths hanging open. We absolutely loved this one!
Amazon Rating 4.6/5


Stone FoxStone Fox
by John Reynolds Gardiner
– Great book about love and loss, perseverance, and forgiveness. Little Willy is determined to win the National Dogsled Race to save the family farm from foreclosure, but to do so he’ll have to beat the notorious Stone Fox. Just a warning the end is a bit of a tear jerker, but it’s worth it.
Amazon Rating 4.2/5


Because of Winn DixieBecause of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
– If your kids haven’t read this one, they might be the only kids on the planet that haven’t heard it, especially if you are a dog loving family like mine. Winn Dixie is the story of how a dog can change a kids’ life in more ways than one.  This one is a Newbery Honor winner and one we’ve read more than once.
Amazon Rating 4.7/5


The Christmas SweaterThe Christmas Sweater
by Glenn Beck
– I read this book a few years ago and last Christmas I reread it to my son, who was 10.  It’s about a boys quest to get what he really wants for Christmas. It’s a great read about family, forgiveness, the true meaning of Christmas, and trusting God plan.  Unlike some books or movies on this topic, I didn’t find it at all cheesy but really uplifting. My son loved it and I can’t wait to read it to my daughter in a few years.
Amazon Rating 4.4/5 stars.


The Mighty Miss MaloneThe Mighty Miss Malone
by Christopher Paul Curtis
– My son really likes books that also have American history as part of the plot. This book is about an intelligent African American girl and her family struggling to make it during the Great Depression and about how family is truly where the heart is and that can’t be taken away.
Amazon Rating 4.6/5


Out of My MindOut of My Mind
by Sharon M. Draper
– Every parent and child should read this book about Melody. Melondy is brilliant, a prodigy in fact. The problem is that no one knows it since she can’t talk or write, or even walk. Moral of this story is about not judging a book by its cover and the struggles that families have to go through to raise a special needs child.
Amazon Rating 4.8/5


The Best Christmas Pageant EverThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
– I loved this movie when I was a kid, but haven’t seen it in years.  Every year I think about how I wished it still aired. So I bought the book to read to my kids.  They laughed out loud at the shenanigans of the Herdman kids. But in the end they learned that you don’t have to be an angel for God to love you and for you to love him.
Amazon Rating 4.7/5


The Egyptian GameThe Egypt Game
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
– Remember this book from when you were a kid?  It’s still the same!  A book about a time when kids used their imaginations, played outside from dusk till dawn, and didn’t have a cell phone or XBOX.  My kids got a real kick out of the quirky characters!
Amazon Rating 3.9/5.


The Whipping BoyThe Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleischman
– Another Newbery Medal winner from my own childhood. I had totally forgotten how good this book was.  An 18th century tale about a spoiled young prince and the orphan boy whose job is to take punishments on behalf of the prince,  you won’t be able to put it down. When the two sneak out of the palace together an adventure awaits them both!
Amazon Rating 4.0/5

10 Books to Read with your kids this winter


Thursday 8th of October 2015

Fantastic list! Thank you for sharing.

Colleen @ MommieDaze

Thursday 8th of October 2015

Such great choices. We read Ivan last winter. My boys loved it, and it made me cry! And I remember my teacher reading Best Christmas Pageant Ever to me in school. A classic!

Brenda @Daily Mayo

Thursday 8th of October 2015

You picked some great ones! I haven't read all of these- need to add them to my list!


Thursday 8th of October 2015

I've heard positive reviews for Because of Winn Dixie and my son just read Wonder and LOVED it. I will have to check out some of the other books on the list. Pinned for later!

Linda Hobden

Thursday 8th of October 2015

[* WordPress Simple Firewall plugin marked this comment as "pending". Reason: Human SPAM filter found "bootss" in "author_email" *] Thanks for the list - my boys & I enjoy our book sharing time - and look forward to reading those suggested ?. My boys love the Adventures of Mr Gum series !

Terri Burgan

Friday 9th of October 2015

Haven't read those. I'll have to check them out!