Are you looking for some great fiction books to read out loud to family members before bedtime?  Here are some of the best books that beg to be read out loud. All of these books are good for all ages if read out loud, but are also good for ages nine and older if read independently.

The Birthday Ball, by Lois Lowry, and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is the perfect book for humor and good storytelling. But it’s also great fun to read out loud because this favorite author embellishes words, plays with words and uses alliteration throughout with her broad stroke of genius. Princess Patricia Priscilla is excited for her upcoming sixteenth birthday, but her parents have invited the most boring and foolish suitors. But – she has thought of another brilliant idea to break the strict rules and make this the ball beyond belief!

Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware, by M. T. Anderson, and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, is an exciting page turner that’s full of excitement and adventure. The hero, Jasper, along with his two side-kicks, are about to head to a land far away only to discover unknown enemies that are completely surprising to all three of the main characters. And now they have to figure out a way to escape!

The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz, and illustrated by Angela Barrett, is a magical story with wonderful undertones of perseverance and of overcoming great difficulties. This beautifully written story encompasses a realm of fairies who live and fly by night. But one fairy has to deal with the daytime and the dangers that come with day now that her wings have been damaged by a bat. The colorful pictures add to the enchantment of this story.

Tentacles, by Roland Smith, has cousins, Marty and Grace, traveling with their scientist uncle in search of a giant squid. But they are about to find much more that they bargained for! You’d better make time for this fantasy adventure because chances are your listeners will not want you to stop reading! Reader beware: this is a book that’s very hard to put down!

Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker’s Daughter, by Liz Kessler, and illustrated by Katie May, is the second book in this outstanding series but you need not read the first to enjoy this story.  Philippa has a fairy for her friend and she is about to go on a family vacation but soon discovers that the small town she chooses to vacation in is actually in great trouble and in need of her help. Can she help? This magical mystery will captivate the reader from beginning to end.

Ring of Fire: Century Quartet Book 1, by P. D. Baccalario, is the first book of what looks like an exciting new series. It is said that every 100 years, “four kids from four cities must save the world.”  When a mix-up in reservations happen at a hotel in Rome, the parents arrange for each of their children to sleep in one room. The kids, who had never met before this, begin to realize there is a reason for this situation and begin to see events unfold.  They are about to go on a quest through closed libraries, catacombs and much more before discovering the mystery that leads them.

Secret of the Night Ponies, by Joan Hiatt Harlow, is set back in 1965 in Newfoundland where Jessie discovers three shipwreck survivors. As she and her family help them, she also figures out a way to save the wild ponies living on the island. From the beginning of the story, you will find yourself immediately pulled into Jessie’s remote life.

The Dreamer, by Pam Munoz Ryan, and illustrated by Peter Sis, is extraordinary and should be on the short list for the Newbery Award for this year. This enthralling tale of the childhood of poet, Pablo Neruda, jumps off the page with both word and art. This celebration of language, and the collaboration of the illustrations, will surly linger long after putting down the book.

Holly Evans Newton is an award winning reviewer with over 10 years of experience of searching for the best and most appropriate books for kids. Her 25 years of teaching school and raising 5 children has helped her tap into books that kids want to read. She presents book review programs for elementary schools throughout the country.