This past week I began our final read aloud of the year. It’s always a bittersweet experience- my students have come so far but we will be saying goodbye soon. I spent a few weeks debating which book I would share, but ultimately decided on Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1). For the past two years my final read aloud had been The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), working alongside our social studies teacher in the ancient Greece unit. But this year many of my students were already huge fans after seeing the movie and I knew I had to choose something else.
The Lightning Thief was always popular in my room because it was funny, easy to relate to, and full of action. Boys and girls alike fell in love with the book and many of them proceeded to read the rest of the series over the summer. I wanted to do the same thing with our last read aloud this year. While Riordan may not be the most literary of choices the kids love him. He opens up doors to new knowledge and ancient mythology. I can’t tell you how many of my Percy Jackson fans are now reading Greek mythology and even classics like The Odyssey.
When I began to read The Red Pyramid, I knew it would be perfect for our end-of-the-year read aloud. Like Percy, Sadie and Carter are funny and easy to relate to. I also love that we have two protagonists, male and female. While I’m not sure we will actually complete the 500+ page book together, I know it will leave my students wanting to read it on their own over the summer.
We began the book over the past week. It’s already a huge success! Within days I had 15-20 students who went out and purchased their own copies. I have a few more planning to do the same. They read ahead and then listen again when we read together. For those students, they are learning the value of rereading. Inevitably, they learn something new or notice something else on the reread. My more dormant readers are loving the humor and adventure in the story and enthusiasm is building. I’m hoping our read aloud leads to more reading for pleasure this summer!
Have you started your final read aloud of the year? What will you be reading and why did you choose it?