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Lewis Carroll told this story to amuse Alice Liddell and her sisters on a summer boating trip. Find a lazy setting and someone who needs amusing, and plunge into any chapter for a fun dose of lunacy. For age 7 - adults (with quirky sense of humour).
You can’t miss with the picture-book crowd when you do the crayons in different voices! Or bring out your best with the rhymes and rhythms of Julia Donaldson or Lynley Dodd. And Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie series lets you alternate the parts!
Shirley Jackson is a master of psychological horror and The Lottery is one of the most ominous and chilling stories ever written. This makes it a great read-aloud, though best for secondary-school age and above!
O. Henry's stories are notorious for their final twists, always a winning ingredient in a read-aloud. The Gift of the Magi is a Christmas story that grown-ups and older children alike will enjoy.
Charles Dickens’s reading tours were immensely popular all over Britain and North America and when you read his books you see why. All ages will enjoy a scene from his classic ghost story about the true meaning of Christmas.
Nothing reads better aloud than a good horror story. This is just one of many books we hold of Poe’s macabre and suspenseful tales, including some abridged retellings. These easier reads could let you concentrate on your ghastly tone of voice.
Daphne Du Maurier is being talked about now as the author of the recently filmed My Cousin Rachel, and her classic Rebecca is never off the radar. But she also wrote brilliant stories with new twists on Gothic themes.
George Saunders just won the Man Booker Prize with his first novel, but he made his name with his short stories. Fantastical and absurd on the surface, their depths are full of challenges. Read to people who like using their powers of thought.
These visionary, supernatural, horrific, funny, sentimental, highly imaginative and always entertaining stories are called Science Fiction but are truly genre-benders. Audience: let’s say age 11 (the age he was when he began writing stories) and up.
This longish short story is one of the richest reminiscences of family and Christmas ever. Perfect for reading aloud, but if you’re susceptible to nostalgia, beware: you may find yourself crying at the end.
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