I don’t understand why I love books that are sad, but I do. I often have a book hangover** for days after finishing a tearjerker. These sad stories typically involve a pet or family member death though that is not a requirement. Here are a few of my favorite books that might make the reader cry, but they are so good, it is hard to put them down.
The books are roughly upper elementary (4th, 5th, 6th) reading range, but I noted a few for middle school readers. Several are great read alouds for younger readers, but remember, it is hard to read aloud when sobbing. There was an incident this year in a certain 4th grade classroom with Stone Fox.
** Book Hangover– (n) The lingering feeling a person has after finishing a book and can not get the story out of his/her mind. It sometimes prevents a person from starting a new book.
- Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (6th grade+)
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther (7th grade+)
- The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- Love That Dog and Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech (My students don’t cry when they read these books. I think it is a mom thing that makes me cry.)
- A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
- Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
- See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles
- Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
- A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry
- Watership Down by Richard Adams (7th grade+)
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
And the Grand Prize Winner, hands down, never fails to make me cry hysterically, but I have read it at least ten times– Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
Yes, Where the Red Fern Grows was the FIRST one I thought of when I read the topic! Waterworks…
Where the Red Fern Grows is everybody’s first choice!
I thought of Where the Red Fern Grows first also 🙂 That book still makes me cry, such a good read!
Sounder and Old Yeller are also big tear jerkers.
It’s the dog books. Anything with a pet is sure to bring on the tears. Miss you! Caitlin
I love, love Bridge to Terabithia and Where the Red Fern Grows, too. I will bookmark this post and add some of your picks to my summer reading list. Thanks!
Are you posting your summer reading list? I would love to see it.
Hmmm….I guess I should. I run an elementary library and have a huge stack of books I am bringing home. Great idea to share!
What about Little Women? A true classic.
Such a good book!
I agree , but the audio version is the absolute best I have ever heard! Have never heard another even close!