15 Read-Alouds That Make Teachers Cry Every Time

Teaching is a rewarding but emotionally challenging profession. One of the most touching moments in a teacher’s daily life is the experience of reading a children’s book aloud to their students. Some powerful stories tug at our heartstrings and elicit tears—both from teachers and children alike. In this article, we will explore 15 read-alouds that have left countless educators reaching for tissues.

1. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch

This moving story is about the unconditional love of a mother for her child. The simple, repetitive phrase “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always” makes teachers and students emotional every time.

2. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

A timeless tale of selflessness and friendship, this classic picture book never fails to make readers cry as they follow the lifelong bond between a tree and a boy.

3. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

The beautiful friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider proves that sometimes the most unlikely friendships can be the strongest.

4. “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson

This story about Jesse and Leslie’s magical kingdom might lead to tears for both teachers and students due to unforeseen loss.

5. “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

A poignant story of love, sacrifice, and determination follows Billy and his beloved coonhound dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann.

6. “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt

This thought-provoking book explores themes of immortality, love, loss, and what it truly means to live.

7. “I Am Sam” by Ben Sutherland

Sam, who has difficulty learning but excels in art, discovers his true potential with encouragement from his loving teacher.

8. “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleanor Coerr

A young girl fighting leukemia seeks to fulfill an ancient Japanese legend that promises to grant her one wish if she folds 1,000 paper cranes.

9. “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate

Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla, this touching novel is a tear-jerker that instills a sense of empathy in us all.

10. “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo

Edward’s adventure teaches readers about the transformative power of love and the bonds that tie us together.

11. “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness

A story of grief, loss, and self-realization, Conor struggles to face his mother’s terminal illness with the help of a mysterious monster.

12. “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry

As Annemarie helps her Jewish friend escape from the Nazis, this historical fiction reminds us of courage in the darkest hour.

13. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

A touching story about acceptance and unconditional love through Auggie’s journey navigating school as a boy with facial differences.

14. “Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper

Melody’s fierce determination to be understood despite her cerebral palsy proves that our abilities cannot be defined by our limitations.

15. “The Memory String” by Eve Bunting

Laura learns to cope with loss and accept change while keeping memories alive in this heartwarming tale.

These 15 tear-inspiring read-alouds remind teachers and students alike of the bond that unites us through literature. By exploring challenging emotions such as love, loss, and friendship, these books not only make us cry but also uplift our spirits and teach invaluable life lessons.

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