Three Awesome Reasons to Read Allegories Aloud...And a New Allegory for Young Adults

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll know that it’s no secret that I love to read aloud. Even as my kids have grown up, I’ve continued our read aloud tradition. This post outlines some of the main benefits of reading aloud, even to older kids. There are many different books and genres that are great to read aloud. But one of my favorites is allegories.

An allegory is a story that is symbolic. The characters and situations in an allegory are a fictional representation of something real. A great classic example is Pilgrim’s Progress, a picture of the life of a Christian from salvation through the journey of life. Some books are purposeful allegories, such as Pilgrim’s Progress. Some books are considered allegories, even though the author didn’t necessarily intend this. A good example of this would be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Why read allegories aloud
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Allegories are great books to use as family read alouds, and there are some awesome reasons to read allegories aloud to your kids. I’m sharing some here and sharing a new allegory for young adults that’s been a big hit at my house.

Allegories encourage kids to think about spiritual things in an indirect way.

There have been times, as a parent, that I’ve needed to directly address a spiritual matter with one or more of my children. There are times that heart issues or relationship problems or family situations have called for my husband and I to directly address spiritual matters. Depending on the age and understanding of the child, as well as his or her receptiveness to instruction, this can be very effective.

But at other times an allegory can bring spiritual matters up in an indirect way and be very effective in doing so. We’ve read allegories- such as Pilgrim’s Progress– that are symbolic of a Christian’s spiritual growth. These have given us great opportunities to talk about some of the trials and temptations that Christians face as we walk through life. I might not have thought of bringing up every one of those situations, but the allegory brought them to light for us, and we had the opportunity to think about and discuss them.

Allegories provide a great opportunity for discussion.

One of the greatest benefits of reading aloud- especially as kids get older- is that it provides opportunity for some great discussion. Allegories, in particular, are awesome books to discuss. There are many things that will come up as you read.

Some of these are topics that you might not otherwise encounter. And there have been many times, when reading allegories, that we’ve had discussions of spiritual import come up. Because we were reading the allegory aloud together, we had the opportunity to discuss.

Allegories encourage critical thinking.

Elements in an allegory are symbolic. The people, situations, and objects and representations of something in real life. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what these symbols are. But sometimes the reader really has to think about it.

Allegories can really encourage critical thinking as you determine the symbolism of what you’re reading. When reading allegories aloud, we’ve occasionally had times where we didn’t all agree about what something represented. When that happens, it gives some great opportunity for critical thinking as each of us explain why we think our interpretation is correct.

Allegories for kids

The House of Envy: A Young Adult Allegory by Jennifer K. Johnson

We recently had the opportunity to read for review The House of Envy by Jennifer K. Johnson. Jennifer is a homeschooling mom too and has written The House of Envy as a spiritual allegory. It’s ended up as a big hit in our house.

The story is about Angeline, the leader in The House of Envy. Her sister deposes her and has her thrown outside into a dark alley. Her color- which they all wear because their color is broken- is coming off. Angeline is found by Ellie, a sweet girl who takes her to her home. Angeline washes off all of her paint. The people who live with Ellie don’t need color because they have their own color. Angeline ends up heading off with Ellie to look for others who need help.In their adventures, Angelina learns about the Creator and the fact that she’s loved by Him.

I read through the book for review and then gave it to my oldest daughter to preview. She liked the beginning and wanted to read the book. My middle daughter, however, had also seen the book and read the synopsis, so she wanted to read the book first. The two came to an agreement to read it aloud together- a huge joy to this mama’s heart! They’ve been having story time several nights a week and are thoroughly enjoying the book.

The girls agree that it is interesting to find meaning in the situations that the characters find themselves in. The book is meant for teens. There are some parts that my girls said were pretty dark, including a scene in a place that symbolizes an abortion clinic. It has been fine for my girls, but it’s something you want to keep in mind if you’re letting sensitive younger teens read it.

You can learn more about the author of the book here and find The House of Envy on Amazon here.

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{Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.}

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