10 More Cry-Alouds: Books That Move You to Tears

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10 More Cry-Alouds: Books that Move You to Tears

Did you know that the tears shed from happiness or sorrow are chemically different from the tears caused by an irritant in the eye?

"Emotional tears, for instance, have been found to contain protein-based hormones including the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin, a natural painkiller that is released when the body is under stress."

The Microscopic Structures of Dried Human Tears

A good cry is cathartic—a way to pour out emotions that may be stuffed down and ignored. Tears offer an avenue to express what our minds can't find words to articulate.

These positive benefits are why some of us love a good tearjerker and why Sonlight curriculum includes books that make you cry. Here are 10 cry-alouds from Sonlight PreK through History / Bible / Literature J that may move you and your kids to tears. These titles below, unlike this earlier list of cry-alouds, don’t involve human or animal death. Nevertheless, they have the ability to touch you in a way that elicit strong emotion—even crying.

1. Horton Hatches the Egg

by Dr. Seuss

from Sonlight's Preschool Package

The end of this book is so perfect, so unexpectedly beautiful! It's a book to turn to when you need to remember that, in the end, good triumphs over evil. And that beautiful thought may move you to tears.

2. Understood Betsy

by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature B

This novel is a fantastic exploration of character development, as a timid waif learns compassion, strength, goodness, and peace.

3. The Little Riders

by Margaretha Shemin

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature C

This historical account of WW2 is a lovely depiction of the way that human kindness penetrates, even in the midst of war.

4. Red Sails to Capri

by Ann Weil

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature C

When an entire community remains mired in superstition and fear, who would have anticipated who would first choose to step forward in trust, coming to the side of a man she dislikes? Beautiful.

5. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

by Jean Lee Latham

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature D

This book isn’t a tearjerker because so many ancillary characters die (though they do). This is a tearjerker because Mr. Bowditch shows perseverance to such an astonishing extent and uses his gifts to make the world a better place. You'll be inspired!

6. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature E

A Sonlight favorite, this novel is an honest portrayal of daily life in the South during the Jim Crow era. You'll consider how to maintain dignity and self-respect in the face of extreme prejudice.

7. The Horse and His Boy

by C. S. Lewis

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature F

This volume from The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the few books that will grow with you all your life. Need some soul healing? Find echoes of your story in these pages.

8. The Great and Terrible Quest

by Margaret Lovett

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature G

Gorgeous language, gorgeous story, gorgeous fairy-tale. What must be done can be done … though it seem impossible, hopeless, too desperate to even chance it … take the chance.

9. The Mozart Season

by Virginia Wolff

from Sonlight's History of Science

A beautiful book about art, coming-of-age, the hard work and the muse of music, doing one’s best, stewarding pain.

10. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

by Barbara Robinson

from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature H

In the midst of tired or clichéd retellings of the Christmas story, this surprising tale gives a new look on immigration, on the way the Church can be unwelcoming, and on the mystery the Incarnation. Don’t miss it.

Request a Catalog

If you love the idea of a curriculum that touches the heart as much as it teaches the mind, take a deeper look at Sonlight. We'd love to send you a free print catalog. Request one here.

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