15 Read-Alouds That Make Teachers Cry Every Time

We dare you not to cry!

"The Giving Tree," "Flowers for Algernon," and "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" Books.

We love read-alouds. Those sweet faces following every word as we turn the pages. But some of these books leave our lips trembling and our eyes burning as we fight back tears. Don’t believe us? Check out these read-alouds that make teachers cry every time, as shared by teachers on our Facebook group!

Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Graphic of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“I have to have my paras read it instead of me…I end up blubbering.” —Judy C.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Two sea otters cuddling in the water as they sleep.

“Every. Single. Time. I read that to my PreK group I have to stop to cry a little, but it’s a good moment to teach that sometimes grown-ups can have happy tears.” —Nichole W.


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Gif of a woman crying and saying "It's not fair!"

“The ending gets me every single time. I cried when I was in eighth grade and I still cry now. The first time I read it with my students, a couple of them were inconsolable.” —Amanda R.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Gif of Stitch from LIlo and Stitch crying in the rain.

“Every single year. I thought that since I was reading it alone on a video for remote learning last year I wouldn’t, but I still totally did.” —Tabitha V.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Gif of a woman wiping away a tear.

“I always have to have a student read the chapter to the class when we learn about her mom. I can’t get through it.” —Kim H.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Gif of woman wiping away her tears.

“Even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes!” —Angela T.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Gif of a man saying "Im not crying, you're crying!"

“A few years ago, I read Wonder for the first time and didn’t look up anything beforehand. When Grandma and Daisy the dog died, my class and I were all in tears and a hot mess.” —Nicole F.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Gif of a woman crying in the car.

“One of students said ‘I’ll read this part so you can cry’ ❤” —Kathy F.

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Gif of a woman crying and nodding her head.

“If there is another adult in the room I have them read the ending because I will start bawling!” —Jennifer G.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Gif of a woman wiping away her tears.

Maybe it’s strange but, The Polar Express. I read it to my students every year but the ending always makes me cry…” —Bridget R.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

gif of a cartoon bunny crying.

“Every. Time.” —Deanna G.

Night by Elie Wiesel

Gif of Pikachu crying.

“I sob during the scene where the little boy is playing the violin in the freezing cold night…” —Melinda N.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Gif of men from Of Mice and Men walking.

“I read Of Mice and Men to my students and it makes me cry every time.” —Christine I.

The Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis

Gif of a woman wiping away a tear.

“It takes so much out of me holding back my tears.” —Christina G.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Gif of a lion stepping into the light.

“I lose it every time when Aslan dies. 😭😭😭” —Abbey Y.

Do you have a favorite read-aloud that makes teachers cry? Share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Also, check out our favorite back-to-school chapter books.

15 Read-Alouds That Make Teachers Cry Every Time