Some of Our Favorite Books to Read Aloud

Reading aloud has been one of my favorite parts of family life and homeschooling.  We’ve made many a good memory curled up together with a great book, even during all the years of being interrupted by noisy toddlers and diaper changes.

There have been times when my children stared at me when I choked back tears while reading certain parts. Those are some of the best books.

Here, in no particular order, are some of our favorite books to read aloud together.  Many of them have been read over and over as the next group of children cycles through a period of history.

Note:  the first three books on the list are among our all-time favorites!

The Locked Crowns by Marion Garthwaite (Out of print book we found at an old library sale years ago—one of our all-time favorites!  We read it when we study Vikings and early Britain.)

The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett (Listed by everyone as one of their favorites!)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Unbroken (Young Adult Version) by Laura Hillenbrand

The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation) by Daniel James Brown

Caddie Woodlawn and also Magical Melons by Carol Ryrie Brink (Love them both!)

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Bread and Butter Indian by Anne Colver (A favorite with little girls)

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander

The High King by Lloyd Alexander

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischmann

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (I re-read this one personally every year or two)

The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum

Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

On to Oregon! By Honore Morrow

Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd

Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman

Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter

The House of Fifty Fathers by Meindert DeJong

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Bonanza Girl by Patricia Beatty

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

If you have a favorite that’s not on this list, please share!


  1. Our children have enjoyed all of the writings of Eleanor Porter, but their favorites would be, “Pollyanna” and “Just David.”

  2. Love the list, Charlotte. Our family loves to read, too, and there are several titles here that are unfamiliar. We’ll have to check those out for read alouds this fall.

  3. Lloyd Alexander is one of our favorite authors, too. If you haven’t read any of his other titles, we’d recommend THE IRON RING and THE FIRST TWO LIVES OF LUCAS KASHA. Both are excellent.

  4. The boy who sailed around the world. (True story.)

  5. One of our favorites is Star of Light, by Patricia St. John. Gives the kids new insight into a different culture. Kids love it! Also Gifted Hands, by Ben Carson. And Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, is an all-time favorite. We have lots!– as you do– but I think these are our top three.

  6. For anyone who’s interested, there is an e-book form of The Locked Crowns at

    1. fruitvine says:

      Ooo, thanks for sharing that, Frieda!! πŸ™‚

  7. Wendy McLoughlin says:

    Thank you for sharing! and so quickly after the request for it. Blessings!

  8. A new favorite we discovered this summer….Summer of the Monkeys. FABulous, inspiring, heart-warming book! Teaches about perseverance, innovative thinking, problem-solving and overcoming selfishness. I laughed and cried and underlined my way through the whole book. It is now on my top 10 list; which, btw, includes Little Britches (Ralph Moody), Laddie (Gene Stratton-Porter), and the others have already been mentioned. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for all the other suggestions….adding them to my to-read list!

  9. Wendy Hoskin says:

    What are your expectations for quiet while you’re reading aloud? (I have 5 boys & 1 girl age 12 and under)

  10. Oh, there are SO many I can only throw in a few, but we have dearly loved all of Elizabeth Enright’s books: Gone Away Lake and Return to Gone Away, and the Saturdays series–wonderful creative books. The Twenty-One Balloons is a favorite, all the Little House books, the Little Britches series(though they need a little editing on the fly,) all the series by Robert Elmer (Young underground) and Lois Walfrid Johson (Northwoods) and lots of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s books–those generate very interesting discussions! I could go on and on–can you tell? πŸ™‚

    And we’ve read most of the books listed above and loved them, too! I need to check out The Locked Crowns–thanks for the tip, Frieda!

  11. One of my all time favorites is Red Sails to Capri. I’ve been talking and singing to my food ever since! πŸ™‚

  12. We have read many of these over the 20+ yrs. of homeschooling…here is one of our favorites “My Escape From the Auto De Fe At Valladolid” by Don Fernando De la Mina (Sp?) We have tried to read a Dickens every winter. He was paid by the word…hence the long sentences which make it harder to read to ones self, but make it very interesting for out loud! πŸ™‚ We read a lot of biographies- our favorites include George Mueller’s autobiography and Sylvia Tarniceriu’s, “God Knows My Size”. Reading out loud is our FAVORITE family past time, and has been since the children were young. It was well worth the time and energy invested. It amazes me how well they remember stories read to them in their toddlerhood all the way up.

  13. Treasures of the Snow is fantastic! I also really love Where the Red Fern Grows.

  14. A Murder for Her Majesty and The Ravenmaster’s Secret are two of our favorites.

  15. Lisa Manske says:

    All of the Little House books

    Dr. Doolittle

    The books by Thornton W. Burgess such as The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel

    The Hardy Boys books (although, when I read them aloud I skip all the references to people’s body shape/size)

    Mandy by Julie (Andrews) Edwards

    ALL the Beverly Cleary books. Who doesn’t love Ramona Quimby?

    Anne of Green Gables

    Catwings by Ursila Le Guin

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