Top Ten Family Read-Alouds

These books have been a blessing to our homeschool. Enjoy one today!

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small kids reshape a small town in a big way

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

I have great memories of reading this book as a kid, so it was natural to pick it up for my kids this year. It starts a little slow – but seeing the pieces come together is a delight. The children in this sleepy seaside town wake it up and it all starts with a simple idea and a great teacher.

I couldn’t find a kindle copy, but this print copy is lovely.

Recommended Ages: 8-12


an adventure with Mr Toad

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

My 8-year-old boy adored this book. These four animal friends go on little adventures. For older kids, there are plenty of conversations to have about addiction and how to be a good friend. 

Fun Story: At church, we had a short lesson on St. Patrick. We talked about his early life, when he wanted revenge on his captors. My son piped up, “He wanted revenge? Just like Mr. Toad.” Luckily, I was his Sunday school teacher that day!

Available on Kindle

Better in Print

Recommended Ages: 6-10 (but older kids will like to listen along, too.)


Classic Orphan Story


Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Hear me out. This book is old and long and it may take time for your kids to get used to the language. But as a read-aloud, it’s worth the work. We spent a whole school year slowly reading this book and, in the end, my oldest was able to tell back the whole thing – almost scene for scene. The story sticks with you and is a beautiful tale of beauty from ashes, grace, and forgiveness.

Available on Kindle

Better in Print

Recommended Ages: 8-18

Make Geography/History Fun


The Tree in the Trail

Simple concept: Follow the life of tree along the Santa Fe trail. Watch native Americans come and go, the wagon trains travel, and the American frontier change.

We read this slowly over 12 weeks, checking the map as we read, to learn about the American southwest.

You need the print copy of this book.

Recommended Ages: 7-10

Peril on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My daughter absolutely loved the Little House books. Following Laura and her family was a joy. Start with the Little House in the Big Woods, then read the Prairie. If you read them slow enough, your children will enjoy the later books when they are older – which is good – because the later books explore more difficult themes.

Buy the hardcopy because you’ll want to pass them onto your grandkids.

Recommended Ages: 6-12


World War II Classic

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Here’s another book that I read as a kid – and it found a place in the bookshelf of my mind. Little images and sentences stuck with me. I didn’t even remember where some of these thoughts came from until I re-read this book with my kids. 

A family risks their lives to hide their Jewish neighbors during the early days of World War II. The main character, a young girl, has to grow up quickly to save her friend. Highly Recommend and you may cry. 

Read on the Kindle

Better in Print

Recommended Ages: 8-12


Cry with me about a spider


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

If this list were in any sort of order, this book would be number 1. We have used it as a read-aloud at home at least three times. I’ve read it aloud to my weekday class at church. It’s about true friendship and good writing and you can’t miss it.

Do not buy the kindle version. Get a good print copy and pass it on.

Recommended Ages: 5-12

Girl grows up Quick with Putney Cousins

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

After being treated with kid gloves in her Mid-west home, Betsy has to move in with the dreaded Putney Cousins. Will she recover from culture shock and learn the strange Putney ways?

My kids really loved this book. You will, too.

Read it on Kindle.

Better in Print.

Recommended Ages: 7-10

There and Back Again…

The Hobbit

I did not grow up reading the Tolkien books so reading them for the first time with my kids has been great. Follow Bilbo on his journey with the dwarves. The book is better than the movies! But it can be fun to watch the movie afterwards as a treat.

Buy it in print.

Recommended Ages: 7-18


Sweet Country Vet


James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

This book is a memoir-type book about a vet in the English countryside. It captured the imagination of my own children and the children at our weekday church program. The stories are short and the illustrations are beautiful.

Buy it in print.

Recommended Ages: 5-10