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"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge
the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Read Aloud Favorites

A national committee called the Commission on Reading (funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education) recently did a two-year study of thousand of research projects related to reading. Their report had two primary findings. The first is that the single most important activity to build success in reading is to read aloud to your children. (Duh!) The second is to continue reading aloud to them throughout the grades. (Yep, that means through high school, not just until they can read themselves.)

Any book can be read aloud, of course. But some books are written in such a way that they are ideally suited for reading aloud. Such books utilize words, sentences, and figurative language in creative ways to enhance the plot development, bring the characters to life, and create a mood. The sound of a read-aloud story should appeal to your senses and not be a textual monotone. For young children, the repetition of words, phrases, or sentences is especially appealing because it encourages them to join in. When choosing books to read, remember to keep in mind that children can listen to books read aloud to them on a higher level than they would be able to read by themselves.

If the home environment is abundant with language, children will absorb it; if grown-ups take time to read stories, children will learn how to speak and listen. Listening is a difficult skill to develop, but it is extremely important. This is another purpose for which reading aloud can be helpful. Take turns talking about what each person thought about the book, the characters and their motivations, how the story could be better, and so on. It takes a little more planning and time to conduct a reading program in this way, but it’s well worth the effort.

The following are wonderful read-alouds that adults can enjoy reading and no child should grow up without hearing. I've included direct links to the books on so you can browse the reviews of other readers to get a better idea of which books would be appropriate for your family. Just click on the book's title for further information. (I haven't quite finished the links yet but I'm working on it!)


Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr.
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
Curious George, by H.A. Rey
Dr. Seuss’s ABC, by Dr. Seuss
Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss
Freight Train, by Donald Crews
Go Dog Go, by P.D. Eastman
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss
Mother Goose Rhymes, by various authors
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? , by Dr. Seuss
Sheep in a Jeep, by Nancy Shaw
Ten Apples Up On Top, by Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Helen Oxenbury

Ages 4-8

A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
Caps For Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina
Go Away, Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberley
Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss
Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans
Make Way For Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag
One Fine Day, by Nonny Hogrogian
Owl at Home, by Arnold Lobel
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, by Paul Goble
The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams
The Napping House, by Audrey Wood
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
Thomas the Tank Engine Collection, by Rev. W. Awdry
When I Was Young in the Mountains, by Cynthia Rylant
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Winnie the Pooh and House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne

Ages 8-12

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden
Doctor Doolittle, by Hugh Lofting
Encyclopedia Brown, by Donald J. Sobol
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
Gone-Away Lake, by Elizabeth Enright
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
Jungle Book and Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi
Pyrates, by Chris Archer
Sarah Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

Ages 12 -15

Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne
Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Over Sea Under Stone, by Susan Cooper
Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
The Yearling, by Marjorie Rawlings

Ages 15-18

Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ, by Lew Wallace
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Christy, by Catherine Marshall
Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Emma, by Jane Austen
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
Hinds' Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
Silas Marner, by George Eliot
Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
The Odyssey, by Homer (translated by Fitzgerald)
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
The Pearl, by John Steinbeck
Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Ageless Favorites for the Whole Family

Aesop’s Fables, by Aesop
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll
The Book of Virtues, by William J. Bennett
Cheaper by the Dozen, by Frank Galbraith
Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, by Ingri d'Aulaire
Favorite Folktales from Around the World, by Jane Yolen
Little Britches series, by Ralph Moody
Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan
Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
Tales from Shakespeare, by Charles and Mary Lamb
The Blue Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang
The Green Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang
The Red Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang
The Yellow Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang
The Secret Garden, by Frances Burnett
The Sugar Creek Gang series, by Paul Hutchens
The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss

I hope that you find the list both a helpful guide of books to read aloud to your children and a useful resource when choosing a book to give as a gift. If you appreciate the information provided at this website, please order through my affiliate links above. The books will be shipped directly from world's largest on-line bookstore. Many titles are offered at significantly reduced prices from the recommended list price (often at 10 - 30% off). Many of the listed books also qualify for free shipping (providing that you meet minimum order requirements). Plus you get the fun of having books delivered to your door -- that's always an exciting time at our house! :-)


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