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50 Books to Read Aloud to Your Family

50 Books to Read Aloud

April 12 is one of my favorite quirky holidays of all times — and one our family celebrates far more often than once a year. It’s National D.E.A.R. Day — better known as Drop Everything and Read Day. And since one of our favorite forms of family entertainment is reading aloud, this seems the perfect time to share one of my newest free printable bucket lists. This one I call 50 Books to Read Aloud.

People who know how much reading we do as a family have often asked for a such a list of recommended read-alouds. While the following litany is by no means exhaustive (these were the books that immediately sprung to mind when I set about compiling the list), we’ve read 40 of the 50 more than once and at least half of these titles three or more times.

So without further adieu, here are 50 of our family’s favorite read-alouds, in no particular order. Each title is linked the Amazon listing, in case you want more information or wish to order. Also, please note that we limited this list to fictional works. That’s why the Bible isn’t on it.

While we believe our family reaps lots of great benefits from reading fiction, none of them hold a candle to life-changing effects that come from reading the Word of God. So if you’re going to read only one book aloud to your children, we’d encourage you to start with that one. 🙂

50 novels every family should read aloud:

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – the story of an unlikely friendship that develops in the barnyard between a pig and a spider
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – children visit a magical land and meet the Lion who rules it
  3. Little Britches by Ralph Moody – a young boy learns important life lessons throughout this 7-book series
  4. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder – my favorite Little House book, all about Almonzo Wilder’s childhood
  5. First Two Lives of Lukas Kasha by Lloyd Alexander – a traveling magician inspires a lazy boy to change his ways
  6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – we read this account of Scrooge’s transformation every December
  7. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander – the harrowing adventures of an assistant pig-keeper
  8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – Bilbo finds a mysterious ring and all sorts of adventure
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – four sisters learn important lessons about love, joy, faith, and contentment
  10. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – a company of friends must overcome myriad and dangerous obstacles in their quest to save middle earth
  11. Wonder by R.J. Palacio – a beautiful tale of a special boy and the effect he has on his new school
  12. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – one of my father’s favorite: I can’t read it without thinking of Dad
  13. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreath – we can relate to many of the misadventures of this family with 12 children
  14. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – a freckle-faced redheaded orphan worms her way into the hearts of everyone she meets
  15. Stuart Little by E.B. White – Stuart is loved and accepted by his family, despite the fact he was born very small and looking remarkably like a mouse
  16. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – a magical cupboard brings the tiny figurines stored inside it to life
  17. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall – a widower with four young daughters takes them on a memorable summer vacation
  18. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – a young girl is stranded on a desert island and must keep her wits to survive
  19. Schooled by Gordon Korman – a home-educated boy makes waves when he begins attending the local high school
  20. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary – Ralph the mouse loves zipping around on a toy motorcycle perfectly sized for him
  21. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare – a young boy seeks to avenge his father’s death by driving the Roman occupiers from his homeland of Israel
  22. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan – a widowed father of two young children places an ad for a mail-order bride
  23. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – a church’s annual Christmas pageant is hijacked by a set of rowdy siblings with hilarious but heartwarming results
  24. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss – God abundantly answers a shipwrecked family’s prayers for safety and provision
  25. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman – a fun, eye-opening retelling of the prince and the pauper
  26. Little Pear by Eleanor Lattimor – a little boy finds all sorts of adventure in the small Chinese village he calls home
  27. Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen – a young girl marvels over the changes that occur when her family moves from the big city to a country farm house
  28. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – we love the whole set of Little House books and recommend you read them all
  29. Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare – a thirteen-year-old boy struggles to survive on his own in the Maine wilderness, watching over the cabin he’d built with his father.
  30. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angelinas – a boy apprenticed to a knight falls ill and loses the use of his legs
  31. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Atticus Finch agrees to serve as legal counsel for a black man falsely accused of attacking a white woman
  32. Watership Down by Richard Adams – a group of rabbits leave their home in search of a safe refuge
  33. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet B. Stowe – a heart-rending account of the cruelties of slavery
  34. Animal Farm by George Orwell – after taking over the farm, the pigs become far more tyrannical than the human masters they ousted
  35. The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis – two demons maintain a lively correspondence on the best way to tempt and torment the humans assigned to their charge
  36. Les Miserable by Victor Hugo – a man imprisoned for 19 years a for the crime of stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving family attempts to turn over a new leaf once he is finally released
  37. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – the moving account a family torn apart by the French Revolution and suffering despite their commitment to do the right thing
  38. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti – a story of the powers and principalities at play during every human conflict
  39. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – a poignant tale about a bloodthirsty society that sends children into an arena to fight to the death
  40. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs – when a hippopotamus dies at the FunJungle Zoo, a young boy named Teddy helps solve the mystery of his passing
  41. Cricket in Times Square by George Selden – a talented cricket fills a New York subway station with beautiful music
  42. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings – the story of an orphaned fawn and the boy who rescued and raised him
  43. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls – a boy works and scrimps and saves to buy a couple of hunting dogs, then trains them to track coons in the Ozark Mountains
  44. I, Juan de Pereja by Elizabeth Barton de Trevino – the story of a man who was born into slavery but died an accomplished and well-respected artist
  45. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – a young girl marches to the beat of a different drummer and doesn’t seem to care that she doesn’t quite fit in with the crowd
  46. The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander – a prince loses a bet, then wonders if it was all a dream when he has difficulty locating the one to whom he is indebted
  47. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers – a new nanny rocks the world of her two young charges and teaches them view life from a different perspective
  48. Larger than Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall – a plus-size girl has a plus-size personality to match, but the kids in her class are slow to appreciate her unique gifts
  49. Restart by Gordon Korman – a boy gets amnesia after falling off the roof and must decipher the reactions of his classmates to piece together what kind of person he was before his accident
  50. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – the story of a childhood crush told from alternating perspectives of a young boy and the neighbor girl who thinks he hung the moon

Want an easy reference printable version of our read-aloud bucket list? Just click on the button below to download your free copy.

50 Books to Read Aloud

Do you have any favorite read-alouds that didn’t make our list? Please share them in the comment section below. We’re always looking for new recommendations!

50 Books to Read Aloud

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    1. They shouldn’t be, Sara. those aren’t editorial markings (in other words, the strike-throughs do NOT mean I’ve changed my mind about recommending them). I have a plugin that alerts me when there is a broken link in any of my posts, but it sometimes thinks links are broken that are really still good. To find out for sure, try clicking on it. If it goes to the page, it still works.

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