Our Top 10 Read Alouds


Our family enjoys read alouds, and we have read many good books throughout our homeschooling years. Trying to narrow down the list to only the 10 best has been difficult for me – but not for my children! When asked, they instantly shot off some titles, some of which I did not know they had liked so much. In any case, since I have had to find books that appeal to both boys and girls as well as preschoolers, adolescents, preteens and teenagers, you can be assured that this list of books should appeal to your children too, no matter what the age. So select one you have not read yet, gather up the kids, and enjoy a good family read aloud together!

  1. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
    Belles on their Toes by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

    The adventures of the Gilbreth family continue to be classic and enduring stories of family life at the turn of the 20th century. The family is a mix of a famous efficiency-expert father, a brilliant psychologist mother and twelve rambunctious offspring of various ages. The book is one of America's all-time best-loved memoirs! The recent movies with Steve Martin are not based on this book, but there is a movie from 1950 based on this book and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie starring Gregory Peck. Most recently, librarians across the country voted it the best novel of the 20th century! The quiet heroism of Atticus Finch and the honesty of his children, Jem and Scout, as they face prejudice in the American South of the 1930s still ring true. (Note: You need to be ready to paraphrase or skip over a few paragraphs for younger children, but I did not find that a problem at all.)

  3. In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson
    Grandma's Attic series by Arleta Richardson

    Arleta Richardson is a gifted storyteller who draws you back to the “good old days” growing up with Mabel and her best friend Sarah Jane at the turn of the 20th century. She brings humor into the smallest incidences of everyday life on a small farm in the Midwest. Although the stories place great emphasis on Christian faith, they are told in a non-sentimental and non-preachy way. God's care for the O'Dell family is presented as a simple fact of life, seamlessly interwoven into entertaining stories of childhood mischief. The first in the series is the best.

  4. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Farmer Boy features the childhood of Almanzo Wilder, husband to the author, on a late 1800s New York farm. It teaches values, work ethics, and is interesting for kids. The other books in the series are just as good, but since this book features a boy as the main character, I thought it would interest my son the most. As it turned out, my daughters enjoyed it just as much as my son did!

  5. God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew, John Sherrill, and Elizabeth Sherrill

    This book reads like a fast-paced suspense novel, but the fact that it is true makes every word all the more incredible! God is so real in Brother Andrew's life that he cannot help but convey that reality to the reader. Miracles of the most extraordinary nature happen routinely in this book. Again and again, God gets Andrew through the toughest communist borders with Bibles and literature. He even gets through borders that were supposed to be impossible to get though!

  6. Eat More Chicken, Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy

    We enjoyed this book with all the appetite and delight with which we would enjoy a Chick-Fil-A meal! In addition to revealing the “secrets to his success” (which are really time-honored values we all embrace) in funny and heart-warming stories, Cathy provides an inspiring account of his life and the convictions he has held to unwaveringly over the years. He truly exemplifies a Christian life lived to the fullest.

  7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, became an instant success in the year of its publication, 1884, but was seen by some as unfit for children to read because of its language, grammar, and "uncivilized hero." The book has sparked controversy ever since, but most scholars continue to praise it as a modern masterpiece, an essential read, and one of the greatest novels in all of American literature. Twain’s satiric treatment of racism, religious excess, and rural simplicity and his accuracy in presenting dialects mark Huck Finn as a classic. His unswerving confidence in Huck’s wisdom and maturity, along with the well-rounded and sympathetic portrayal of Jim, draw readers into the book, holding them until Huck’s last words rejecting all attempts to "sivilize" him. Yes, you will need to paraphrase for younger children occasionally and use a few situations as opportunities to explain your family's position on certain issues, but we literally laughed out loud several times!

  8. Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold by Janet & Geoff Benge

    This is the story of Eric Liddell, champion of the 1924 Olympics from which the movie “Chariots of Fire” was based. The book follows his life from his boyhood in China to his death in a Japanese concentration camp in World War II. It is a beautifully written story of a great and godly man.

  9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

    This book is the best book in the Narnia series and a great piece of fantasy literature. The reading level is surprisingly light, but the concepts are timeless. Prominent themes include Christian allegory, faith, the possibility of the impossible, redemption, and rebirth.

  10. Teresa of Calcutta: Serving the Poorest of the Poor by D. Jeanene Watson

    This is an inspiring and challenging story of Mother Teresa, who for more than 40 years sought to be “the arms of Christ” to the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. It is a very moving and touching book.

You may also like to read More Top 10 Read Alouds from 2008 and The Newest Top 10 Read Alouds from 2010.

Homeschooling More Than One ChildAbout the Author:
Carren W. Joye is the author of Homeschooling More Than One Child: A Practical Guide for Families (ISBN 0-595-34259-0), Alabama State History Curriculum for grades K-9, and A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups (ISBN 0-595-14684-8). A homeschooling mom of four children and administrator of Outlook Academy, she has founded four successful playgroups, a homeschool support group, homeschool covering, and homeschool co-op. For more information on her books and state history curriculum, visit her web site at www.carrenjoye.com.