The Newest Top 10 Read Aloud List

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It seems like every two or three years our family constructs a new Top 10 Read Aloud List of family favorites. Our newest installment for 2010 is sure to provide your family with new favorites, too. Be sure to read the other two lists, Top Ten Read Alouds from 2005 and More Top 10 Read Alouds from 2008, as they have wonderful must-read books, too.

As always, these books appeal to children from ages 8 through 19, with adventures and lessons learned. Every one of them promise a lot of laughter and a few tears.

  1. Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers (Little Britches series) by Ralph Moody
    Little Britches was the literary debut of Ralph Moody, who wrote about the adventures of his family in eight glorious books. In this first of the series, Ralph Moody is eight years old in 1906 when his family moves from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth century, from auctions and roundups, to family picnics and irrigation wars, to tornadoes and wind storms.

  2. Marley and Me by John Grogan
    Grogan chronicles the hilarious adventures of newlweds, and eventually a family with three children, and their lovably naughty, hyperactive Labrador retrievers, Marley. From being kicked out of obedience school to eating a 18-karat gold necklace to comforting the young couple during sad times, Marley's antics will have you alternately laughing and crying. Dog lovers especially will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine. (Note: We all agreed that the book is better than the movie, although we did enjoy the movie too.)

  3. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
    Author Fred Gipson perfectly captures the time period of Texas in the late 1800's and the challenges of daily life. Into the mix of chores and adventures on the farm is the universal bond of a boy and his dog. Travis and Old Yeller are two characters that children of any age will immediately connect with and grow to love. Undoubtedly, the moving ending will remain with them long after the novel has been read.

  4. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
    Johnny Tremain is an exciting historical fiction novel that tells the story of a young boy caught up in the turmoil of 1773 Boston and the start of the American Revolution. As a young silversmith apprentice, Johnny meets with people we now call heroes, such as John Hancock, Sam Adams, and John Adams, and has adventures that bring history to life.

  5. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
    With over 14 million copies in print, this is an astonishing true story of Wilkerson's outreach to New York teens trapped by drugs and gangs. It's hard to believe that a book written about events that took place almost forty years ago could just as easily have been written today. David Wilkerson followed God's call to work with "lost" children, and the work continues today. Miracles do still occur, and Wilkerson has witnessed them.

  6. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    The Hound of the Baskervilles combines a traditional detective story genre with elements of a Gothic tale. The great detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal sidekick, Dr. Watson, take on a family curse, runaway convict, and a beautiful lady with a mysterious past in one of the classic mystery novels of all time.

  7. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
    The Bronze Bow
    is set in Roman-occupied Israel during the time of Jesus. Eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin is living in the hills above Galilee. He has been there for five years, having escaped a life of slavery. Elisabeth George Speare won the 1962 Newbery Medal for this magnificent novel of Daniel's tormented journey from a confining hatred to his acceptance and understanding of love.

  8. Fifteen by Beverly Cleary
    I read this as a teenager many, many years ago, and couldn't wait to read it to my children. Fifteen takes us back to 1959 — back to the time of our children's grandparents when milk was delivered to the front door and dogs ate horse meat and girls didn't call boys on the phone. The most popular boy in school has asked Jane out — and she's never even dated before. Stan is tall and good-looking, friendly and hard-working — everything Jane ever dreamed of. But is she ready for this? Suppose her parents won't let her go? What if she's nervous and makes a fool of herself? If only she knew all the clever things to say. If only she were prettier. If only she were ready for this....With her usual warmth, perceptiveness, and humor, Beverly Cleary creates the joys and worries of a young girl's first crush. Even my 12-year-old son enjoyed this book; he got a chance to learn that girls can be just as unsure and goofy as boys.

  9. Mama's Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
    Told from the viewpoint of one of the daughters, this bestselling book of the charming and often hilarious adventures of an immigrant Norwegian family living in San Francisco inspired the play, motion picture, and television series I Remember Mama. Although Mama is the central character, Papa is a very strong, loving support to the family. (Watch the black & white movie after you read it!)

  10. William Carey: Obliged to Go by Janet & Geoff Benge
    This is a thrilling story of William Carey, pioneer missionary to India and the “father of modern missions.” It shows Carey in all aspects as one who attempted great things for God, and expected and realized great things from God.


    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.