If you pull out a chapter book to read and your children whine, rolls their eyes, or run to do chores, you might
*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, The Unexpected Homeschooler may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read full disclosure policy here.
I have put together a list of read aloud books from several genres. Every single book is an excellent read.
Table of Contents
Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that
Best Read Aloud Chapter Books
Mysterious Family Read
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
If your kids enjoy quirky books, this series will fit the bill. A Series of Unfortunate Events is about three children who
Through a series of “unfortunate” events, the Baudelaire children try to get away from him and
While these books sound depressing and scary, the author has done an amazing job of putting a humorous spin on them. They are a fun read. You can use the Fortunately For You unit study that has
Britfield & the Lost Crown by C. R. Stewart
I can’t say enough good things about this book. We reviewed it and fell in love! I have written a full review about it you can read. It’s a mystery/adventure novel written for middle schoolers, but I think upper elementary and high schoolers would enjoy this
With the help of other orphans, he and his best friend Sarah
It is an adventure novel with lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
This book is about four children who answer a newspaper ad looking for gifted children to take a series of tests. They end up being the only ones chosen by Mr. Benedict to attend the very prestigious Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. Their true purpose is to spy on the headmaster of the school and find out what
Timeless Classic Family Read
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White- link to unit study
Everyone has heard of Charlotte’s Web, but if your children haven’t experienced it yet,
Use the Within the Web unit study along with the book.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine
This is a great science fiction/fantasy book about a family whose father disappears while working on a science project about a tesseract (a wrinkle in time). Warning: We have not read the entire series but I have heard that book 5 is unlike the others and contains mature content.
Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This is one of the most popular classics with homeschoolers. What is there not to love about the Ingall’s family and all the adventures they have when moving from Kansas and settling in Kansas? Did you know there are 9 books in the series? Well worth the read!
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
This is a wonderful story that deals with kindness and the homeless. When we started it, we knew nothing about it other than we saw it recommended on several reading lists. Everyone enjoyed this family read aloud. Caution: It’s a great read aloud but there are topics you may want to discuss such as stealing, lying, and wandering off with strangers.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary Lennox is an orphan who has to go live at her uncle’s house on the Yorkshire Moors. There are a lot of rooms and at night she hears crying from one of them at the end of a long corridor. There is a secret being kept, and she wants to find out what it is.
Through exploring the property, she finds a large garden that’s surrounded by walls and locked. She discovers a way in and spends much of her time secretly trying to bring it back to life. She ends up doing much more than that.
While they often suggest this book for girls, my son enjoyed it when he was in elementary school. Use the Gatherings from the Garden unit study to go along with it.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
This is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series. It’s about four children who discover a door in the back of a wardrobe. It leads to the land of Narnia,
We loved this book. I recommend viewing the movie after you read the book if you haven’t seen it already. Use the Wisdom from the Wardrobe unit study that goes along with it from Fortunately For You Books.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Marilla and her brother Matthew want to adopt a boy to help around the farm. They end up with Anne, who is a talkative, freckle-faced, energetic girl. Marilla wants to return her immediately, but Matthew
You cannot help but love Anne and this will most likely become one of your daughter’s favorite childhood books. Warning: There is a scene in the book where Anne accidentally becomes drunk on currant wine.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is a young girl who moves in to her father’s cottage Villa
I grew up watching Pippi Longstocking and loved her. I recently read the book to my girls and
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Jemmy is Prince Brat’s whipping boy. When the prince
Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.
Funny Family Read
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
This book is amusing. Mr. Popper is a house painter who spends his free time reading about explorers in the South Pole. After writing to one of them, a penguin arrives on his front
Esio Trot by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is by far my favorite author! I fell in love with his writing as a young
Everyone is familiar with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but he has so many other great books you need to explore.
Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
This book is about four sisters who take a summer vacation to Arundel Hall with their father. While they explore the area, they discover a boy, the son of Arundel’s owner, who becomes their companion. Together they have many adventures and seem to grow up during those three short weeks. The author
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Herdman children are an unruly bunch, “the worst kids in the
Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Your kids have probably seen the movie, but you need to read the book if you haven’t. It’s so much better! Willy Wonka has
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This was the first Roald Dahl book I ever read. It’s a story about a little boy and lives with his two horrible aunts. Life is miserable there. After dropping some magic crystals near a peach tree, an enormous peach grows. James climbs inside and meets some oversized friends. They
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
This is a story about three animals’ devotion to their owners as they travel a great distance and endure dangerous conditions to reunite with them. If you like Where the Red Fern Grows or Shiloh, this will be a favorite.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Clock family are tiny people who live under the kitchen floor of an English country manor. Whatever they need, they borrow from the family upstairs. They must be very careful not to
The BFG by Roald Dahl
This book has become very popular because of the movie release. While the movie was enjoyable, I still think the book was better. Little Sophie, an orphan in London,
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
When Keith and his family check into the hotel, Ralph the Mouse can hardly believe it when he sees Keith has a motorcycle. All his life, Ralph has wanted to see what’s beyond the second floor, and maybe even what’s outdoors. One day when no one is around, he goes for a ride. He ends up getting in trouble, but Keith discovers Ralph is riding his motorcycle and encourages him to ride. He even teaches him a few things. Ralph ha quite a few adventures and gets into some sticky situations in this adorable book. Fans of Stewart Little with like this one.
The Green Ember Series by S. D. Smith
This is an epic drama about rabbits against wolves. Good versus evil. They are in a battle for the missing heir and there’s lots of action and suspense! You will fall in love with the main characters, Heather and Picket,
Poppy by Avi
Poppy, a lovable mouse, makes a bad decision to follow her boyfriend Ragweed to Bannock Hill, even though they
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Omni is not happy that all he got from his best friend for his birthday is a little plastic Indian toy. He puts it away in a cupboard and locks the door using a skeleton key from his great-grandmother. Omni
Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E.
Frankelweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Claudia runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and take her brother along. Once in the museum, they get involved in the mystery of an angel statue purchased by the museum at an auction. This story is
Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.
Dramatic Family Read
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Billy’s family is very poor, but he has a dream of owning his own pair of hunting dogs. After lots of hard work and saving his money, he finally gets his them. His trains hard and his dogs become the best hunting team around. But with fame, comes jealousy and as a result, tragedy strikes. It’s a story of true love, integrity, hard work, and hope
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
August Pullman is born with a facial deformity. Until this point, he has
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Paul and Maureen Beebe want to own and tame Phantom. They save up enough money, but no one can capture her. Then Paul surprises them all and captures both Phantom and her newborn colt. Now they have to figure out how to earn enough money to purchase them both.
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
The theme of the book is about a father who
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Marty finds a beagle pup as he’s wandering the hills behind his home. There is an instant connection, and he wants to own him. He finds out his owner is a mean man who abuses his dogs. Shiloh, realizing he would
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend
Faith-Filled Family Read
Twice Freed by Patricia St. John
This story is about a young slave boy during Ancient Roman times who deals with a lot of fear and hatred. He runs away to start a new life.
Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin
This is the famous Pilgrim’s Progress story retold for children.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Daniel bar Jamin witnesses his father’s death by Roman soldiers. His hatred for them grows until he
Treasures in the Snow by Patricia M. St. John
Annette and Lucien do not get along. When Annette gets Lucien in trouble at school, he decides he will get revenge by using the most important thing to her, her little brother Dani.
Star of Light by Patricia M. St. John
Hamid’s little sister, Kinza, is blind. His stepfather considers her a burden to the family and wants to sell her as a slave. Hamid, who is only a young boy himself, put his life on the line to save her. He plans their escape and tries to find her a new home. What happens after that is is life changing. This is another book that has a special place in our hearts.
City of the Golden House by Madeleine Poland
A kind Roman soldier brings
There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
Historical and Educational Family Read
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Sara Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton leaves Maine and goes to the prairie when she answers an advertisement to become a wife and mother. Life is very different for her as she tries to adjust to becoming Anna and Caleb’s mom. Fans of the Little House on the Prairie series will enjoy this. It’s a very short book, but it captures your heart right away.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series by Maryrose Wood
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
This book takes place in Flint, Michigan during the depression.
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Jethro is nine-years old. The Civil War is about to start and his brother and cousin are both old enough to fight in it. The family becomes divided and
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.
Fantasy Family Read
Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
I’m not even sure how to explain these books. We’ve only read the first book and cannot wait to read the second! They are fantasy books in the truest sense of the word. The Igiby children’s father died years ago and they live with their mother and grandfather in a town ruled by the Fangs of Dang (reptilian creatures). The Fangs are after the Igiby family and the children do not understand why. There are secrets, lots of action, suspense, and humor. One of our favorites!
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Jonas lives in a perfect world. No one argues. They just conform. Then Jonas receives his life assignment as Receiver of Memory and he starts to questions their way of life and discover the dark secrets of their world.
The Chronicles of Prydain Series by Lloyd Alexander
The Best Read Aloud Chapter Books Are Timeless
Many of these I read years ago when my son was little. I am working my way through them again with my girls and they are still the best read aloud chapter books. Others are new ones I have added to the list at the recommendation of friends and we plan to use them as family read
Pick what suits your and your children. Don’t forget that some books start off slow and you need to stick with them for a while. I think you will find it’s worth it. These are books that make an impact and will stay with your children into adulthood. Best of all, when you pull out the book you’ll be glad they don’t whine, roll their eyes, or run off to do chores (okay maybe there was a benefit to that one).
Reading one book is