One of my favorite (and first) things about planning our homeschool year is choosing the books we’ll read together over the year. We’ve been reading aloud together for 10 years and have many favorite family read alouds. Sometimes finding that next read can be hard–there’s so many to choose from!

I’ve scoured our bookshelves to find our very favorites from these last ten years. All my kids and I have weighed in to share our favorite family read alouds. As my boys have gotten older, they’ve opted in or out of family read aloud time, depending on the day. This list, then, is aimed at ages 5-12, but is certainly flexible.

So here’s our TOP 35 read aloud picks in no particular order.

Learning Well LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Affiliate links from Amazon or other programs are used on this website. For more info, please refer to our disclosure statement.

Our family's favorite read alouds

Our Favorite Family Read Alouds for Any Time of the Year

1 The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicketts — We LOVED this series and the show on Netflix. It’s probably not the very best pick if you have really sensitive kids, as they do talk about death quite a bit, but we found it super witty and funny.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

2. Stuart Little by E.B. White — This is a perfect read aloud if you have really young kids you’d like to read aloud to.

3. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — Another E.B. White for the win!

4. Mary Poppins–Very different from the Disney movie, my kids and I enjoyed how very strict Mary Poppins was in this book!

5. Call it Courage — A wonderful Newberry Winner that you can read in a few days with your kids.

6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery — A book I’ve connected to an emotional time in our family history. Such a great classic for everyone!

7. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate — This book is a tear-jerker but so good! About a very popular gorilla in captivity that has great artist talent.

8. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl — My kids wanted to make sure this was on the list. A great redemption story!

9. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty — A little on the spooky side, this book is set in one of our favorite places ever– The Biltmore Estate! 

10. The Wizard of Oz — Even more weird than the movie! It’s a total page-turner!

11. The Little Princess — We loved this classic.

12. The Hundred Dresses — This is one of those books that really makes you want to be a better person.

Family Read Alouds for Comic Relief

13. The BFG by Roald Dahl — Absolutely love this book!

14. The Penderwicks — My kids are loving this whole series! Great for all year round, but especially in summer.

15. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein– My kids love to read these poems aloud to each other.

16. Homer Price — This is a silly compilation of many stories about Homer, a very goofy kid. We loved this one!

Seasonal Read Alouds

17. The Secret Garden — this one will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the first read aloud I ever read to my kids. A great pick for spring when you’re growing your garden!

18. Heidi by Johanna Spyri — This book was so much better than I thought it was going to be. My kids were captivated! Heidi is such a wonderful heroine! This is a great one for winter or summer–the descriptions of the mountains during the seasons are so good!

Great Read Alouds for Learning About History

19. The Laura Ingalls Wilder series— some of my ALL-TIME favorite books ever! We even went on a Laura Ingalls Wilder road trip, we love her so much. Also see our favorite LIW resources, too.

20. Homesick by Jean Fritz — We love so many of Jean Fritz’s books, and this is her autobiography. I was pleasantly surprised by how much we were sucked into this story of her childhood!

21. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry –a favorite of mine because it was the very first historical fiction I ever read–in 5th grade!– and I was hooked ever since. Some parts of this book can be a little scary, but we loved reading this together.

22. The Witch of Blackbird Pond— This is a great book if you’re studying early American history.

23. Sophia’s War by Avi — Another great pick for early American history. We love Avi books in our home!

24. The Birchbark House — I’ve heard this described as the Native American version of the Little House series and found that to be very true. It’s all about the Ojibwe people.

25. The Royal Diaries: Anastasia the Last Grand Duchess — We really enjoy reading all the Royal Diary series, but this one was a favorite.

26. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo — A touching story, especially if you’re learning about WWI. We loved following it up with the movie as well.

27. Stories of the Pilgrims — This is an older book and I was surprised how captivating it was for all of us! We learned so much!

28. Bud, Not Buddy — Even more than a year later, we still talk about this book. About a little boy without a real family in the Great Depression.

29. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths — Our favorite Greek Myth book we own. And the illustrations are so so good!

30. The Hired Girl — Sophia and I loved reading this together. Great conversations with this one!

31. Ten Queens: Portraits of Women in Power — A compilation of stories of strong women from history. Some of these stories are brutal!

Favorite Family Read Alouds for Christmastime

32. The Family Under the Bridge — A great story about kindness, which is great for all times of the year.

33. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder — another from the LIW series, but I love to read this one around Christmastime.

34. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever — Such a hilarious book with a great message.

35. The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens — We have read this so many times now. It has such a great message too!

We are constantly adding to our favorites list–how can you pick just a few in a world with SO many good books!? I would love to hear what’s on your favorite read aloud list too! Let me know in the comments below…

More Book Lists You Might Like


  1. What a GREAT list!! I feel like so many lists are books that are just repeated over and over again, but ALL of these are some I’ve forgotten about, or because of your brief review, make me want to read them!! Thank you so much, can’t wait for our next library trip, also going to have trouble deciding which to read first! 😉

  2. Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks.

    Just finished reading to my grandchildren, ages 6, 11 and 12.
    My granddaughter said she didn’t like to read and saw no point in doing so, I replied you haven’t found a good book yet. This began my school night trip to their house to read a ‘Chapter Book’. It went very well, the 6 year old usually fell asleep, the 11 and 12 year olds loved the anticipation of the next night. I would read Sunday until Thursday leaving the weekends to their activities.

  3. Hi, my name is Greg Smith. I write fun, children and family-friendly, STEM supportive books for children. The 15 books are adventurous, engaging, and safe to read aloud. For readers ages 9 and up. Please visit GregoryOSmith.com to see the books and their video trailers.

    Thank you and stay healthy,

    Greg Smith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.