Classic read aloud books are changing from what they were when my older children were little. The ones I’m recommending in this post would be the ones that are focused on classical books, verses books that are becoming popular today. Also, this list will consist of books for all ages and some of our favorites ones that are a must for all of our children.
Classic Read Aloud Books Without the Twaddle
I love to read to my children. Absolutely love it! I enjoy it when they seem so into the story that I request that I read one more chapter before stopping. That request isn’t always honored, because I try hard to stay within the short lessons for their ages, and book lovers will tell you stopping at the most exciting point will make the next read even better.
The list could be really long, but I’m going to attempt to give you the best of the best in this list. The list that in my home is the must have done before graduating homeschool. Don’t worry though, I will keep adding to lists for all genres to help you always have ideas for what to offer to your children.
Classical Books for Ages 3 Through 7
If you haven’t already gotten your child to love listening to you read to them, I would suggest starting with my Preschool Book List that consists of picture books that they will absolutely love. They don’t contain twaddle, either, so you will love reading to them as well.
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit – This is one of my favorite books to read to my children. I’m not sure if it is the beautiful illustrations, the short stories of the lives of animals or all of it put together. When I came across this book for the first time I truly felt as though I had found a master piece. All children really should have this book read to them, at least once.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh – Oh, the memories of Pooh bear in our home. Our oldest son was in love with Pooh so much that I painted a mural on his bedroom wall and he feel asleep every time with his favorite Pooh stuff animal. It was such a joy to find this treasure and read it to my children. How quickly they grow-the ideas of play that come from the 100 acre woods are priceless.
Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection – This was a gift to our oldest son when trains were all he could think about. Stories of Thomas and their friends have been requested by all of our boys, and they absolutely love it during this age.
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children – My children have loved this book filled with tales of a veterinarian that helped the animals of these stories. My older children were often found playing vet’s with their stuff animals after these read alouds. My daughter has since always been tender to new animal babies of all kinds. Such sweet stories and pictures!
Uncle Wiggly’s Story Book – True to Uncle Wiggly’s fashion, this story book is full of fun and surprise. Growing kids that have fallen in love with these other selections will just love the change that this book offers as a gentleman bunny goes through his day with all sorts of adventures.
Classic Books for Ages 8-12
This age is one where readers are growing in their own habits, but it is so important to still read to them. These are some of our favorite classical books for this age limit.
Teddy’s Button – A sweet story of a little boy who lost his father, and only has a button to remember him by, along with some tales of the button. He learns that he is his biggest giant to fight, when trying to be a Christian. Your kids will love this book, and relate to the fight to doing what is right.
The Basket of Flowers – A story of a father who uses flowers to teach his daughter about how precious she is and how important it is to stay pure.
Charlie’s Choice – Charlie struggles to what more than he has, and when given the opportunity to live a life with money. His choices and consequences are a wonderful way to share being content with your children.
Little Lamb – This story has mystery and struggle all through it. Hardship yields character, and with this book there are a lot of opportunities to talk about character.
My Side of the Mountain – By far my children’s favorite book at this age. A boy would long to live off the land, and survives on his own in a patch of land that belongs to his grandfather. So much learning among a great story will keep your children reading the other two books in this trilogy of classics.
On the Far Side of the Mountain – The second book of the three book trilogy of a boy surviving on a mountain, training a falcon, Frightful and learning to provide for himself.
Frightful’s Mountain – The last of the book in the trilogy, Frightful will keep your children engaged with the thrill of this story.
Swiss Family Robinson – A ship wreak leaves the Robinson family stranded on an island to learn how to survive on their own. They build their own tree house, and find a way to love their new home that provides lots of adventure along the way.
The Yearling – A story about a boy who adopts a fawn and raises it on their farm.
Charlotte’s Web – A sweet story about a pig, and its faithful friend, Charlotte, a spider who makes the pig magnificent to their farmers.
Swallows and Amazon – Adventure awaits a family of four siblings who camp out on the island, and sails around the bay in their boat, the Swallows. When they meet the owners of the Amazon, their summer adds more excitement than they planned.
Treasure Island – Buccaneers, treasures, ships and adventure awaits within this tale that children will love.
Kidnapped – When an heir is betrayed by his own uncle, and sold into slavery for his fortune the adventure begins and the story becomes captivating.
Old Yeller – A story about a dog, who steals food and then makes a way into a family who grows in love with him as his loyalty is proven time and time again.
Classical Books for Ages 13-18
Yes! Absolutely, yes! If you can get your kids to still read to them, do it. However, in our home because of our younger children, I have tended to make this age group wean off from read alouds by high school, and jump into books on tapes. My children LOVE listening to books on tapes, and I’m sure your children would as well.
A House of Love – The start of this book is anything but a house of love, as one girl has to walk through a hard relationship with a cruel mom, but the journey she takes will make a big difference in her character.
The Lost Clue – When a young man lives two different lives and comes to a cross road, a clue will have to make him make some hard choices that will build character.
Titus: The Commander of the Cross – A book that will set your child’s heart on fire for Jesus, as the story is set in the time of Christ. A must read! Over 200,000 copies were sold in 6 weeks of the time of its publication in 1894.
The Passage: From Darkness to Light – Intrigue, mystery, and suspense fills this book that will intrigue the reader or listener.
Wide, Wide World – This book is mentioned in Little Women, so when I came across it, of course it made its way to my shelves. The story of a little girl that lost both her parents, and found loving care takers among the harshest settings for a replacement to her loving mother. You will want to read Wide, Wide World Part 2, as the story continues.
The Hedge of Thorns -A story about a boy who was so tempted by what was beyond the hedge of thorns that he risked his sister’s well being for the knowledge. A perfect example for the reader to know that boundaries are there for a reason, and scars are the result when boundaries are crossed.
The Hiding Place – The story of Corrie ten Boon is one that every person should read. A story during WWII is a true story of a family that hid Jews in their home. This unbelievable story of the consequences this family made for others is a story of selflessness and faith like no other.
Ann Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – A story of a teenage Jewish girl hiding from the Nazi’s in 1942, along with her family and a few other people in the attic of a trusted friend. Our family enjoys the audio book best.
Pilgrims Progress Part 1 – An allegory of the life of Christian and all that awaits him on his journey to the Celestial City. I can’t recommend the audio version enough. I read this book in school but when I listened to it the first time with my family, I was so taken in, as were my elementary children. I require a second listening in high school, along with essay questions about the book.
Pilgrims Progress Part 2 -The allegory story of Christian’s wife, Christiana and his sons journeying to meet up with Christian in the Celestial City. Once again, the audio book out ways the actual reading of the book in my opinion.
Hinds Feet On High Places – An allegory story of Much Afraid, who resides in the City of Humiliation and journeys to The High Places with the help of those that she finds along the way. Another audio book that surpasses the reading of the book.
I hope you are as excited about this list of classic read aloud books as I am when I pulled it together. The warm feelings as I think about all of my children having such amazing resources as part of their curriculum is overwhelming to me.
Be sure to subscribe to my emails to stay informed about the additional resources that I will share on this blog.