Read Alouds that changed our family

5 Read Alouds that Changed our Family

In our home, Read Aloud time is magical. Ok not really, but it is a feat to get everyone settled and quiet, and that in itself is magical. There is something special about gathering together on the couch or over lunch and reading a really great story. While I rarely force my children to read what I might consider “good quality” literature in their own reading time, I always try and choose excellent stories for our family read alouds.  These 5 great read aloud books have stayed with us long after we turned the last page. They are lovely in their character development and storylines. We have laughed a lot, cried some and rejoiced through the ups and downs of each chapter. We saw ourselves in our own humanity through the eyes of these characters, for better for worse. Our discussions have been rich.

5 Read Alouds that have changed our Family

Why are Read Alouds Important? 

In the digital age, with screens and gadgets vying for our children’s attention, the simple act of reading a book aloud to your child might seem quaint. However, don’t underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned read-aloud session. It’s not just about storytelling; it’s a potent tool for nurturing a child’s cognitive development and fostering a lifelong love of reading. Read-alouds are a fantastic way to ignite your child’s imagination and curiosity. When you immerse them in the world of stories, you transport them to far-off lands, introduce them to fascinating characters, and take them on adventures they might never experience in real life. This sparks their creativity and encourages them to dream, wonder, and ask questions.

The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes

Are you trying to teach empathy or compassion? Do your children have any bullies in their life? This book is a must read for every girl. So many great conversations evolved from this story. My children will never forget the impact of their own words on others after reading this short novel.

The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare

This beautifully written story will keep your children begging for another chapter. We followed Daniel, the main character throughout the story as he deals with the hand that life has dealt him under the oppressive thumb of the Romans. Can hate be overcome? How do you love someone that has hurt you? This will be a book we will return to time and time again.

Read Alouds foster Bonding

Read-alouds are a beautiful way to bond with your children. The intimate act of sitting down together with a book fosters a sense of closeness and security. It creates lasting memories and positive associations with reading, making it more likely that your child will continue to turn to books for comfort and enjoyment throughout their lives.

Whether it’s a bedtime story, a cozy afternoon on the couch, or even an impromptu reading session under a tree in the park, these moments of connection are priceless. They strengthen the parent-child relationship and provide opportunities for open communication and shared experiences.

The Tanglewood’s Secret, Patricia St. John

You CAN NOT go wrong with any of Patricia St. Johns books in this series. We have loved them all. Each of them have taught us something. I have cried my way through many of them. If you need some quality character building stories, these will give you many opportunities to point to real life situations and compare them to the characters stories in the book.

In the Tanglewood’s secret we were introduced to a character that struggled with her temper. This story allowed for us to discuss the implications of not controlling our emotions Which some of us may/may not have issues with… {ahem} It also sweetly pointed us to the need for all of us to have a Savior.

Patricia St. John's books

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

A book that needs little introduction. An epic battle of good and evil woven through great story telling and fantastic imagery. The allegories gave us much to discuss and it kick started us into a whole new love for the fantasy genre.

Almost Home, Wendy G Lawton

This is a story of the pilgrims journey to America. While I can’t say it is one of my favorites, it did give us a sobering view of the struggles of our early founders. Joy and contentment does not come from our circumstances, this was the lesson we learned and continue to reflect on after reading this moving story.

Do you have any books that have stuck with you long after you turned the last page? Share your favorites in the comments below. I would love to add to our growing list.

More Great Book List Ideas

The Best Christian Fiction for Teen Boys

Christian Fiction Books for Teen Girls

Best Christian Book Series for Teens

Great list of Pre-Teen Book Series for 8-12 year olds.

Are you looking for other ideas to connect with your family? These books have become personal favorites of mine over the last few years.

And If you are looking for MORE great books- Grab my 100+ must read books that you can print and use throughout your student’s school years! 
100 books your homeschooler should read before they graduate

33 thoughts on “5 Read Alouds that Changed our Family”

  1. We love read alouds! I honestly can’t imagine homeschooling with out them. I am impatiently waiting for Squishy to be old enough for Lion Witch and the Wardrobe.

  2. We LOVED the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. So very good! ( My characters seemed to always have British/ Scottish accents;).

        1. I LOVE the Wingfeather Series! They are excellent for reading aloud and then talking about what is happening … maybe not every chapter but there is so much to learn in them!

  3. One, of my favorite read aloud was Peppermints in the Parlor. I can’t remember the author and not even sure it’s still in print.

  4. We just finished Wishtree by Katherine Applegate in my second grade class and they loved it. I cam here looking for more ideas for read alouds. Thank you.

  5. Little Britches by Ralph Moody was possibly the most impactful book for our family as a read aloud. Life lessons we still discuss 10 years later. Love it so much ❤️❤️

  6. Tirzah
    Hittite Warrior
    Calico Captive
    Johnny Tremain
    Across Five Aprils
    Maniac Magee
    Bound for Oregon
    All excellent

  7. My dad read the Little House series to my sister and I and I’ve read several of them to my students.
    I teach 5th-8th in a private, small (2 teacher) school and two books that the students really enjoyed as read aloud were A Thousand Shall Fall and A Long Walk to Water. Spy for the Night Rider was a favorite of theirs as well, but they read in on their own- it is a fictional but plausible story about a servant of Martin Luther, and tells the true historical facts about Luther in an engaging way.

  8. I teach 9th through 12th grade literature in our home school co-op. I read God’s Smuggler, and The Hiding Place to my class every year. Both are biographies, co authored by Elizabeth Sherrill.

  9. Because of Winn Dixie

    Esperanza Rising


    The White Giraffe (plus others in the series)

    Ban This Book

    The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

    So many great titles to share with our kiddos! Thanks for your list and all the additional books in the posts.

  10. Cortney Deckard

    I love reading to my kids. Our favorite read aloud was A wrinkle in time. I got to change my voice for each character and explain if they remember where we were. I love family time. Now they are getting older and I haven’t had any read aloud time. Maybe your books will catch their attention.

  11. Hi! It would be super helpful if some age recommendations were added to these posts ❣️ I have kids ranging from 9-4 and wondered how to make a good selection for all to be engaged.

    1. Great idea! I don’t think too much about age levels when we do read- alouds because we pause so much to discuss the story. But in my personal opinion, I would say that these books would be appropriate for 3rd-6th grade. The Hundred Dresses could be as young as Kinder if read aloud.

  12. The Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies. We have read that over and over. Great realistic fiction that teaches a wide variety of life lessons. Fun and very engaging! My kids always begged me to read more (and I often gave in because I wanted to keep reading too!).

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