Reading aloud to your family is a cherished tradition that can instill a love of books in children at an early age. It also provides opportunities for family bonding and discussion. If you are looking for some new titles to read aloud, we have you covered!
We compiled a list of over 50 family-friendly titles, ranging from classic literature to modern stories. Whether you are looking for something light and fun or more challenging, we have something for everyone.
So gather your family around and enjoy some wonderful stories together! A family reading books is a happy family…
What are the benefits of reading aloud as a family?
One of the most important things families can do together is read aloud. It helps build strong relationships, teaches children how to read, and helps them learn new words.
Four reasons why read-alouds are so important:
1. It builds family relationships.
When families read together, they spend focused, enjoyable time together. They are creating shared memories and inside jokes. They are also building a family identity and culture. All of these things help to strengthen family bonds.
2. Reading aloud teaches children how to read.
Many children learn best by seeing and hearing something done rather than just being told how to do it. When parents model reading behavior, such as reading with expression or pausing at punctuation, children can learn these essential skills simply by watching and listening.
3. IT helps children learn new words.
Children who are read to regularly will hear new words that they might not otherwise be exposed to. This reading practice can help expand their vocabulary and improve their reading comprehension.
4. Reading aloud is just plain fun!
There’s no denying that family read-alouds are a great way to spend quality time together. And, they can be a lot of fun! So, curl up with a good book and enjoy some family time.
See my Scary Mommy article about teen read-alouds: Why I Still Read Out Loud to My Teens.
How to Choose Family Reading Books
Family reading books help you bond with your kids while piquing their interest in reading.
But how do you find the perfect book to read aloud together?
Here are a few tips:
First, consider your family’s interests. If everyone loves animals, look for a book about animals. If you have a family of sports fans, try a book about sports. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something everyone will enjoy.
Second, think about your family’s attention span. If you have young kids, look for a short and sweet book. Older kids (and adults!) can handle longer books, so don’t be afraid to go for something a bit more complicated.
Third, pick an age-appropriate book. Age-appropriateness is important for two reasons: first, you want everyone to be able to understand and follow the story; second, you want to avoid boredom. If you’re unsure what level to choose, ask your local librarian – they’re experts at matching books to readers.
Finally, have fun! Reading should be enjoyable for everyone involved, so don’t worry if you don’t find the perfect book immediately. Just keep looking until you find something everyone will enjoy!
Best Chapter Books to Read Aloud
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, little sister, and the dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? This book makes it into the top ten of our list of family reading books because it hits heavy themes in an accessible way.
Noah, his sister Megan, and their best friends, Richie and Ella, live next door to the zoo. Megan is the first to notice some animals’ puzzling behavior. One day Megan disappears, and her brother and their friends realize it’s up to them to find her. Their only choice is to follow a series of clues and sneak into the zoo. But once inside, they discover there’s much more to the Clarksville City Zoo than they could ever have guessed. This book ranks in our best chapter books to read aloud because it engages readers of all ages!
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she can hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the troublemaker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself, and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself, and the world opens up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and everyone—than a label and that great minds don’t always think alike. This book makes it onto our list of favorite chapter books to read aloud because of the diverse representation in it.
Thirteen is when a Beaumont’s savvy hits—with one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, Mibs Beaumont is eager to see what she gets. But just before the big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident. And now all Mibs wants is a savvy that will save him. Mibs is so sure she’ll get a powerful savvy that she sneaks a ride to the hospital on a rickety bus with her sibling and the preacher’s kids in tow. After this extraordinary adventure—full of talking tattoos and a kidnapping—no one on board will ever be the same. Hands down, this book makes it into my top ten family reading books of all time!
You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That’s what Humphrey was told when he was first brought to Room 26. And boy, is it true! In addition to having FUN-FUN-FUN in class, each weekend, this extraordinary hamster gets to sleep over with a different student, like Lower-Your-Voice-A.J. and Speak-Up-Sayeh. Soon Humphrey learns to read, write, and even shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course). With lots of friends to help, adventures to enjoy, and a cage with a lock-that-doesn’t- lock, Humphrey’s life is almost perfect. If only the teacher, Mrs. Brisbane, wasn’t out to get him! Humphrey makes it onto our list of best chapter books to read aloud because it delights young readers!
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. This book is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope in a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic.
Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.
Lucy Callahan’s life changed forever when lightning struck her. She doesn’t remember it. But the zap gave her genius-level math skills. She has been homeschooled ever since. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass one more test–middle school!
Lucy’s grandma insists: Go to middle school for one year. Make one friend. Join one activity. And read one book (that’s not a math textbook!). Lucy’s not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy’s life has already been solved. Unless there’s been a miscalculation?
Once, a china rabbit named Edward Tulane lived in a house on Egypt Street. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for a good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, Abby lost him. . . . Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we witness a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, lose, and love again. This one makes it into my top ten family reading books of all time because it’s a beautiful story.
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. Riots and unrest plague her country, so she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always hope for tomorrow.
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has made the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she goes to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in many ways. Suddenly Charlie is in danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs.
The truth is out there somewhere . . . but how far is Jack willing to jump to find it? Jack Phillips’s allergy to sunshine confines him to the shadows, leaving him lonely and at risk of life-threatening burns every time he steps into the light. Shadow jumping on the rooftops at dusk makes him feel alive. And free. But Jack’s condition is suddenly worse than ever, and only his missing scientist dad can save him. As Jack and his new friend, Beth, begin their frantic search and delve into his dad’s past for clues, they have no idea what they are about to uncover. Shocking rumors and dark secrets bombard them at every turn. Jack is brave on the roofs. But can he find the courage to face the truth?
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting–things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door. While this story deals with heavy themes, it makes it into my top ten family reading books because of its hopeful tone!
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, and holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It’s Archibald McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he’s dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Archie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: “Find jewels.”
But March learns that his father is not talking about hidden loot. He’s talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, the police pick them up and send them to the world’s worst orphanage. It’s not a hard time, but it feels like it.
March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father’s business inside and out, and they’re tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist and they’ll live the life of riches and freedom that most kids only dream about. This one makes our list of favorite chapter books to read aloud because the mystery excited younger readers!
It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.
His path isn’t clear—and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like a safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape—and an unexpected bridge back to the world.
Can you ever have too much of your favorite food? John Midas is about to find out….
The Chocolate Touch has remained a favorite for millions of kids, teachers, and parents for several generations. It’s an enjoyable story that pulls in even reluctant readers. This one makes it into my top ten family reading books because it is just good, old fun!
Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica don’t have much in common. Sophie loves hiking and her small town. Jessica would rather be shopping in a city. The only mystery is how they’ll be able to spend the summer together.
Then . . . they find a briefcase in the forest with a surprise inside. When they hear footsteps behind them and bad guys run after them, they have no choice but to work together to solve the mystery of The Feather Chase. We include this one on our list of favorite chapter books to read aloud because the mystery compels young readers to listen better!
Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…
But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she leaves behind her family for a new life in a place vastly different from the one she knows.
Sophie still keeps secrets and buries them deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.
Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together. We include this one in our chapter books to read aloud because the writing is strong.
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when they announce his fate as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret–behind the mirage of the “death farm” there exists instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child cultivates their creative abilities and learns how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle. We added this to our list of favorite family reading books because of its sense of adventure!
Around the globe, exceptional mice live in the shadows. Under the direction of famed mouse inventor Gadget Hackwrench, they work together as a team to solve BIG problems using SMALL gadgets. They are highly trained. They are nearly invisible. And they love cheese. Their mission: save the world.
In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.
Chasing Vermeer joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content! When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem-solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?
After her parents’ divorce, Bea’s life became different in many ways. But she can always look back at the list she keeps in her green notebook to remember the things that will stay the same. The first and most important: Mom and Dad will always love Bea and each other.
When Dad tells Bea that he and his boyfriend, Jesse, plan to marry, it thrills Bea. Bea loves Jesse, and when he and Dad get married, she’ll finally (finally!) have what she’s always wanted–a sister. Even though she’s never met Jesse’s daughter, Sonia, Bea is sure that they’ll be “just like sisters anywhere.”
As the wedding day approaches, Bea will learn that making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy, and readers will discover why the New York Times called Rebecca Stead a “writer of great feeling.”
Like many kids, Ben Ripley imagines life as a secret agent — so when he learns he’s been recruited to the C.I.A.’s top-secret Academy of Espionage, it sounds too good to be true. And it is. From the moment he arrives — and ends up in the middle of an enemy attack — Ben finds Spy School is going to be far more difficult, dastardly and dangerous than he expected. Even worse, he soon discovers that he hasn’t been recruited to become a top agent; instead, he’s been brought in as bait to catch a devious double agent. Now, Ben needs a crash course in espionage so that he can catch the mole, prove his worth — and get the girl. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be a very fun — and very funny — ride. This one makes it into our best of family reading books because it entertains kids of all ages.
For more, see Epic Middle-Grade Read Alouds Sure to Excite Your Tween.
Classic Books to Read as a Family
When Bastian happens upon an old book called The Neverending Story, he’s swept into the magical world of Fantastica–so much that he finds he has actually become a character in the story! And when he realizes that this mysteriously enchanted world faces great danger, he also discovers that he must save it. Can Bastian overcome the barrier between reality and his imagination in order to save Fantastica? This is one of our favorite chapter books to read aloud.
A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations.
This charming pocket-sized edition contains the complete unabridged text and features the original cover illustration, painted by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. The perfect gift for little Hobbits everywhere!
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. This is one of our favorite chapter books to read aloud!
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.
Seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood isn’t happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Throughout the school year, Holling strives to get a handle on the Shakespeare plays Mrs. Baker assigns him to read on his own time, and to figure out the enigmatic Mrs. Baker. At home, Holling’s domineering father obsesses over his business image and disregards his family.
As the Vietnam War turns lives upside down, Holling comes to admire and respect both Shakespeare and Mrs. Baker, who have more to offer him than he imagined. And when his family is on the verge of coming apart, he also discovers his loyalty to his sister, and his ability to stand up to his father when it matters most.
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. Holes makes it into our list of favorite chapter books to read aloud because it’s fun.
Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.
Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seem unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past. This one makes it onto our list of best chapter books to read aloud because of its hopefulness.
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem. While this one deals with some complex science, we include it in our top ten family reading books because kids gravitate toward the fantasy in it.
Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Trunchbull attacks Matilda, she discovers that she possesses a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it! We added this one to our list of best chapter books to read aloud because of its silliness.
Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him.
Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love? Your kids will read Charlotte’s Web in early elementary school. We like to add this one as a companion piece because it’s a lyrical and lovely chapter book to read aloud.
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, faces a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. We added this one to our favorite chapter books to read aloud because it’s so fun!
It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him. Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.
As Bethany approaches her thirteenth birthday, her parents act more oddly than usual. Her mother cries constantly, and her father barely lets Bethany out of his sight. Then one morning he hustles the entire family into the car, drives across several state lines — and leaves Bethany with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no idea what’s going on. She worries her mom and dad are running from some kind of trouble, but she can’t find out because they won’t tell her where they are going.
Bethany’s only clue is a few words she overheard her father tell her aunt: “She doesn’t know anything about Elizabeth.” But Aunt Myrlie won’t tell Bethany who Elizabeth is, and she won’t explain why people in her small town react to Bethany as if they’ve seen a ghost. The mystery intensifies when Bethany gets a package from her father containing four different birth certificates from four different states, with four different last names — and thousands of dollars in cash. And when a strange man shows up asking questions, Bethany realizes the’s not the only one who’s desperate to unravel the secrets of her past.
When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because he was a miser and would have money.
Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie had some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different, and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she had discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too. All four of my kids loved this book! That’s why it made it into my top family reading books of all time.
To her small village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When her life in the village becomes dangerous, Miyax runs away, only to find herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness.
Miyax tries to survive by copying the ways of a pack of wolves and soon grows to love her new wolf family. Life in the wilderness is a struggle, but when she finds her way back to civilization, Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she the Miyax of her human village—or Julie of the wolves?
Book Series to Read as a Family
Accompany the son of the sea god Poseidon and his other demigod friends as they go on a series of quests that will have them facing monsters, gods, and conniving figures from Greek mythology. Do they have what it takes to save the Olympians from an ancient enemy?
The Chronicles of Narnia
Readers of all ages—whether they are experiencing Narnia for the first time or returning once again to the magical world—will love seeing the creatures and landscapes of C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series in gorgeous color.
The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers for over sixty years, for here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where Centaurs, Giants, and Fauns fight battles. These books are classics for a reason! Kids love them. That’s why we include them in our top family reading books list.
His Dark Materials
These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels, and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them. The books make it into our best chapter books to read aloud because they include lots of adventure and relatable characters.
For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But now ThunderClan is in grave danger. Rival ShadowClan is growing stronger, a traitor may be hiding in their midst, and rising tensions threaten every cat in the forest. In the dark days ahead, ThunderClan’s fate will rest in the paws of an unexpected hero: an ordinary house cat named Rusty…who may yet turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.
City of Ember
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. But now with terrifying blackouts sweeping through the streets, Lina and Doon know it’s only a matter of time before the lights go out and never come back on again. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save Ember. Together, she and Doon explore long-forgotten parts of their dying city as they race to solve the mystery. If they succeed, they will have to convince everyone to follow them into danger and an exciting new world. But if they fail? The lights will burn out and the darkness will close in forever.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Catch up on the adventures of the Mysterious Benedict Society with this paperback boxed set, which includes the three original books in the New York Times bestselling series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and the Perilous Journey, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, as well as the prequel, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, and the all-new The Riddle of Ages. These books make it onto our list of best chapter books of all time because of the puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Brandon Mull’s New York Times bestselling series about siblings Seth and Kendra who discover their grandparents are the caretakers of a sanctuary for magical creatures!
Follow the brave and beloved heroine through her hair-raising adventures at the Biltmore estate in Serafina and the Black Cloak, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, Serafina and the Splintered Heart, and Serafina and the Seven Stars. This gorgeous set will delight loyal fans and new readers alike.
The first three books from New York Times best-selling author, Eoin Colfer, and the series Artemis Fowl are available in a sharp boxed set now! We added this series to our greatest family reading books because Artemis makes the best protagonist!
The Land of Stories
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy-tale characters they grew up reading about.
For more recommendations, see Dragon Books for Tweens We Love and New Middle-Grade Mysteries.
So there you have it – over 50 epic family reading books that will keep everyone entertained for hours on end. Now choose your favorites and start reading! If you want even more recommendations, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter where I share the best of the best in children’s books each and every week.