17 Epic read-alouds you’ll love as much as your children :)

17 Middle-grade/pre-teen read-aloud recommendations endorsed by the whole family

In which we share 17 of our favourite read-alouds you’ll love. Not as much as you love your children. I mean, they’re good, but not that good 🙂

But, hopefully you’ll love reading them aloud as much as your children love listening to them. At least, that’s how it’s worked in our house. All of the books on this list have been read in the last year or so with my 8 year old.

Read-alouds are an essential element of our home-ed day. We spend hours reading aloud in this house – and garden, car, even the park, wherever we happen to be. And we love it. 

While I might do a teensy-bit more than the others, everyone in our family of 6 does their share of reading aloud  – aka as much or as little as they want 🙂  

Along with me and our youngest daughter, there’s Dad, teenage son and two 20-something daughters. My 8 year old daughter’s currently-reading books with all of us. More than one with some. And even one with her sister who’s away at Uni, don’t you just love modern tech? 

Many of these books have had multiple road-tests over the years and still come up smelling sweet as ever. There are some absolute beauties in this list, not biased at all 🙂

And 12 of them are the first in a series. Add in the 11 bonus books I couldn’t resist mentioning, plus all the sequels and in total we’re sharing a whopping 137 books with you today. What can I say? We love books.  

In general terms, they’re all suitable for the middle-grade/pre-teen age range.

I’ve included links to each book – clicking the title will take you to Amazon (not affiliate links) and the author to Goodreads. That way you can find out all you want to know regarding specific age recommendations, plot summaries, other books by the same author, reviews and much much more.

So, let’s get to it…

17 epic read-alouds you’ll love as much as your children

1. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

This list is in no particular order. Although The Incorrigible Children might just be one of my favourite book series’ of all time, especially to read aloud 🙂

We’re almost at the end of our second read-through of the entire series and my daughter wants to start them all over again once we’re done. We may just keep reading these on a loop, forever.

First in a series of 6. An enchanting delight for all the family.

2. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Another series we’re reading again without a break, it’s that good 🙂

Despite loving the Little House on the Prairie show for as long as I can remember, I’d never read the books. Until recently that is. And while the show will always have a special place in my heart, these books have certainly won me over.

First in a series of 9. All except one of the books feature the Ingalls family. Farmer Boy follows some of Almanzo Wilder’s childhood and can be read at any point. Almanzo meets the Ingalls family and joins the main events in By the Shores of Silver Lake so we’d suggest slotting it in somewhere before then. Much as it’s sad to leave Laura and family, even for a short time, we love Farmer Boy. Definitely holds its own in the series.

3. Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A lesser known classic by the author of Anne of Green Gables – yet another one of those read-alouds you’ll love as much as your kids, for sure. And as an aside, we recently discovered there are another 8 books in the Anne series we’ve yet to read. Such joy 🙂

And while we’re on the subject of strong female leads, a sneaky bonus recommendation just for you… Heidi by Johanna Spyri

But getting back to Emily… this book is the first in a trilogy. Only read this one so far but eager to read the rest. We discovered this book through the lovely Erin from Ever Learning. Her book suggestions have been big hits in our house and we were chuffed to see she’s just published a new post on Canadian Fiction for Children – Beyond Anne of Green Gables.

A couple more classics we’ve loved…

4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

5. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

And bringing it a bit more up-to-date…

6. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

The first in a series of 8 books. An amazing adventure series featuring a teenage criminal mastermind and fairies, as you’ve never seen them before. One of our absolute favourites 🙂

7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

With the audiobooks blaring almost-continuously somewhere in our house since the day she was born, my youngest daughter finally grew fed up with catching snippets. She wanted to hear the entire story from beginning to end. And she wasn’t disappointed. In case you’re a fan of the movies only, this is the first in a series of 7 books. And really… you need to read the books.

8. My Sister the Vampire : Switched by Sienna Mercer

A whopping 18 books in this series, fairly quick reads but lots of fun. Sienna Mercer also wrote My Brother the Werewolf, a 4-book series.

Some even shorter, but very sweet reads we’ve enjoyed…

9. Sophie’s Snail by Dick King-Smith

First in a series of 6.

10. Fairy Unicorns : The Magic Forest by Zanna Davidson

First in a series of 5 books. Part of the Usborne Young Reading Series. Pleasantly surprised to find them so enjoyable to read aloud and my daughter loves them. There’s also a 6-part Fairy Ponies series.

11. Zoe’s Rescue Zoo : The Lonely Lion Cub by Amelia Cobb

Another series of 18 books. Again, wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy these but they’re fab.

And talking of animal stories, you can’t beat these…

12. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

13. A Sheep called Skye by S. R. Harris

First in a series of 4.

14. Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick

If you love Winnie-the-Pooh, check out the backstory and meet the bear who inspired Pooh and the gang. You can find out more about this book and enjoy some classic quotes from The Hundred-Acre Wood here, another must for any fan 🙂

A couple of books(eries) we’ve discovered more recently and will definitely be going back for a re-read, or two…

15. The Angels of Abbey Creek by Sue Elvis

First in a series of 2. Originally written for someone special, we’re so glad Sue shared these with the world. Each book follows a year in the life of the lovable Angel Family and rumour has it, the third instalment will be available soon 🙂

16. Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

First in a series of 5, so far… My eldest daughter described this as weird, wacky and ever so wonderful, a book for book lovers, and great fun to read-aloud and to listen to. Ticks all the boxes 🙂

And, for our last epic read-aloud you’re sure to love as much as your children…

17. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Some might say we’ve saved the best for last 🙂 Undoubtedly a classic and truly a joy to read.

It would’ve been mighty difficult for my youngest to ignore the lure of Middle Earth. Just as with Hogwarts, she was familiar with this universe from a young age – one of the many delights of having older siblings 🙂 And she wanted to learn more.

So while we’re savouring the anticipation and hoping to hold off on the big trilogy for a while, we were all more than happy to revisit The Hobbit. And not just the once. Another of those books we read twice back to back, or should that be cover to cover? Anyway, we’d love to know, do you love re-reading books all over again without a break? And if so, which books? We want to read them too. Let us know in the comments.

And that’s a wrap, almost…

We couldn’t leave without letting you know what we’re reading now – along with a few re-reads, of course 🙂 – What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge – I wasn’t sure at first but am loving it now, while my daughter was won over from the very first page.

And what we’re planning to read next – Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter and Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (we thoroughly enjoyed Ronja the Robber’s Daughter by the same author). Personally I’m particularly looking forward to re-reading the Percy Jackson series, new for my daughter but loved by all her siblings. Don’t you just love re-visiting old favourites?

If you’re wondering how we keep track of all these gorgeous literary jewels, well, we use Goodreads. And I explain all about that here and here.

And now it’s over to you… we’d love to know your favourites on this list, and even better for us, what you think we should be reading next.

We regularly share book posts over on Instagram and would love to chat with you there. And as for the blog, much more book-ish and reading related content on it’s way soon. If you’d like to be notified each time we publish a post, please subscribe to the blog – scroll back up on your laptop, or down on your mobile and enter your best email in the box 🙂

Happy reading all x  


  1. Hayley, this is a fantastic post. As an adult, I continue to enjoy children’s fiction myself … so many good titles! I had never heard of A Sheep Called Skye. I noticed there is actually A Sheep Called Skye website with all kinds of good stuff including handmade sheep, it looks like. 🙂 Have you read All of a Kind Family? Or Caddie Woodlawn? Thank you for the mention/link!

    1. We didn’t know about the Sheep called Skye website, it looks sweet and I love the look of the greetings cards, thanks Erin. And for those book recommendations too, all new to us. Will be checking those out, much appreciated 🙂

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