Reading is a wonderful family activity you can share with your kids all the way through adolescence. Reading to kids even after they are able to read for themselves has countless benefits, and the options are nearly endless. Below you will find the list of books I have read to my children at each age and stage of their lives. This list does not include all the picture books that occupied the bulk of their early childhood; rather, it encompasses our reading journey from the point I began reading them chapter books and classic literature. I try to choose each new book intentionally, with an eye for exposing my kids to books they may not read in school, but which nevertheless will expand their vocabularies, give them a sense of history and cultural context, enable them to recognize common literary characters and references in popular culture, and open them up to a wide variety of examples of really great storytelling. 

Ages 5-6

Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren

The Magician’s Nephew - CS Lewis

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

The Horse and His Boy - CS Lewis

Charlotte’s Web - EB White

Stuart Little - EB White

Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett


ages 6-7

Kavik the Wolf Dog - Walt Morey

Misty of Chincoteague - Marguerite Henry

Stormy, Misty’s Foal - Marguerite Henry

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder

By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little Town on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder

The First Four Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Prince Caspian - CS Lewis

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O’Dell

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Heidi - Johanna Spyri


ages 7-8

Along Came a Dog - Meindert DeJong

The Yearling - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Flora and Ulysses - Kate DiCamillo

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - CS Lewis

Man O’ War - Walter Farley

King of the Wind - Marguerite Henry

Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahamme

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

The Lemonade War - Jacqueline Davies


ages 8-9

The Lemonade Crime - Jacqueline Davies

The Bell Bandit - Jacqueline Davies

A Single Shard - Linda Sue Park

Nancy and Plum - Betty MacDonald

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L’Engle

Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor

Stuart Little - EB White

The Silver Chair - CS Lewis

Black Beauty - Anna Sewell

Winterdance - Gary Paulsen

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens


ages 9-10

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

The Way of a Dog - Albert Payson Terhune

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain

The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Wonder - R. J. Palacio


ages 10-11

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Doldrums - Nicholas Gannon

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

The Swiss Family Robinson - Johan Wyss (We didn’t finish this one—got several chapters in but decided it wasn’t a favorite.)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom

Ages 11-12

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing