Classic Chapter Books to Read Aloud

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chapter books to read aloud

I love to read aloud to my boys. With two preteens and an almost-six year old, I get quite a variety and it’s great. However, I have to say that my favorite part is getting to pull out my childhood favorites. These chapter books to read aloud are some of the ones that my kids and I have enjoyed over the decades. They’re classics, but not in a stuffy way.

Our Favorite Chapter Books to Read Aloud

Little House in the Big Woods

My boys loved this story about Laura Ingalls and her family, living on the frontier. It sparked a lot of fun activities, too, seeing what it was like to live in “the olden days.”

This is actually the first book in a longer series that is well worth reading as Laura grows up.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This is a classic Roald Dahl story you really can’t miss! Who wouldn’t want to read about a starving boy finding himself in the middle of a fantastical chocolate factory. There is a sequel to this, but it just doesn’t measure up to the original.

Roald Dahl is actually a favorite author of ours and wrote other awesome chapter books to read aloud, such as James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and many more.

The Cricket in Times Square

This book may be better for the younger set, but it is still enjoyable as your kids grow. The unlikely friendship between a cricket and a kitten makes for a classic tale that is pretty hard to resist, no matter what your age.

If you enjoy reading this book, there are six more in the series!

Charlotte’s Web

Childhood just isn’t childhood if you haven’t read Charlotte’s Web and shed a tear or two. This classic read aloud book had my boys hanging on every word, waiting to find out what would happen to the spider Charlotte and the pig she so desperately tried to save.

The Indian in the Cupboard

We just finished reading this series and it was a big hit. The boys really enjoyed the idea of plastic figures coming to life in a magical cupboard! Even if it doesn’t turn out to be quite as fun as anticipated.

There are three other books in the series, including The Return of the Indian, The Secret of the Indian, and Mystery of the Cupboard.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Who can forget this adorable little mouse, Ralph, and the working toy motorcycle that gives him freedom a mouse can only dream of?

Once you’ve read this book, you’ll want to check out Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse to continue the adventure.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

We’ve seen the movie, but the book is always better and this one was no exception. Mr. Popper ends up with an apartment full of penguins that destroy his life while making it hilariously better. We really loved this one.

Ella Enchanted

Just because I have boys doesn’t mean I skip these traditionally “girly” books. After all, Ella Enchanted is a terrific story of a girl with a curse who finds it within herself to be her own person, no matter what limitations are placed on her, which appeals to everyone.

Old Yeller

Once my boys were a bit older, we moved on to harder hitting chapter books to read aloud. Like Old Yeller, which combines a boy’s love for a dog with frontier life and adventure. It’s a classic, but a tear jerker.

Where the Red Fern Grows

Another puppy love tale with a sense of sadness in it is Where the Red Fern Grows. It’s set a little later in history than Old Yeller, but the adventure and love of dogs is the running theme throughout. Be aware, it involves racoon hunting as a big part of the story, which may not be ideal for all kids.

Pippi Longstocking

We laughed a lot reading this book about a girl who was raised on the high seas and lives in a house by herself . . . well, with a horse and a monkey. Pippi’s antics are fun to read about and definitely a classic.

The fun doesn’t end with this book, so if your kids enjoy it as much as mine, you’ll also want to pick up Pippi Goes Onboard and Pippi in the South Seas.

What are your favorite classic chapter books to read aloud to kids? Let me know in the comments . . . we’re always looking to expand our reading list!

Chapter books to read aloud

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