The 21 Best Chapter Books to Read Aloud: Picks Your Kids Will Love

17 chapter books to read aloud

My kids love listening to me read, so I am always on the hunt for great chapter books to read aloud.  Whether I am reading poems, picture books, or chapter books, reading is the one thing I can do that will keep my kids captivated. 

Reading to your children at night great way to unwind.  You will often find all of us sitting in one bed reading “just one more chapter”. For little kids especially, their listening comprehension is much better than what they will be able to read independently.  So, even if you practice reading with your kids every night, it is also important to continue to read to your children as well. 

Read aloud books help improve your child’s independent reading as well as their language comprehension as well! This is one of the posts we have in our reading readiness program and the importance of reading. As a Speech and Language Pathologist, I have spent my life studying language development and reading is a critical component.

*Read Aloud Books Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Why Are Read Aloud Books So Important?

There are so many reasons we should read aloud to kids while they are learning how to read and even after they are successful independent readers
1. It promotes reading
2. it fosters a love of reading
3. It helps improve vocabulary (children may skip over words they don’t know when reading independently)
4. Opens the doors for conversations about the text and allows you to develop reading comprehension skills
5. Reading celebrates both the illustrated and written word. Reading together may allow your child to read books they would not normally read

Chapter Books to Read Aloud: Modern Tales

Mercy Watson and morebooks for a 6-year-old

Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo

My youngest son’s favorite early reader series revolved around a pig named Mercy Watson. We have every book about this charming pig being raised as a child in the Watson home.

There is also a spin-off series about her neighbors on Deckawoo Drive. These are the perfect books for a 6-year-old and perfect for a list of read-aloud books as well!

Why we love this book: We love Kate DiCamillo and the wonderful messages in her books but we cannot overlook the wonderful drawings my Chris Van Dusen!

tale of

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

We Love Kate DiCamillo. She is a modern storyteller who appeals to children intelligently and thoughtfully.

I feel like I could choose every single one of her books to put on this list so take your pick. This Newberry Award-winning book is delightful.

Why We Love This Book: We love the message in this wonderful book that is a story of love, bravery, friendship, wishes, and dreams.
Find this book in Best Books for a 6-year-old / The Best Family Audiobooks / Read Aloud Books

bunnicula and other halloween books for kids

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe

Chester, a cat, and Harold, a dog, live in perfect harmony with their family until a new pet is brought onto the scene. When the family brings home a new bunny named Bunnicula, Chester is convinced he is Dracula’s rabbit.

When weird things start to happen, they are convinced that Bunnicula is a vampire rabbit! Hijinks ensue. It’s the first in a series and the second one is even funnier/

Find this book in The 17 Best Chapter Books to Read Aloud / Halloween Books for Kids / Children’s Books About Bunnies

The Chocolate Touch

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

I adore this story about a little boy who gets the magical power to turn everything he touches into chocolate. If you have not read it, you have to know it’s absolutely hilarious.

Why We Love This Book: This twist on the Midas Touch is adorable and the thought of turning parents into chocolate had my kids rolling with laughter.
Appropriate for ages 
Find this book in
Candy Books / Read Aloud Books / Audiobooks for Kids

teddy and co

Teddy & Co. by Cynthia Voight

Think Winnie the Pooh meets Toy Story in this sweet story about a group of toys.  We love this read aloud book because of its wonderful message of sharing and kindness and we think you will love reading this book with your child.

unnamed file

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa

This book is so cute.  I love it.  Giraffe is looking for a friend and decides to write a letter.  He finds a Pen pal, Penguin, on the other side of the world.  How old school and sweet.  This book is engaging and cute and it is one of the read aloud books we read over and over again

Chapter Books to Read Aloud to Older Kids


Wonder by R.J Palacio

A must-read realistic fiction story for kids in middle school, this is an amazing book about embracing differences, kindness, and being yourself.  However, this would also be a wonderful read-aloud book for a younger audience. CW: This is one of the books that will make you cry.

August Pullman is a boy with an extraordinary facial difference.  He has been homeschooled his entire life and is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep.  This book for 11-year-olds is amazing and has a lesson about love and acceptance that everyone needs to read.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

This charming story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.⁣

My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family. ⁣

Why We Love This Book: We love that the Vanderbeekers’ story normalizes city living and a bi-racial family – something that’s hard to find in many children’s book series. You will fall in love with this cast of characters and as the series progresses you’ll come to regard them as family.
Appropriate for ages 7-11
Find this book in
Best Books for a 10-Year-Old / Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips / Read Aloud Books / Realistic Fiction Books / Feel-Good Books

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.

The first in a realistic fiction series of 5 books about sisters, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family roadtrip.

Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone and more fantasy books for tweens

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

I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about. I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published. 

This story introduces us to Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger; our fearless trio.  We also meet the other favorite beloved and detested characters that make the Harry Potter book series so special. After all, what would Hogwarts be without Hagrid, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy?

Why We Love This Book: In our opinion, this is the best children’s fantasy series ever written. It features strong lessons on morality, inventive plotlines, and hidden threads woven throughout the entire series. Jim Dale’s audiobook narration of this book is award-winning. He voices over 200 characters, each with distinct accents.
Appropriate for ages 
Find this book in
Books like Harry Potter / Books Like Percy Jackson / 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter / Harry Potter Books in Order / Best Audiobooks for Kids

Read Aloud Children’s Books: Series

magic tree house

Dinosaurs Before Dark: Magic Tree House #1 by Mary Pope Osbourne

The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system!

Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark…or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner? Did you know that there’s a Magic Tree House book for every kid?

Why We Love These Books: We love that there are so many adventures to choose from. We know your picky reader can find a few that appeal to their likes!
Find This Book in 40+ Early Reader Books / Read Aloud

Earth Dragon

Rise of the Earth Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Master Series #1) by Tracey West

We love this series and love the Branches books series as the perfect books to transition from reading together to reading independently.

My children read this series long after they were “age-appropriate” because the stories and pictures are great.

There are female dragon master characters that make this series appealing to boys and girls alike.

Read Aloud Books: Classics

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

This story is quite the classic and it revolves around all things candy! With its creeptastic vibes, it’s also wonderful for Halloween.

Charlie is thrilled when he gets a golden ticket to see inside Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory, but this is no ordinary candy factory. The machines and recipes behind the walls of the factory are what dreams are made of. This is a wonderful read-aloud book.

Find this book in Best Classic Books for Kids / Best Books for an 8-Year-Old / Read Aloud Children’s Books / Kids Food Books

Charlottes Web

Author: E.B. White

Illustrator: Garth Williams

Year: 1952

Genre: Children’s Classic

Age: 5-8

More info: Newbery Winner

This is such a wonderful story of unconditional love and friendship.  When Fern saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the pig litter, she promises to take care of him. As Wilbur grows, he befriends Charlotte, a spider, who ultimately saves his life a second time.

This is such a heartwarming classic book for kids. We dare you to read it without crying.

Find this book in: Best Classic Books for Kids / Read Aloud Children’s Books / The Best Family Audiobooks / Animal Books for Kids

Mr. Popper

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

This Newberry Honor book is a classic.  Originally published in 1938, it tells the story of a painter who finds himself in a house full of penguins. 

This hilarious tale is sure to keep the kids entertained. It is funny and sweet and has withheld the test of time.

Find this book in Best Classic Books for Kids / Read Aloud Children’s Books / Children’s Books About Winter

ramona quimby

Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Ramona is another adorable character who is perfectly imperfect.  She is sweet and lovable and gets into her share of trouble.  Whether reading to boys or girls, every child can relate to Ramona.

Why We Love This Book: When it comes to first chapter books Ramona can’t be beaten! Cleary’s classic has stood the test of time.
Appropriate for ages 
Find this book in
Realistic Fiction / Books for 6-year-olds / Kids Audiobooks /

my fathers dragon

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Styles Barnett

I love this book. It was my kid’s first fantasy chapter book. This is a wonderful book with a wonderful message as well as a perfect read-aloud bedtime story.

It is such a great story and continues with two more books after. Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland complete this trilogy.

Stuart little

Stuart Little by E.B. White

Adventure- Check. Animals- Check. Animals who can talk and wear clothes- Check check. This is a tale that everyone loves about a boy who also happens to be a mouse.  All my kids love this great story.

Why We Like This Book: Stuart has amazing adventures and displays great bravery in this classic book.
Appropriate for Ages: 5-8
Find This Book in Read Aloud Children’s Books / Best Classic Books for Kids Animal Book for Kids


Paddington by Michael Bond

Even before he became a motion picture star, this little bear won my heart.  With his hat, duffle coat, and suitcase, he was my favorite growing up. 

My kids love him just as much with his crazy antics.  He is sweet, lovable, and hilarious.  The perfect combination!

I recently found out that the story of Paddington was actually a story written about the children in WWII who were sent away from their parents to keep them safe. That aspect adds to a story that I already loved.

the littles

The Littles by John Peterson

I always wished that the Littles were real.  A family of people with tails (the littles) live in the Bigg family house and always make sure that the house is well taken care of. 

When the family goes away for the summer and a new family moves in, trouble starts.  This book is a timeless classic.

What are your favorite read aloud books?


The Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips and Home Listening

Love these read aloud books? We have more amazing books in our list of audiobooks for the whole family

The Importance of Reading and Helpful Reading Readiness Tips

The Importance of Reading and 7 Helpful Reading Readiness Tips

If you are looking for information on reading readiness and do not know where to start, this is the first post in the importance of reading series that will help you navigate all the ins and outs of creating a lifelong love of books.

Looking for the perfect books to read aloud? We have some classics as well as some that are bound to be new favorites. Kate Dicamillo, Beverly Cleary and E.B White
Reading out loud to your kids is the perfect way to promote literacy. From beloved favorites like Stuart Little and the Ramona to New favorites like Mercy Watson, we have them all.

From E.B white to Kate DiCamillo. We have the authors that know how to write books children want to read and you will enjoy reading aloud.

First Chapter books to read out loud to your child and encourage a life long love of learning.

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