Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Favorite Family Read-Alouds

Day 30~ 

I can hardly think of anything I have enjoyed more these last 30 years than reading aloud. When life was less complicated and didn't include a television we read aloud morning, noon and night but these days Morning Time is a way for me to cling to this for a few more years. Morning Time has been a small way to stand against the rising tide of technology even though technology has made some parts of it much easier.

There is nothing so simple as picking up a book and reading it. Morning Time provides the time and the place. You provide the will.

You might want to read these posts also:
The Literature of Honor for Boys
The Literature of Honor for Little Boys  (Please add the Anatole books by Eve Titus  to the top of this list)
The first year of Morning Time: How it all Began 
Books for Boys: The Middle Years 

(Affiliate Links included)

I asked each member of our family to name their 5 favorite read-alouds. They each answered me remarkably quickly. I hope you will enjoy the lists. The trends are generally obvious with a few surprises.  For those who don't understand The Wind and the Willows, I hope these lists encourage you to try again.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes

Little Britches Series  by Ralph Moody

Complete House of Arden Series by E. NESBIT: The House of Arden and Harding's Luck

The King of Ireland's Son by Padraic Colum


The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

The Marsh King by C. Walter Hodges

Penrod by Booth Tarkington (Try to find this at used book sales. I am just not able to confirm the Kindle editions are unabridged. Yes, there is racism in these books.  I use that as an opportunity to discuss racism.)

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

The Yellow Fairy Book (Andrew Lang's Fairy Books)

The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

Family Grandstand by Carol Ryrie Brink


The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Buy the hardcover set)

Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington (the final Penrod book is Penrod Jashber making a trilogy)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Buy the hardcover!)

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain


Treasure Island (Scribner Classics) by Robert Louis Stevenson

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Cheaper by the Dozen  by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey


Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Hiding Place

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle

Pooh's Library: Winnie-The-Pooh, The House At Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six (Pooh Original Edition)  (First books I buy for my children's families)


The Lord of the Rings - Boxed Set: The Hobbit / The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien  (Also a terrific audiobook: Farmer Giles of Ham: Complete & Unabridged)

The Black Arrow by RLS(If you are lucky you may find a Scribner's copy illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.)


With Wolfe in Canada by G.A. Henty

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit by Tolkien

The Wind in the Willows by Grahame

The Last of the Mohicans (Scribner Classics) (Always choose the Scribner's copy when it is available for any book. Illustrated by N.C.Wyeth)

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald


Little Britches by Ralph Moody

Man of the Family by Ralph Moody

The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody

Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James

The Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis


 The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper (Note that this book appears more than once as a favorite. This surprises some people who do not enjoy Cooper but several of my boys went on to read many more Cooper books on their own.)

The Lord of the Rings

Penrod  (Again. Laugh and the world laughs with you)

Chronicles of Narnia  by Lewis

Great Books Not Mentioned:

Little Women and others by Louisa May Alcott

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (All Howard Pyle books are excellent)

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield 

Caddie Woodlawn and others by Carol Ryrie Brink (A family favorite author)

The Kingfisher Book of Tales from Russia (Alex, Andrew, Emily and I thoroughly enjoyed these tales which I picked up randomly from a book sale once.)

Black fox of Lorne by Marguerite De Angeli
 (This may be hard to find but if you ever see it, grab it and other by this author.)

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Kidnapped by RLS (You can get this for free on Kindle but it would be better to get the Scribner Classic illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. Be careful with Kindle editions. Some are abridged.)

Suggestion of the Day for Morning Time Memory:

Opportunity by Edward Sill  (Excellent reading on YouTube)

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:—
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel—
That blue blade that the king's son bears,— but this
Blunt thing—!" He snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded sore bested,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down
And saved a great cause that heroic day. 

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