My Top 10 Favorite Read-Alouds and You’ll Have Difficulty Finding Them

by | Children's Books, Reading Aloud | 6 comments


Penrod by Booth Tarkington

Penrod Schofield is twelve and has been volunteered by his mother for “The Pageant of the Table Round” in which he is to play the Child Sir Lancelot du Lake. He gets himself into a mountain of trouble when he exchanges his gaudy costume of castoff silk stockings and flannel long-johns for the janitor’s overalls. This is one of those books which will cause you to lose your dignity and roll about the floor laughing hysterically.


Bob, Son of Battle by Alfred Ollivant

Hoo aboot sich a yarn that’ll bring the tares to the eyes o’ e’en the sternest mon. Bob, Son of Battle, by Alfred Ollivant (copyright 1898) is about: Bob, a bonnie tyke and last of the Gray Dogs of Kenmuir; Davie, a puir mitherless lad; and his fether, Adam M’Adam, a little man turned harsh after the death of his wife.


Within the Capes by Howard Pyle

This is the story of Captain Tom Granger, a Quaker, and his adventures in the year 1812. It is a combination of Robinson Crusoe, pirates, romance (Quaker style), and seafaring adventure.


Prester John by John Buchan

Young Davie Crawfurd has a strange adventure with a huge black man on a seashore of Scotland. Later, he travels to South Africa and again meets that mysterious black man, who leads him into a wild African adventure. This is one of Buchan’s best adventure stories.


A Dog of Flanders by Ouida

Nello finds a cart dog left to die on the road side. The dog recovers and helps Nello and his grandfather carry milk to the village. Nello dreams of learning to paint and seeing the great masterpiece by Rubens hanging in the cathedral, but he has no money. In the end, one of his dreams come true.


Drums by James Boyd

Johnny Fraser leaves his backwoods home in North Carolina to fight in the Revolutionary War.


At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

Diamond is a curious little boy who goes on dazzling adventures with his friend, the North Wind.


Adventures of Remi by Hector Malot

Remi is an orphan who travels in search of someone to belong to.


Cinder Pond by Carroll Watson Rankin

Jeannette Huntington Duval and her family are squatters who live in shanties built on a crumbling dock jutting into Lake Superior.

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The Wreck of the Grosvenor by W. Clark Russell

Mr. Royle is the new second mate of the Grosvenor. When the ship’s stores are found to be inedible, the captain refuses to take on new stores. When the captain refuses to save shipwrecked survivors, Mr. Royle forcefully saves Mary Robertson and her father, for which the captain puts him in irons. The crew mutinies, kills the captain, and forces Mr. Royle to steer them to America.

Book summaries from Hand That Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn.


  1. sarah small

    Great list! Thanks for submitting to the carnival of homeschooling.

  2. Jackie P

    Great list. I have had luck finding great obsolete books at the Friends of the Library book sales. I found A Dog of Flanders that way and many others.

    We love books around our house. We literally have books stored in boxes because we have so many and not where to put them all. I guess it’s kind of an addiction with us, but reading is so vital to learning isn’t it?

    Have you ever visited They have books written by or about homeschoolers. They also have free resources to use with many of the book as well as an online book club. We love the site.

    Thanks for sharing your faves.


  3. Alisia Williams

    Thank you for sharing this list. Last winter we read one if your recommendations ” The Children Who Stayed Alone” and really enjoyed it.

  4. Jeni

    At least some of these titles are available on kindle for free or very inexpensively. Not quite as nice as turning pages and smelling old books, but easily acquired.

  5. Amy

    What a wonderful list of books! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Catherine

    Space keeps me from being an antique seeker, but I found out last week that our local thrift store keeps old books in its antique/vintage section. We found at least 5 treasures – not as collectibles, but as readibles:-) Thanks for sharing these to add to the hunting list.


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