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"The most common and the monstrous defect in the education of the day is that children fail to acquire the habit of reading. Knowledge is conveyed to them by lessons and talk, but the studious habit of using books as a means of interest and delight is not acquired. This habit should be begun early; so soon as the child can read at all, he should read for himself, and to himself, history, legends, fairy tales, and other suitable matter. He should be trained from the first to think that one reading of any lesson is enough to enable him to narrate what he has read, and will thus get the habit of slow, careful reading, intelligent even when it is silent, because he reads with an eye to the full meaning of every clause."

"It is a delight to older people to read aloud to children, but this should be only an occasional treat and indulgence, allowed before bedtime, for example. We must remember the natural inertness of a child's mind; give him the habit of being read to, and he will steadily shirk the labour of reading for himself; indeed, we all like to be spoon-fed with our intellectual meat, or we should read and think more for ourselves and be less eager to run after lectures."

"A child has not begun his education until he has acquired the habit of reading to himself, with interest and pleasure, books fully on a level with his intelligence. I am speaking now of his lesson-books, which are all too apt to be written in a style of insufferable twaddle, probably because they are written by persons who have never chanced to meet a child. All who know children know that they do not talk twaddle and do not like it, and prefer that which appeals to their understanding. Their lesson-books should offer matter for their reading, whether aloud or to themselves; therefore they should be written with literary power. As for the matter of these books, let us remember that children can take in ideas and principles, whether the latter be moral or mechanical, as quickly and clearly as we do ourselves (perhaps more so); but detailed processes, lists and summaries, blunt the edge of a child's delicate mind.

Therefore, the selection of their first lesson-books is a matter of grave importance, because it rests with these to give children the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful. Once the habit of reading his lesson-book with delight is set up in a child, his education is––not completed, but––ensured; he will go on for himself in spite of the obstructions which school too commonly throws in his way."      Charlotte Mason

Select a group of books below that corresponds to the main age range of your students (younger, middle, older) and read them aloud or listen to an audio book while in the car. If you have both younger and older students, you can read aloud to the younger and then assign a set of books for older students to read independently. The  main goal is to select  books that your family  will enjoy  and read them aloud together.

We believe the main objective of literature is to enjoy well written books. Ask  for narrations if you want to, but don't feel that you  must  do a study guide or literary analysis on every piece of literature you read.


After completing the book offer the additional treat of watching the movie, if available, and discuss the similarities and differences between the two. 



A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Aston

A Rock is Lively by Diana Aston

A Butterfly is Patient by Diana Aston

An Egg is Quiet by Diana Aston

A Nest is Noisy by Diana Aston

A Beetle is Shy by Diana Aston

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Beatrix Potter books

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown  

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

The Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans

The Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag   

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton  

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

Lon Po Po by Ed Young

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjorie Williams

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Martin

St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney  

The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall

Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig



Book  Group  1

Trumpet of the Swan by E. B.  White

All-of-a -Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

The Complete  Tales  of  Winnie-the-Pooh  by  A . A. Milne

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew  by  Margaret Sidney

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren

Mother West Wind by Thornton Burgess

A Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle
King of the Golden River by Ruskin


Book  Group 2 

Burgess Animal Stories by Thornton Burgess

Stuart Little by E. B. White

Understood  Betsy  by  Dorothy  Canfield  Fisher

Alice's Adventures  in  Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A  Little Princess  by  Frances  Hodgson Burnett

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Peter Pan by James M. Barrie
Heidi by Spryi
Little House on the Prairie by Wilder
Farmer Boy by Wilder

Book  Group 3  


Little Lord Fauntleroy  by Frances Hodgson  Burnett

The  Wind in  the  Willows  by  Kenneth Grahame

The Secret  Garden  by  Frances  Hodgson  Burnett

The Princess  and  the  Goblin  by  George  MacDonald

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

The Railway  Children  by  E. Nesbit
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Treasures of the Snow by St. John
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Swallows and Amazons by Ransome
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Misty of Chincoteague by Henry
Sea Star by Henry
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Henry
The Family under the Bridge by Carlson
Strawberry Girl by Lowry
Ginger Pye by Estes
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Fleming
Wheel on the School by Dejong
Cricket in Times Square by Selden
The Bears of Blue River by Major
Sugar Creek Gang Series by Hutchins
Parables from Nature by Gatty
Bambi by Felix Salten

Book  Group 4

The Magician's Nephew  by C.  S . Lew is

The Lion, the  Witch, and  the  Wardrobe  by  C.  S . Lewis

The Horse and His Boy  by C.  S.  Lewis

Prince Caspian  by  C.  S. Lewis

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S.  Lewis

The Silver Chair by C. 5. Lewis The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Complete Peterkin Papers by Lucretia Hale

Gentle Ben by Walt Morey

Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

Return to Gone Away Lake

Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight

Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter

The Borrowers Series by Mary Norton

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

Princess and Curdie by George Macdonald

Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Dubois

Five Children and It by Nesbit

The Good Master by Kate Seredy

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl


Book  Group  1  

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

Treasure Island by Robert Louis  Stevenson

My  Side  of  the Mountain  by  Jean  Craighead George

Children of the New Forest by Capt. Marryat

Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Book Group 2

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

Man of the Family by Ralph Moody

The Home Ranch  by  Ralph Moody

Mary Emma and Company by Ralph Moody

The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Shaking the Nickel Bush by Ralph Moody

The Dry  Divide  by  Ralph Moody

Horse  of a  Different  Color  by  Ralph Moody

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by O’brien

Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Irving

The Wouldbegoods by Edith Nesbit

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

What Katy Did by Coolidge

Follow My Leader by Garfield

Goodbye, Mr. Chips by Hilton and watch the movie

An Old Fashioned Girl by Alcott

A Little Brother to the Bear by Long

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare

Eagle of the Ninth by Sutcliff


Book  Group  3 


Robinson  Crusoe  by  Daniel Defoe

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Laddie:  A  True Blue Story  by  Gene Stratton-Porter

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

A  Christmas  Carol  by  Charles Dickens

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

School of the Woods by William J. Long
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Penrod by Booth Tarkington
A Little Brother to the Bear by William J. Long

Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris


Book Group 4 


Little  Women  by  Louisa  May Alcott

Little Men  by  Louisa  May Alcott

Jo's Boys  by Louisa  May Alcott

Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Adventures  of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Where the Red Fern  Grows  by  Wilson Rawls

Kim by Kipling




Book  Group  I  

The Hobbit  by J . R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship  of the Ring  by J . R.  R. Tolkien

The Two  Towers by J.  R. R. Tolkien

The Return  of the King  by J.  R. R.  Tolkien

1984 George Orwell

The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer


Book Group 2 


Ivanhoe  by  Sir  W alter Scott

The Hound of the Baskervilles  by Arthur Conan  Doyle

David Copperfield  by  Charles Dickens

Watership Down  by  Richard Adams

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Farenheight 451 by Ray Bradbury

Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

The Giver by Lois Lowry


Book Group 3 


Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pride  and  Prejudice  by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Moby Dick or The White Whale by Herman Melville

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Screwtaple Letters by C. S. Lewis

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne


Book Group 4 


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Lorna  Doane  by  R.  D. Blackmore

The Deerslayer  by  James  Fenimore Cooper

The Last  of  the Mohicans  by  James  Fenimore Cooper

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

A Tree Grows in Brookly by Betty Smith

The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert Pirsig 

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