My Big List of Great Book Suggestions (For All Ages!)

A few weeks ago during a soccer game, my friend asked, “What books do you suggest as good family read-alouds?”

Bless my friend, for she did not know what she was getting into when she asked this question so innocently. See, sometimes I answer questions with much animation, with many flailing hands, as if I’m hopped up on caffeine and cannot find my way to the ground. Talking about books produces such a reaction in me, even while huddled under a blanket at a soccer game.

I started giving suggestions of books our family has loved through the years. My friend started jotting notes. I got more and more excited. I kept thinking of more books. She kept jotting. I couldn’t stop, and the list grew longer and longer.

I guess this is the part where I confess that when we got home from this soccer game and Malachi asked, “Did you see me score that goal?!” I suddenly came down off my Farmer-BoyBox-Car-Children high and had to say, “Oohh sorry, Buddy. I was talking again. But remember when we read the Little Britches series?!”

#momoftheyear

Well, he’ll score other goals and I’m likely to see them. In my defense, I have four soccer-playing sons, so no one can expect me to re-live every goal scoring moment with them, can they? And besides, I’ve read a lot of great books to them all through the years, so I haven’t failed entirely.

My Big List of Great Book Suggestions for all ages

Books, Books, Books

Today, with the help of a friend, we have put together a most amazing list of book suggestions for you and your family. Whether your kids are babies or teenagers, we’ve got book ideas for you. Beyond that, we’ve got book suggestions for grown-ups because sometimes we all need to grab some iced tea and have some down time in the form of a delicious read.

So peruse this list. Look into these books that my friend and I love. Leave comments on this post to tell us which books YOU recommend so we can all check those out too!

While we love checking books out from the library, sometimes it’s great to own a wonderful shelf (or eight) full of books! So we’ve included the Amazon links to each of these for your convenience. Some of these are listed at great prices!

Infant/Toddler Book Suggestions

that's not my book

I Spy Board Books

Goodnight Moon

Runaway Bunny

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and other books by Eric Carle)

That’s Not My…series from UsBorne (some of which are available on Amazon)

Sandra Boynton’s Greatest Hits

DK Touch and Feel Series

Pre-School Book Suggestions

lift a flap book

Mouse Paint

Bittle

Little Pink Pup

Richard Scarry Collection

Elephant & Piggie Collection

Knuffle Bunny Series

Lego City Book Set

Lift the Flap Bible Story Books from Reader’s Digest

Little Golden Book Collection

Early Elementary Book Suggestions

mr putney's quacking dog

There is overlap in the Pre-K and the Early Elementary list, so be sure to check both if you have kids in either of these age groups!

Kiss the Cow

The “I’m” Book Series by Kate and Jim McMullan

Mr. Putney’s Quacking Dog

Bad Case of Stripes

Uff Da!

Pinkalicious Storybook Series

Gigi Book Series

Little Bear Series

Frog and Toad Book Collection

Dr. Seuss Book Collection

Make Way for Ducklings

Madeline Book Collection

Curious George Book Collection

Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel

Click, Clack Moo Book Series

Henry and Mudge Book Series

Skippyjon Jones Book Collection

Amelia Bedelia Book Series

Fly Guy Book Series

Diary of a Worm Book Series

I Spy Books

Where’s Waldo Book Collection

Otis the Tractor Book Series

Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Lego Beginning Readers

Later Elementary

boxcar children

Bill Peet Books

Magic Tree House Book Series

Magic School Bus Book Series

Box Car Children Book Series

Encyclopedia Brown Book Series

American Girl Book Series

Tales of Young Americans Book Series

“I Survived” Book Series

Sarah Plain and Tall Book Series

Chicken Squad Book Series

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Clyde Robert Bulla Books

Books by Andrew Clements

Middle School/High School

39 clues

Books by Cynthia Voigt

Mysterious Benedict Society Book Series

Penderwicks Book Series

Storm Runners Book Series

39 Clues Book Series

Secret Cipher Book Series

LOST (involves magic and wizardry)

Anne of Green Gables Book Series

Cooper Kids Book Series

Mandie Book Series

Grandma’s Attic Book Series

Great Family Read Aloud Book Suggestions

ralph moody

Any of the above books are great for reading aloud as well. In addition, I’ve found that if my kids have a hard time getting into a book or a series, I start out reading it to them and they take it from there!

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Charlotte’s Web

All of a Kind Family Book Series

Little House of the Prairie Book Series

Little Britches (Ralph Moody) Book Series

Swiss Family Robinson

Chronicles of Narnia Book Series

Adult Fiction

sherlock holmes

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye: The World’s Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible’s Ultimate Mysteries

My friend Kim’s review: What if Sherlock Holmes was called in to solve some of the mysteries of the Bible?  IN this book, he answers ten different questions from the Bible.  Even if I did not agree with his answers, I found the writing well done and, more importantly, I found myself searching the Scriptures to find evidence that supported or conflicted with his answers.

Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake

Kim’s review: Even though this book is part of a series, you can jump right into this one without reading the others.  The main character in this book, Hope, will have you laughing and rolling your eyes at the nonsensical truisms she dispenses.  Heartwarming and kind, this book is a feel-good book.  (PS- The rest of the series is good, too, but this one is my favorite.)

The Cat Who Book Series by Lillian Jackson Braun

Amelia Peabody Book Series by Elizabeth Peters

Mrs. Pollifax Book Series by Dorothy Gilman

This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti

Kim’s review: This series challenged my thinking on the power of prayer and the unseen world of angels and demons.

Overton Window and Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck

The Illuminati by Larry Burkett

Restoration Book Series by Terri Blackstock

Kim’s review: What if something happened and suddenly there was no electricity, no running water, no cars, no cell phones (or landlines), no computers, no electronics of any kind?  What if banks shut down, the post office did not work and there was no more McDonalds or WalMart?  Big life changes for many…  Where would God be in all this?

Adult Non-Fiction

dave ramsey

Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson

Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson

Dare to Discipline by James Dobson

Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (or take Financial Peace University)

Your Turn!

Leave comments letting us know what books you love and recommend!

Some of these links are my affiliate links.

 

Comments

  1. Amy Villarreal says

    Thank you for the book suggestions!

    I just wanted to bring it to your attention that the Audible advertisement on your blog advertised some very inappropriate books. I happened to notice because the pictures on the book covers were very inappropriate and at first, I thought the books were a part of your book suggestions! Having read your blog for years, I knew that couldn’t be true :) I know you do not control what Audible advertises but I thought you may want to know. Many blessings Laura!

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    Laura Reply:

    Oh yuck!!!! I will notify my ad managers about this. I am so sorry that happened. The ad company I work with has been wonderful; I’m surprised this slipped through. Thank you for letting me know!

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  2. Ashley says

    The Wilderking Trilogy is great for boys 8-12 or so. It’s kind of different, but my boys loved it, and it is (loosely) inspired by the Biblical history of David, which can prompt some great discussion.

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    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll look into this for my youngest!

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  3. Kathie says

    You have so many good suggestions! Many we read while homeschooling our youngest. One of our favorites was “The Great Turkey Walk”. It is about a boy who takes a herd of turkeys from St. Loius to Denver…I think in the 1800. It is so funny!
    My husband and I have continued reading out loud, though we are empty-nesters now. We love anything by Brock and Bodie Thoene

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m so glad you mentioned this one! The Great Turkey Walk is one of our favorites I forgot to add!

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  4. Heather says

    Night of the moonjellies
    Roxaboxen
    Hank the cow dog (series)
    Redwall (series)
    Hobbit
    Francis books
    Caps for sale
    A new coat for Anna
    The rag coat
    Dear America (series)
    Rush Revere books (series)
    Anything by Jan Brett (stories with beautiful illustrations)
    Stone soup
    Miss Rumphius
    Adventures in the Northwoods (series)
    Anything by Jean Stratton-Porter
    ….. I could go on and on! I asked my kids their favorites and we had fun remembering stories we have read ????

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Wow, what a great list. Thank you!

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    Marie B. Reply:

    Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and Henry Huggins books were favorites when I was growing up and for my kids too.

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  5. Hoff Wendy says

    Thank you for the great reading list! I feel that I must share a caution about the Noah’s Ark lift the flap book. If you’re familiar at all with Answers in Genesis (a wonderful creation/apologetics organization), you know they are very big on staying away from children’s depictions of the ark that make it look all cutesy and and impossibly unrealistic. It’s just one of the many things that contribute towards children growing up to not believe the Bible as they grow older. The real ark would have been huge, plenty big enough to hold all of the animals. They even have a whole exhibit about it at their Ark Encounter museum near Cincinnati Ohio.

    https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/08/14/bathtub-arks-are-dangerous/

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks! It’s always so good to check everything with the Bible!

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  6. GLADY says

    I absolutely loved Box Car Children when I was growing up! Although you did not mention it, as a member of Amazon Prime you can read many Kindle Books for free. You don’t have to have a Kindle as they will download to your iPad, iPhone or computer. You ‘borrow’ the book, read it and return it. I just discovered that last night although I have been a Prime member for a long time. I borrowed a book last night and read it. (I wonder why I am so sleepy today? LOL) I only looked at adult books so don’t know if they books for the younger crowd or not. Great for the budget and a big space saver.

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    Laura Reply:

    Me TOO!! I’ve loved that my kids also love Boxcar Children so I’ve been able to read them over and over with them!

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  7. Janet M says

    “Fascinating Womanhood” by Helen Andelin is one of my favorite non-fiction books. I first read it as a newlywed (a mere 5 years ago) and it really helped me to understand my husband more. I recommend this book to every woman I know and have given many copies to newlywed friends at our church. It’s an invaluable marriage tool and I am so grateful to my sister in law for gifting me a copy on my wedding day!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for the great recommendation!

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  8. says

    Gotta bookmark this list – thanks! My daughter (8) just read the Boxcar Children for the first time. Now she’s tearing through the series and telling me about Ben’s escapades :) It warms my heart to know it was one of my mother’s favorites, my own favorites – and now my daughter’s favorites. The epitome of timeless.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I feel the same about Boxcar books. Oh that Benny… ;)

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  9. Nicole says

    what age do you start reading aloud chapter books to your children? I have read a few, but its more like an on and off thing. My kids are 7, 5, 3, and 2. The 2 year old obviously has no interest. Sometimes I have a hard time getting them to be quiet. My 7 year old would listen all day, but my 5 year old (boy) is the rambuctious type, so its hard to get him to actually listen. Do you have any tips for this? The one book they actually listened to was paddington, and we only read half…because someone put it somewhere and I cant find it. :)

    [Reply]

    Nicole Jones Reply:

    I often read at breakfast and/or lunch when their hands and mouths are happily occupied! At other times, it works well to let them play with something: my favorite is coloring because then they are the most quiet but that doesn’t always work….playdough, legos, anything that lets them keep those little hands busy. And its as much a training thing as anything else, right? Some personalities just love to cozy up to mom and listen for hours…..others just need to wiggle. Start small and don’t give up!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I second the “read while they’re eating” idea. We did that for years when our kids were younger (and older!). It helped them focus on eating too instead of goofing around at the table (bonus perk). Otherwise, they would play legos and such while I read in the living room to keep them from being too distracted. We still had our moments, for sure! But these tricks helped!

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  10. Tina Dill says

    We loved the Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix!

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    Laura Reply:

    Ooh, a new one for me to check out!

    [Reply]

  11. Jessica says

    LOVE the boxcar children SO much :) And so glad that my eldest daughter is enjoying them as much as I did. Only problem is she has read through all the ones we have about three times at least, lol! (Not really a problem:) ) This list is great because I have been unsure what to introduce her to next! She is ten and I know that some of the books I read around that age I probably shouldn’t have. My mom kind of let me loose in the library and I devoured books. She has read several of the Mandie series but I am excited now to find some of your suggestions for her to read. Thank you so much for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I remember reading stuff I shouldn’t have too! Eeek. Thank goodness there are so many great options to direct our kids to!

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  12. Kimberly says

    I am THRILLED to get your list, Laura, because I respect your opinion so much!! Thank you everyone else for their recommendations, too.

    Our children have really liked the Gerald and Piggy series. And so do I! Lots of word repetition, large print, helpful picture clues, few words on each page, wonderful life lessons (sharing, considering others’ feelings, and more) and great artwork. Funny, too!

    The older one loves the Grandma’s Attic and Narnia series, too…he will be in 3rd grade next fall (sortof, or however that falls out with homeschoolers–ha!).

    Blessings to all of you!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh yeah, Grandma’s Attic. I used to love those!

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  13. Angela says

    Thank you for including Adult Fiction in the list. Can’t wait to try some of the suggestions! I’m re-reading Holes (just for me, not even out loud to my kids) to kick off summer because it’s one of my favorites!

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  14. Elisheba says

    Thank you for this list Laura, and for the time that you and Kim took to put it together. I will use it as a resource. I have a 7, 4,3,11 month old, and my 7 y/o daughter loves the Mandie series! We also love Boxcar children and many others listed. Love the adult list. I’m currently reading Wife for Life by Ramona Zabrinskie and love that one too.

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  15. Olivia says

    Adult fiction: The Centurion’s Wife by Janette Oke… a dear old Christian lady at the nursing home urged me to read this… it was very good!

    Family read aloud series: Moody Family Series by Sarah Maxwell at Titus2 ministries… my kids LOVE these wholesome books about a Christian homeschool family that loves one another and shines the light of Jesus everywhere they go. Highly recommend!

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  16. Mary says

    Thanks for this list. We have enjoyed many of these over the years. I would also recommend:
    Hank the Cowdog series
    Humphrey series
    Chester Cricket series
    The Littles series
    Geronimo Stilton series

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  17. Frieda says

    Thanks for the reading list. I have always loved reading with my kids.
    There is a great series by Louise Erdrich that follows a native American Ojibwe family living in Minnesota in the 1850’s family. The books are written from the perspective of the children in the family and has a lot of historically accurate info. You also learn some Ojibwe language. The first book is The Birch Bark House. It is geared towards 3-5th grade.
    Another book for that age range that my family loves is Island of the Blue dolphins by Scott O’Dell.
    If you have someone who loves baseball, the Baseball Card Adventures by Dan Gutman is great for 5-6th grade. It takes you back to the time of the player on the baseball card. My son read them as they were coming out and couldn’t wait for the next one.
    One of our all time favorite is a Trilogy that starts with The Dragon Boy by Donald Samson, also for about 4-6th grade. A beautifully written story about an orphan boy, in medieval times, who discovers that his is descended from a line of dragon keepers and comes to care for and love a luck dragon, Star.
    Some great parenting books are Simplicity Parenting and The Soul of Discipline, both by Kim John Payne. He has a website, Simplicity Parenting, and you can also find some talks he has given on youtube. He is a fabulous speaker and really understands children.

    [Reply]

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