Nothing can kill read aloud time like finding a book that no one wants to listen to, much less a book that is filled with poor writing and ideas you're not ready to expose to your children. I've found that there are some trusted sources that can help you find good books for whatever stage of life you and your family are in.
Find Good Books on Curriculum Websites
Sonlight is known for their read alouds. This is a literature heavy curriculum, which makes it my first stop when I'm brainstorming good books to read with my family.
Veritas Press is one of my favorite homeschool curriculum catalogs to look through. It offers an abundance of options for each time period - more books than you'll ever be able to read in a year. I like looking for books that overlap from one group to the next. It highlights books that stand out above the rest.
My Father's World is a curriculum that both of my sisters have used, but I never did. However, this is another place I love to look for book recommendations. Their materials are trustworthy, and I love the vision of the whole family learning together which ensures I won't hit a book that might only be good to read to older audiences.
AmblesideOnline takes a Charlotte Mason approach to education. What I love about this website is that it has book lists for every grade level along with links to free copies when possible.
Find Good Books in Book Lists
Adam Andrews from the Center for Lit has a great source for reading and discussing together. He's put together a curriculum called: Teaching the Classics, which is a socratic method for gaining understanding from any book you read. It's a wonderful tool for talking through a book after you've read together. They have also put together a wonderful reading list called Reading Roadmaps that identifies the plot, themes, conflicts, and literary devices which can help you narrow down what you'd like to focus on next.
There are also some great books that are similar in that they are just lists of books that are great for reading:
Find Good Books on Read Aloud Revival
Read Aloud Revival is an online community led by Sarah Mackenzie that encourages and equips families who are wanting to have a culture of reading in their homes. I've recently joined the Read Aloud Revival community on Facebook and it is a great community of people striving to read more in their homes. She also has a membership site where she has curated an incredible wealth of instruction, encouragement, and inspiration for reading aloud in the home.
Find Good Books from Trusted Publishers
When I see the Lamplighter Publisher table at a homeschool convention, I can hardly restrain myself! Every one of their books is a treasure worth reading. Their audio books are incredible. I'd love to own them all.
For historical fiction, there's no better place to go than Robinson Books and their collection of G.A. Henty's writings.
When I'm at Half Price Books, I am always scanning the book spines for the little puffin penguin that identifies puffin classics. The older they are the better!
If you can find really good books to read, you will quickly find your listeners begging for more!
Where do you go to find good books to read aloud?
This is the third post in my Read Aloud series. Be sure to catch the whole series:
- Family Read Alouds - Will You Sit Still? - Monday
- Finding Time for Read Alouds - Wednesday
- Where Do I Find Good Books to Read Aloud? - Today
- Strauss Read Aloud History: The Good, the Fab, and the Delightful - Friday
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.