10 Character Building Read Alouds for Children

Our family tries to get at least 20 minutes of read-aloud time in each night before bedtime, we often take turns reading aloud. We’re currently reading through the Chronicles of Narnia.

Reading aloud as a family is not only fun but also has many benefits…

Benefits of using read alouds:

One of the most important things adults can do in preparing children for success in reading is to read aloud with them.

  • Listeners build listening and comprehension skills through discussion during and after reading.
  • Listeners increase their vocabulary foundation by hearing words in context.
  • Listeners improve their memory and language skills as they hear a variety of writing styles and paraphrase their understanding.
  • Listeners develop individual interests in a broad variety of subjects and they develop imagination and creativity: what better way to build skills which foster inquiry?

Anytime I can incorporate character training / building into our read aloud time,  I do.

Here is a list of our Top 10 Character Building Read Alouds:

  • Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle – Obadiah has determined to become a fearless pirate when he grows up—to roam the seas with buried treasure in secret places! But the gift of an heirloom telescope and a gentle lesson from his father on true bravery give Obadiah an entirely new perspective on courage.
  • Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor – To most children the record of Christian’s pilgrimage is attractive simply as a story of adventure. But now Helen L. Taylor has simplified the vocabulary and concepts for younger readers, while keeping the story line intact. The result is a classic for youth, a delightful book with a message they can understand.
  • When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant - “An evocative remembrance of the simple pleasures in country living; splashing in the swimming hole, taking baths in the kitchen, sharing family times, each is eloquently portrayed here in both the misty-hued scenes and in the poetic text.”
    -Association for Childhood Education International
  • The Little Duke, by Charlotte M. Yonge – FREE ONLINE - An inspiring story of Richard the Fearless (943-996) who became Duke of Normandy at the age of 8. Relates the perils of his childhood, both at home in Normandy and during his captivity at the court of France, and how at long last he came to embrace the values his father espoused. Suitable for ages 9 and up.
  • Little Britches by Ralph Moody - “Little Britches is the first book in an autobiographical series. Ralph Moody (aka Little Britches) tells us about his family’s move from the East and their struggles and triumphs as they scrape a living from a ranch in Colorado. Ralph is 9 years old, with an older sister and several younger siblings. The book is much more than a chronology of interesting and exciting events. It is rich in the values of honesty, family unity, ingenuity, and the pride of doing a task well.
  • Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe - A young boy is proud of having caught a jar full of fireflies, which seems to him like owning a piece of moonlight, but as the light begins to dim he realizes he must set the insects free or they will die. Putting others before ourselves and our wants can be difficult but necessary.
  • Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco – After being initiated into a neighbor’s family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers’ determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula’s had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author’s childhood.
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - Seeking adventure in faraway places, Miss Rumphius fulfills her dream and then sets out to make the world more beautiful.
  • Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner- Little Willy’s grandfather is sick, and it’s up to Willy to save their farm from tax collectors. Their only hope is the prize money from the National Dogsled Race. But a lot of other people want to win the race, too, including Stone Fox, who has never lost a race in his life. – Teaches Loyalty & Determination
  • Godliness is Great Gain -  After being tested, and persisting in their Christian principles, the characters of each story are richly blessed, both in this world and spiritually. Robert is a diligent apprentice, rewarded by God for his life of faith; poor, elderly Mrs. Warner discovers her talent given by the Lord; young, foolish Aaron experiences the downfalls of greed.

To find more books on character building, this site has a vast list of books to choose from organized by character traits.

Grace and Truth Books  also has a few more books in their collection of Christian character building books.

This post was part of a special Ten in Ten blog hop I am participating in with the wonderful ladies over at  iHomeschool Network and Angie at Many Little Blessings.

Please share your favorite character building books with us in the comments below!

About Tiany (223 Posts)

Tiany is the founder of Social Savvy Moms, The Homeschool Lounge and The Homeschool Toolbar. Follow Tiany on Twitter - @SocialSavvyMom and connect via the social icons below.


  1. WE read the Little Pilgrim’s Progress every year!!! Love that list…I need to grab some and throw them in my basket!!

  2. Thanks for the list. Many I hadn’t heard of before. I especially appreciate the link you provided where you can search for books by character trait.
    Sharla recently posted..Our Top 10 Read-AloudsMy Profile

  3. What a great list! Several of these are new to me, and we have already enjoyed a few if them. Thanks for sharing! I’d love for you to participate in Read Aloud Thursday (a weekly meme) on my blog!

  4. Lots of new titles to explore. I do remember reading Chicken Sunday to my children when they were little. Nice list. Thanks for sharing.
    Ginny recently posted..Our Top Favorite Read AloudsMy Profile

  5. Popping over from Many Little Blessings.

    Thank you for sharing your Top Ten list this week.
    Chareen recently posted..TT – Top Ten Favourite Read AloudsMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge