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The following are unscheduled family read-alouds, to be fit in when and if you can. They are fun, enjoyable reads that can build family memories, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t fit them into your day. Some parents like to read them at lunch, or after dinner rather than turning on the TV. Others listen to audio versions on car rides. They are also excellent choices for strong readers to read on their own.

  • Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
  • Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
  • Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. by Robert C. O’Brien
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
  • The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper
  • A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Swiss Family Robinson (some versions are very religious) by Johann D. Wyss
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  • My Father’s Glory by Marcel Pagnol
  • My Mother’s Castle by Marcel Pagnol
  • Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner
  • Comet in Moomin Land by Tove Jansson
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Maroo of the Winter Caves by Ann Turnbull
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Parks