Five Favourite Read-Aloud Book Series

“What shall we do together today?” I ask my girls.

“Can you read to us, please Mum?” 

So we settle on the sofa side-by-side. Gemma-Rose hands me our current read-aloud book,and I begin.

Over the years we have shared many great books. I always know which ones the girls are really enjoying: When I get to the end of a chapter, they plead: “Can you read us just one more chapter, please Mum?” And I usually do because I’m enjoying the story too.

Today I thought I’d share five of our favourite read-aloud series. We love series. When we get to the end of the first book, there’s still more to enjoy!

So here’s our list:

  • The Matilda Saga by Jackie French
These three historical fiction books are set in Australia. They were all inspired by famous Australian poems/ songs. (You could enjoy these too. We did!) Even though these books form one continuing story, they can be read independently.

This tale begins in 1894. ” Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl’s journey towards independence.”

It is now 1919. “The Girl from Snowy River combines passion, heartbreak, history and an enduring love and rich understanding of our land. It continues the grand saga that began with A Waltz for Matilda.”

The Road to Gundagai is set in 1932, at the time of the Depression. 
  • The Texas Panhandle series by Loula Grace Erdman
This series was recommended to us by an American friend, as being one of her daughter’s favourites. Thank you, Karla. It is now one of our favourites too! The books are set in the 1800s in Texas, USA. A homesteading story.

  • The Drover’s Road Collection by Joyce West: 
The setting for these stories is a New Zealand sheep station in the 1920s and 1930s.. We loved the humour. We smiled a lot while reading these books. Highly recommended! 

River Road, Sea Island, Drover’s Road

  • Eleanor Spence’s Australian Bush Books
The Switherby Pilgrims begins in England in 1825. Miss Arabella Braithewaite travels with her 10 orphan charges to Australia to take up a land grant. A pioneering story set in the beautiful, but sometimes dangerous, Australian bush.

The Switherby Pilgrims: a Tale of the Australian Bush

  • The Letzenstein Chronicles by Meriol Trevor
This series begins in 1847, in the small European country of Letzenstein at a time of great political unrest. Full of interesting characters!

I know I haven’t given you a full description of each book, but it’s easy to find out more by following the book links. 

Do you have any favourite read-aloud book series? If you do, I’d love to hear about them!

What have I been posting on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page recently? I hope you’ll hop over to find out!

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  1. Reply

    Hi Sue,

    I've nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award!


    1. Reply


      Thank you! I'll pop over to your blog to find out more. Congratulations on your own award!

  2. Reply

    We've not read one of those series! What ages do you think? My just turned 13 yo is so into fantasy right now, don't know if historical fiction would fly. Besides The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Little House series, some of the series we've enjoyed reading aloud: The Prydain Chronicles, Swallows and Amazons and the Bantry Bay series by Hilda von Stockum.

    1. Reply


      I read all these books to Gemma-Rose when she was 9/10, and she loved them even though most of them are recommended for older children. Charlotte read them at an older age (16) and liked them too. Just right for Sophie (13).

      Jackie French's books can sometimes contain older themes or a little coarse language. I usually do some on the spot editing as I read them aloud. I think these three books (as far as I remember!) are okay however. Great stories and worth a little bit of tweaking if necessary.

      I was thinking about Swallows and Amazon the other day. This is one series my younger girls haven't read. Perhaps they should! We've read several of Hilda von Stockum books but haven't even heard of The Prydain Chronicles. I shall find out more. Thank you!

  3. Reply

    I love to read books to my kids, and, I love it when my husband reads to me! In our 24 years of marriage, he's read me over 100 books. Now he reads to me and to the kids, too. Right now he is reading Pinocchio to the younger kids, and Lady of Devices to me.

    My favorite book ever to read to my kids is St. Patrick's Summer, which isn't a series, but I wish it were!

    Hm. Five series… Eric has read us all the Oz books, the Dr. Doolittle series, all the Middle Earth stuff (including the Silmarilion!), all of E. Nesbit's stuff, and Edward Eager's stuff, too.

    1. Reply


      My husband reads to me too! I don't think he has read as many books out loud as your husband. 100 books… that is very impressive! We usually choose a spiritual book to share and we discuss it as we go, but we've also read parenting books and once we tried Plato!

      I haven't heard of St Patrick's Summer. If it is your favourite book I will just have to get a copy and read it too! And Edward Eager, he's another author I am not familiar with. I love collecting recommendations. Thank you!

      I don't think there is anything more enjoyable than sharing a great book as a family. I love how we have so many conversations about our books. And the quotes. Do your kids quote all their favourite bits? Mine do!

    2. Reply

      I do think you'll love St. Patrick's Summer. It's subtitle is: A Children's Adventure Catechism! But really, it's a wonderful story with a fantastic ending. It's about two kids (early teens, I think) trying to get ready for their First Communions, except they live out in the middle of no where, and their tutor is elderly and finds their rambunctious questions a bit much. The tutor has a great devotion to St Patrick, so she asks him to help…

      Edward Eager is one generation removed from E. Nesbit. He loved her books, but couldn't find anything else like them… so he wrote a bunch himself! They are all fun to read, especially if you've read Nesbit, since all the kids in his books have read all the Nesbit books!

    3. Reply


      I just bought a Kindle version of St Patrick's Summer. I can't wait to begin reading it aloud!

      There are also a number of Edward Eager Kindle books. Wonderful! I shall be buying them too. Oh yes, we've read Nesbit. Thank you so much for the recommendations!

  4. Reply

    This will probably sound terrible to you but I've not heard of any of those books! I'm going to check them out at Amazon. Thanks for sharing, Sue, you've widened my repertoire to offer my children!

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you haven't heard of any of these books. I tried to choose ones that weren't so well known in order to possibly share some new treasures! Also, some of these books are set in Australia/ NZ which might be new for anyone not living in Australia like us. I have 5 more series to share in a couple of days' time if you're interested! Thanks for stopping by.

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