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One thing we enjoy on a long road trip is listening to an audiobook, either via CD on loan from the library or through my favorite app from Amazon, Audible. Over the years we’ve enjoyed some rich classics, funny favorites, and just like a movie, have books we listen to time and again. I’ve put together a list of Family-Friendly Audio Books for Road Trips organized by age. Of course, if you’re ready to get started, Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks by clicking on that link.
Truthfully at this age, babies love music. But if you’re tired of listening to kiddie songs, an audiobook with rich descriptive language is beneficial to the baby. I’d like to recommend anything by Shakespeare, but the reality is, no one else in my house would listen! I was thrilled when I found William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. It’s a fun way to combine a love of the Bard with the Rebel Alliance.
This is a fun age to explore audio books. Toddlers delight in voice characterizations. As their attention span is shorter, go for shorter books or classics that you can split into segments. A few of our favorites:
- Frog and Toad – Arnold Lobel narrates his own stories in a way that captivated my children when they were younger. Check out his complete collection on Audible.
- The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr. Seuss Favorites – Look for the version with narrations by Kelsey Grammer, John Cleese, John Lithgow, Billy Crystal, and Dustin Hoffman, making it more fun for the whole family – or at least the adults who know who these folks are!
- Little House Series – This is a great age to introduce your little one to Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura, and baby Carrie.
- Winnie the Pooh – Search for the dramatized versions for more and expressive voices.
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet?” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
At this age, our audio books for road trips collection expanded. We also like to listen to books that we all enjoy, and not just geared towards this age.
- Harry Potter Series
- Fantastic Beasts narrated by Eddie Redmayne – What’s fun is the sound effects in this audio version that makes it more exciting to listen to rather than read.
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Roald Dahl Collection – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James & the Giant Beach and more narrated by the author himself. The BFG would make a great listen and watch.
Many of the elementary books also work with middle school aged children. We also like introducing some classics at this age.
- Christmas Carol read by Patrick Stewart.
- Lord of the Flies – read by author William Golding
- The Outsiders
- The Giver
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Brown Girl Dreaming – another great one read by the author Jacqueline Woodson
- Listen, Slowly
Another piece of advice, find out what might be on your child’s reading list from school and ask if audio books are acceptable. This is a great way for the whole family to engage with discussions about classic literature.
Something more fun, however, if you’ve introduced your kids to The Princess Bride (and if you haven’t, who are you??) I highly recommend As You Wish, narrated by author and Dread Pirate himself, Cary Elwes. Many of the movie stars read their own parts and it’s an engaging look back on a cult favorite. For that matter, add The Princess Bride as an audiobook too!
Having established audio books for road trips tradition, I hope it continues well into high school with my family. I know at this age, they’d rather be on their own devices during the drive. A few books found on Audible include:
- Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit
- Peter and the Starcatchers
- The Fault in our Stars
- Hunger Games
- Lunar Chronicles – a dystopian and modern take on popular fairy tales.
This would be a good time to bring it full circle and enjoy Star Wars Shakespeare with your almost grown-up kids.
Be sure to click one of these links to claim your 2 free books from Audible (versus the standard 1)
Do you have any audio books that are family favorites? I’d love to add more to my list! Please comment below with your must-listen audio books for road trips.
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