One of my favorite ways to pass the time on a long car trip is listening to audiobooks. However, my favorite ones are not always kid friendly, so I end up listening to them on headphones off my phone or something.
A few months ago, however, I got a good deal on a collection of Magic Tree House books from Amazon. These are great for my youngest, who is not yet a strong reader and is actually kind of resistant to reading. I put the collection on their Kindles, and they listen to it almost every night before bed.
I thought some new audiobooks would be a great way to keep them entertained on this road trip. So, I jumped onto my favorite homeschooling group on Facebook and asked for recommendations. I wasn't expecting the awesome response I got, and they are so great that I thought I would share them with you. Keep in mind that I asked for 6- and 8-year-old girls, but the recommendations I got were a bit more expansive.
So, here are the recommendations that I received, in no particular order. Depending on availability, I include an Amazon link for as many titles as I can (in Audible or CD format or just book format), but please check your local library and other web sites if you so desire. I certainly will be!
- Catwings by Ursula Le Guin (Audible, book 1 of the Catwings series)
- The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster by James Preller (Mass Market Paperback, book 1 of the Jigsaw Jones series)
- The Spiderwick Chronicles: Volume 1: Books 1 and 2 by Toni DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (Audible, beginning of a series)
- Anything by EB White, such as Charlotte's Web (Audible)
The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording: A Series of Unfortunate Events #1 by Lemony Snicket (Audible, book 1 of a series): "That one seems to be a total hit or a total miss."
- Gone West: Bold Adventures of American Explorers and Pioneers as written and told by Jim Weiss (Audio CD): "Jim Weiss's website has his recordings listed based on different age recommendations. Love his storytelling." We have already listened to and loved plenty of Jim Weiss's work ourselves, and this recommendation was seconded many times. Many are available at our local library as well!
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (Audible, book 1 of a series): "Read by English actors, so it is a treat for the ears!"
- The 100-Year-Old Secret: The Sherlock Files #1 by Tracy Barret (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (Audible): This was a favorite book of mine as a child as well.
- The Dragon in the Sock Drawer: Dragon Keepers, Book 1 by Kate Klimo (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary (Audible, book 1 of a series): "Even my 8 and 10 year old boys like it."
- Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary (Audible)
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Audio CD, series)
- All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Audible, series)
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (Audible, series)
- Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (Audible)
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo and other books by this author (Audible)
- The Fairy Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, Book 1) by Michael Buckley (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (Audio CD, book 1 of a series): "Brilliant on audio."
- A Child's History of the World by V. M. Hillyer (paperback, audio is out of stock or out of print)
- Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James Howe (Audible, book 1 of a series): "Perfect for that age, and it has one of the funniest scenes in kid lit there is."
- The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- The Dragon of Doom: Moongobble and Me by Bruce Coville (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- Mozart's Magic Fantasy and other titles in "Classical Kids" (Audio CD). These aren't traditional books but rather "stories about music and composer's lives."
- Scat Like That by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer (Audio CD): Another nontraditional choice: "musical and silly: tongue twisters, yodeling, scat singing, limericks, great silliness."
- Leo the Lightning Bug by Erich Drachman and James Muscarello (Book with Audio CD): "My all-time favorite audio version of a book."
- Oh, The Places You'll Go and other Dr. Seuss Titles (Audible, this one narrated by John Lithgow): "There are so many Dr. Suess books and compilations of books—some read by famous actors, some not—that are really a joy to listen to."
- Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- Peter and the Starcatchers: The Starcatchers, Book 1 by Dave Barry (Audible, book 1 of a series)
- Fairest by Gail Carson Levine or anything Gail Carson Levine for girls (Audible)
- The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson (MP3 CD)
- The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden (Audible)
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (Audio CD): "Recited, sung, and shouted by Shel Silverstein." "He is perfect! It's super entertaining!"
Finally, I received a couple of nontraditional sources for audiobooks:
- Sparkle Stories: A web site featuring a subscription for audio stories for children and families, including downloadable stories for traveling.
- The last suggestion wasn't a specific audiobook but a great way to get audiobooks on the road, from an unlikley place: Cracker Barrel. They are all over the place when you're traveling, right? Well, they have an audiobook program, where you can rent an audiobook at one Cracker Barrel and return it to another. When you rent the book, you actually purchase it for the full price, but when you return it, you receive a refund for all of the purchase price except for $3.49 per week. I haven't tried them out yet, so I don't know how many kids books they carry or what is available at each restaurant, but it's worth a look!