Great Audio Books for Family Road Trips

A recent New York Times Book Review article sings the praises of audio books and recommends several gems for family road trips. With summer right around the corner, it’s a nice reminder that audio books are the perfect way to keep the whole family happy on long car drives.

I have three children, and when we take a road trip, we always have several audio books on hand. I find they are far superior to DVDs for making a road trip a fun family experience. Unlike videos, which only the kids can watch, audio books are something the whole family (including the driver of the car!) can enjoy. In addition, we can listen to the audio books while also looking out the window. And – really – what’s the point of a road trip if you aren’t taking in the majestic scenery rolling past? Perhaps best of all, audio books seem to foster a sense of connectedness among us: We laugh and react together to the plot twists of the narrative. With videos, on the other hand, my kids tend to go into a sort of glazed over zone that doesn’t connect them to anyone at all.

Below are some of my family’s favorite audio books. These successfully entertain a wide age range of children, and they combine wonderful stories and writing with a great narrator:

Written by Amy on May 23, 2012


Anonymous on May 23, 2012


Awesome list and great timing! Thanks!

Anonymous on May 24, 2012


Now I want to plan a road trip just to listen to these with my family...


This is a great list! All of these audio books are also available from the library as downloadable audio eBooks.

A Year Down Yonder WMA

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing WMA

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone MP3

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets MP3

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban MP3

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire MP3

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix MP3

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince MP3

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows MP3

The House at Pooh Corner WMA and MP3

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning (Book 1) WMA

Fantastic Mr Fox WMA

You'll need the free Overdrive Media Console on your computer or phone. WMA audio must be downloaded to Windows first, but then can be transferred to a compatible MP3 player or iPod/iPhone. MP3 format can be downloaded to most computers and devices.

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