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:
- A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (read by Lois Smith)
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and any of the other Fudge books, by Judy Blume (read by the author)
- Any of the Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling (read by Jim Dale)
- The House at Pooh Corner, by A.A. Milne (read by Peter Dennis)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket (read by Tim Curry)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl (read by the author)
Awesome list and great timing! Thanks!
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.
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.