Looking for a way to prevent your kids from staring down at their devices during an entire road trip? Consider downloading some Audiobooks the entire family can enjoy. We’ve chosen a selection of books for every age, whether your brood loves mysteries, fantasy, laugh-out-loud funny, or spooky. Bonus: Many of these provide chances for further discussion about all kinds of topics, to make the hours pass even more quickly!
1. A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael Bond
Narrated by acclaimed British actor Stephen Fry, little kids will love A Bear Called Paddington, which chronicles the zany adventures of a young bear’s introduction to London and to the Brown family.
2. The Gooney Bird Collection, by Lois Lowry
Everyone will laugh while listening to The Gooney Bird Collection, during which a fun-loving second-grader gets into all kinds of silly trouble. Bonus: Because this set contains four short novels –Gooney Bird Greene, Gooney Birdand the Room Mother, Gooney the Fabulous and Gooney Bird is So Absurd, it’s ideal for a longer road trip.
3. How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell
If you and your gang loved the movies and TV series, you’ll love listening to Doctor Who actor David Tennant narrate this first story in the How to Train Your Dragon series, featuring everyone’s favorite brainy Viking, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his adventures with Toothless the dragon. Download the entire series for days of listening fun.
4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Kids of all ages will appreciate The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and you’ll fall in love with Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow all over again as they navigate that fateful yellow brick road. Bonus: Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway narrates the newest recording of this classic tale.
5. The Collected Stories of Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne
Winnie the Pooh has warmed the hearts of generations since 1926, because he’s just so darn delightful. His friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo – not to mention his young human pal, Christopher Robin – always find fun and adventure during every expedition. Stephen Fry’s narration is funny and fantastic.
Middle-School Age and Up
6. Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets, by Eric Luper
When sixth-grader Jeremy and his BFF accidentally damage his dad’s cherished antique motorboat, they enter a contest to win enough money to fix it, even after discovering only the all-girls’ Cupcake Cadets can compete. Hilarity ensues as the boys sneak into the contest, making Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets a great romp.
7. Chomp, by Carl Hiaasen
Who doesn’t love a good animal-wrangling story? In Chomp, a father-and-son team provide wild creatures for a reality series in this story that seamlessly and entertainingly tackles animal conservation and adventure.
8. Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
You’ll never go wrong with Chronicles of Narnia, a classic series with captivating characters in magical settings that follows four siblings whose game of hide-and-seek morphs into a life-changing adventure. Bonus: Each book in the series is narrated by an award-winning actor, such as Kenneth Branagh, Patrick Stewart, Lynn Redgrave and more.
9. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
When super-smart Matilda is born into a nasty family, school provides the perfect safe space. But when the young girl’s beloved teacher, Miss Honey, tangles with the cruel headmistress, it’s up to Matilda to step up and help. Bonus: The book is narrated by the always-awesome Kate Winslet.
10. His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman
Does your gang love fantasy? If so, His Dark Materials is the trilogy for you! In the first book, The Golden Compass, we meet spunky orphan Lyra, who lives in a world where everyone lives with ‘daemons’ – independent animal companions that contain their soul. The first adventure chronicles Lyra’s journey running from sinister forces and using all her street smarts.
11. The Al Capone at Alcatraz series, by Gennifer Choldenko
History buffs in the back seat will devour the Al Capone at Alcatraz series, which describes life on “The Rock” through the eyes of the kids whose families lived and worked there in the 1930s. The perfect blend of historical fiction and action-adventure, these stories will have everyone sitting on the edge of their car seat!
12. The Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling
You didn’t think we would leave off Harry Potter, did you?! Listening to the boy wizard’s adventures at Hogwarts as he wrestles dark evil alongside buddies Ron and Hermione is true theater for the imagination, especially for a very long road trip (there are seven novels, after all!). Narrator Jim Dale does a spectacular job of capturing the many characters’ voices throughout.
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