Congratulations! You’re Going To Be Stuck In A Car For Hours With Children: A Guide To Family Friendly Audiobooks

Summer is almost on us. That means Summer vacation and for many people that means family vacations. You love your kids [or younger siblings] but being stuck in a car for hours on end can be exhausting. Here’s a list of audiobook recommendations that grown ups will enjoy just as much as the under-twelve crowd.

Artemis Fowl (series) by Eoin Colfer

The upcoming movie is a great excuse to pick up this series. Criminal masterminds and faeries make a fun story. Occasional mild language make this series a pick for older kids.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

I greatly enjoyed listening to the entire series but I know that can get a bit preachy for some people. If you’re only going to listen to one Narnia book, this is your best bet. The upcoming Netflix movies from the Narnia universe make this a great time to introduce kids to Narnia.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

This Newbery nominee is a book that truly should be listened to rather than read. Three stories are wonderfully woven together by a harmonica. The audiobook features harmonica music played intermixing with the story. The WWII era storyline can be tough to listen to so proceed with caution when listening with younger or sensitive readers.

The Unwanteds (series) by Lisa McMann

This action packed story is a pick for fantasy readers who crave a magical school but aren’t quite ready for the darkness of Harry Potter.

Gregor the Overlander (series) by Suzanne Collins

Collins’ first series involves an underground world, giant bugs, prophecies, and sibling love. There are many themes that overlap with The Hunger Games so teens that feel ‘too old’ for children’s books might take out earbuds to follow the story.

Hank the Cowdog (series) by John R. Erickson

These hilarious books have been around for ages. Parents may even remember them for their childhood! Books are quick listens and can be listened to in any order.

Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling

My original audiobook! I still vividly remember how much I loved this book even after 20 years. There are two audiobook narrators: Jim Dale (US) and Stephen Fry (UK). While both are charming, Stephen Fry’s version tops out as a fan favorite. New readers should know that the first three books are pretty child friendly. Book four (Goblet of Fire) starts a dark shift in tone and content. Know your child when starting the later books.

Do you have any tried and true audiobook recommendations for children?

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