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Whether you’re driving three hours or 12 hours on your next family road trip, you want to make sure and have plenty of activities to keep your kids entertained. Audiobooks are a great option to keep kids occupied and actively learning while traveling.
Your local library is a great resource for audiobooks in a variety of forms. Typically, you can checkout them out on CD and mp3 players called Playaways with pre-loaded titles. If your library system subscribes to a digital content provider like hoopla, you can use your library card to checkout and download audiobooks directly to your smartphone or tablet. Amazon.com also has a ton of audiobooks for sale as well as an audiobook service called Audible.
Not sure where to start when it comes to finding an audiobook your whole family will enjoy? Here are six recommendations for family-friendly audiobooks that will put a stop to “Are we there yet?”.
Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo is an orphan who lives in the walls of a bustling train station and operates the station’s clock tower. His undercover life is put into jeopardy when he crosses paths with a puzzling young girl and a jaded old man who runs the station’s toy store. This debut novel by Caldecott Honor artist Brian Selznick was the inspiration behind Martin Scorsese’s 2011 award-winning film, Hugo.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is both a New York Times bestseller and a Newbery Honor winner. It is the story of 10-year-old Opal who moves to Florida with her introverted, preacher father and adopts a big, scruffy dog she finds at a local Winn-Dixie grocery store. Together, Opal and Winn-Dixie learn about friendship, loneliness, and acceptance.
Another gem from children’s author Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux explores themes of love, hope, and forgiveness. It is the story of a mouse, a princess, a peasant girl, and a rat–four stories brought together by some soup and spool of thread. A charming tale full of heart and character, this book has been a family-favorite for many years.
A memoir told in poem form, Brown Girl Dreaming is read aloud by its award-winning author, Jacqueline Woodson. The book serves as a reflection on Woodson’s experience growing up as an African-American in the 1960s and 1970s. A woman of many talents and achievements, Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate. This book is recommended for children ages 10 and up.
Four stories by beloved author Neil Gaiman make up this must-have children’s audiobook collection. Stories included in this collection are The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, Cinnamon, and Crazy Hair. Performed by the author himself, your whole family will laugh out loud listening to these peculiar, hilarious tales.
Looking for more family-friendly audiobook recommendations? Visit the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) website.
Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something discovering her place in this world. By day she is a communication specialist bringing communities news about their local libraries and the resources they provide. When she’s not tweeting or writing a press release, you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, enjoying the outdoors, or checking out a new restaurant. If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.
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Clarissa is a wife and stepmom embracing life in the Land of Enchantment. She works as a nonprofit communication specialist by day and blogger by night. Some of her favorite things are Dr. Pepper, green chile, baseball, country music, and her yellow lab.