Here you will find a great big list of the best audiobooks for family road trips! Discover old classics, new fantasies, educational stories, humorous narrators, and overall great audiobooks for family road trips that are sure to delight the youngest to the oldest in your vehicle, no matter if you are listening via books on tape, books on CD or a digital app.
My dad was a truck driver for 30 years. One of the benefits of him being an over-the-road owner-operator was that I got to, on occasion, go with him on some of his loads! It was awesome for multiple reasons, the primary one being spending so much one-on-one time with my dad who I didn’t see much of, and the second one being getting to travel and explore the United States from an early age!
I saw the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, swam in the Atlantic Ocean in Miami, crossed over the Mississippi river dozens of times, (almost) wrestled an alligator at Gatorland in Orlando, went through tunnels, and more.
And along the way, my father would play good books on CD or books on tape for us to listen to, usually picking them up from our local library.
I remember listening to Where the Red Fern Grows twice with him on one trip because I liked it so much, though I asked him to skip the part where the boy falls on the axe the second time through! I also remember listening to my favorite Ray Bradbury short stories (like The Ravine), countless Western stories (like those from Louis L’Amour), and others.
Now with a family of my own, and several long family road trips under our belts, we’re always on the hunt ourselves for the best audiobooks for family road trips. We’ve mostly stuck to our own personal favorites like Harry Potter and Star Wars, and a few others. But, not all audiobooks are made the same.
Not all audiobooks are great listening for the entire family, from the young toddler to the 3rd graders to the adults who have to listen to it to it for hours on end. You want audiobooks for family road trips that the whole family will enjoy!
So, I decided to ask others what their favorite good audiobooks for family road trips were. I mostly asked in some of the large Facebook homeschool groups I belong to, as I know many homeschool families take extended road trips, tend to have more mixed ages of children (and bigger families) but also look for quality audiobooks with good messages.
I framed the question in the following way: “Is the narrator great? Are there special sound effects? Is the story amazing? Is it easy enough for little kids to understand but complex enough for the adults? Is it not too heavy or deep if you have littles? Does it have enough action?”
There were several repeats and a good mix of books and radio theater type audio stories.
I hope you find a great one to listen to!
Where to Get to Audiobooks for Family Road Trip
As we now live in the digital age, audiobooks are not usually listened to via tapes or CD but through digital files, digital downloads, or apps. There are several places you can download and listen to audiobooks from. The most popular options are:
I am a frequent patron of the public library and many public libraries partner with Overdrive (or similar service) where they allow library members to listen to audiobooks and read ebooks digitally. You simply download the Overdrive app on your phone or tablet, connect and log-in with your library credentials, and start browsing for titles.
Not every title is available through the app, and not all of them are available for you to listen to at a given time as there is a limit to how many people can check out the digital files, meaning you might need to jump on a waiting list for popular books.
But, it’s free!
Simply download the book to your phone, and listen as you go. It’s pretty great! But, you likely only have 3 weeks to listen to it after getting the title.
Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.
Each month you get 1 credit, good for any audiobook regardless of price. You keep these audiobooks forever, even if you cancel your subscription later. Plus there are exclusive member savings like getting 30% off any additional audiobooks you buy in a month. Plus, if you don’t love the book you buy you can swap it for a different book at anytime for easy exchanges!
You can listen to Audible books wherever with their free app.
After your free trial, it is $14.95/month but you can cancel at any time.
Scribd is a subscription service that allows you to listen to as many audiobooks as you want in a month and read as many ebooks as you want. It’s unlimited ebooks and audiobooks for a low flat monthly fee of $8.99.
This is great should you decide after starting a new book that you really don’t like it, or that it won’t make for a great audiobook for your family’s road trip, because you won’t have buyer’s remorse!
You didn’t buy it and can jump right to another book without a second thought. It also means you can listen to multiple audiobooks at the same time, or multiple on your trip, or with different family members listening, and so on!
We’ve been using it a ton lately and thoroughly enjoying it. Not every book is available on the app, but many great audiobooks are! And, bonus! You can try them out for FREE for 60-days with my refer-a-friend link!
So you can sign up right before your road trip and enjoy all the great titles on the app during your family road trip without spending a dime.
Akin to Audible, Audibooks.com has over 150,000 bestsellers, new releases, and classic favorites plus 700,000+ podcasts to listen to, as well as 8,500+ free audiobooks for its members.
You can stream the books anywhere with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and download them to listen offline.
Audibooks.com offers a 30-day free trial where you can get 3 books free – any two books plus a bonus VIP book. You can cancel anytime during your free trial, no strings attached.
After the free trial, it is $14.95/month where each month you will be able to choose 2 audiobooks a month – one premium title, and one from their exclusive VIP section.
If you are LDS, there is also the Deseret BookShelf app that works similarly to Scribd in that you have unlimited access to books from Deseret Books for one low monthly fee.
How to Listen to Audiobooks on a Family Road Trip
However, before we begin with the list of best audiobooks for family road trips, I wanted to discuss HOW you can listen to stories in your car! Books on CD and books on tape are not really as common anymore. Most cars don’t have tape decks anymore and some don’t even have CD players or have them, but they don’t work!
Before our last road trip my husband installed a new radio system and speakers so we could not have to worry about getting devices that would plug-into our phones, but simply use bluetooth.
Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
These were the top picks! If someone in a group gave a personal testimonial for the book, I included that first in parentheses. A short synopsis of the book is also included to help you determine if your whole family would likely enjoy listening to these great audiobooks for a family road trip!
I have also categorized them by:
- Classic Audiobooks
- Fantasy Audiobooks
- Fun/Funny Audiobooks
- Children’s Audiobooks
- Christian Audiobooks
- Educational/Historial Audiobooks
Have fun browsing all of the 77 titles and let me know what sounds great to you and what your favorite audiobooks to listening to in the car are!
Classic Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
There are some stories that are just classics, audiobooks that have been around forever and people love in droves. These are books that are popular children, young adult, and adult stories, that everyone has pretty much heard of and/or have won numerous awards.
Chronicles of Narnia. “We found it almost ruined our boys for other audiobooks, as it’s truly reader’s theater. The music is amazing, characters captivating…best money you’ll spend!” A simple game of hide-and-seek turns into a thrilling and dangerous adventure for Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Through the wardrobe they enter the mystical land of Narnia, where only the Great Lion, Aslan, can conquer the dark magic of the White witch and restore beauty and peace to the land. Each of the books is narrated by a different famous actor: Patrick Stewart, Derek Jacoby, Lynn Redgrave, Kenneth Branagh. There is also the version done by Focus on the Family.
A Wrinkle in Time “audiobook is read by a great narrator who can do the dialogue of 7 people at a time, and you don’t confuse them!” Meg Murry, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a “tesseract”, which, if you didn’t know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg’s father had been experimenting with time travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?
Harry Potter. Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
The Hobbit “is a great listen and my kids enjoyed it.” Bilbo Baggins, a gentle hobbit who loves the comforts of home, reluctantly joins a company of dwarves on a journey to recover plundered gold from a fierce dragon. It’s a tale of high adventure and astonishing courage, and a magical prelude to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Giver. “My kids LOVED The Giver!” one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
Where the Red Fern Grows. Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region.
Stuart Little. The magic of this beloved classic comes to life in a delightful and completely unabridged recording, read by Julie Harris. Stuart Little is a shy, philosophical little mouse with a big heart and a taste for adventure. In spite of his diminutive stature, barely two inches tall, Stuart sets forth into the world with some mighty big plans: to ride a Fifth Avenue bus, to win a sailboat race in Central Park, and to teach school for a day. But Stuart’s greatest adventure begins when he decides to find his best friend, Margalo, a pretty little bird who once lived in a Boston fern in the Littles’ house in New York City.
The BFG. The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants – rather than the BFG – she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
Redwall “is unabridged and full cast with musical effects, so it may be a bit intense for some young kids and does include a few instances of mild language.” This enthralling tale is jam-packed with the things we long for in a great adventure: danger, laughter, hairbreath escapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart. That hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey.
Hatchet. Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.
Louis L’Amour. “My husband loved it of course, but so did my 10-year-old. My five-year-old had a harder time tracking with the story, but she wanted to, so we would pause to answer questions. I started with a short story–he has several–to see how it would go before moving into a novel. Very interesting and appropriate as we drove through Colorado and Texas.” Willie Nelson reads six and one is fully dramatized by Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and the late Waylon Jennings, who together were known as The Highwaymen.
Little House in the Big Woods. The first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, which is based on her life growing up as an American pioneer. Told from four-year-old Laura’s point of view, this story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura lives in the little house with her pa, her ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy-pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
Winnie the Pooh and House at Pooh Corner dramatized audio (starring Judi Dench). “Both engage the little ones because they’re easy to understand. They engage the adults because the narration is simply delightful.” In these stories, Pooh goes visiting and gets into a tight place, Eeyore loses a tail, Piglet meets a Heffalump, Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents, and an expedition is mounted to the North Pole! As usual, they are accompanied by Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl – to say nothing of Pooh’s very clever young human friend, Christopher Robin. Now with a musical introduction, Alan Bennett gives A. A. Milne’s characters the voices you felt they were always meant to have.
The Wizard of Oz. Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they get swept away into the magical land of Oz , where they encounter characters and places you may remember from the movie – and several more that never made it to the big screen – on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City. The Anne Hathway version is great and only available on Audible.
Funny and Fun Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
Adventures in Odyssey from Focus on the Family (a tad juvenille but rather entertaining). Created for children ages 8-12 (but loved by listeners of all ages), Adventures in Odyssey is a 30-minute drama that combines the faith lessons parents appreciate with characters and stories that kids love.
Samatha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans. “If you want s good laugh and all around family fun listen to this one. Our entire family, from my youngest to my dad, were rolling through the entire book! Yes, it’s a bit cheesy at times and some characters are caricatures, but we LOVED this book!!” Get ready for round-the-world adventure with Sam Spinner and her brother, Nipper, in the first book in a new hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and classics like Holes.
Frindle. Nicholas Allen is not a troublemaker — he’s just creative. When he decides to liven things up in Mrs. Granger’s fifth-grade language arts class, he comes up with the greatest plan yet. He invents a new word for a pen — frindle. It doesn’t take long for frindle to take root and soon the excitement spreads beyond the school and town and unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control.
Mr. Men and Little Miss collection narrated by Jim Dale. Rediscover the zaniest characters you’ve ever met in this best-selling series which has sold millions worldwide. Bright and charming, with easily recognizable characters, Mr. Men audiobooks are easy enough for young listeners, witty enough for humor-prone adults, and highly collectible for one and all.
Diary of a Mad Brownie. “We all thought it was hysterical. Good voices…the main one British. We loved it.” Told in diary entries and other “documents”, this magical, modern-day new comedy series by the master of funny fantasy, Bruce Coville, is filled with laugh-out-loud humor and heart.
In the first hilarious Enchanted Files, Angus is a brownie. No, not the kind you eat! He’s a tiny magical creature that loves to do chores. Angus has just “inherited” a new human girl, Alex. To say that Alex is messy would be an understatement. She’s a total hurricane-like disaster – and she likes it that way, thank you very much! Living with each other isn’t easy, but Angus and Alex soon learn there is a curse that binds them.
Hank the Cowdog. “It was funny, clean, and had a little sense of adventure.” The popular Hank the Cowdog series is based on the humorous antics of the canine Head of Ranch Security. In this first book, Hank and his little buddy, Drover, set out to solve a series of baffling murders on the ranch. Is Hank a suspect? An Outlaw? Can he clear his good name? USA Today calls the hilarious Hank the Cowdog series “…the best family entertainment in years.”
The Brixton Brothers “series is great. Everyone in our family thoroughly enjoyed it including the adults. It’s a detective adventure with young boys. It has enough humor, suspense and action to make it the perfect audiobook. We also love the narrator.”
Seventh-grader Steve Brixton is an avid reader of the Bailey Brothers series, and he’s about to get a chance to put the detective tactics he’s read so much about into practice. He’s out to solve a mystery being investigated by America’s most secret crime solving agency: the United States Department of Library Sciences. It will take all of Steve’s skills to navigate this story of intrigue and crime as he tracks down the missing quilt (yes, quilt) containing all of America’s secrets.
Garrison Keillor books. “He has a fantastically calm voice and his stories are hysterical! We all just laughed and laughed together wherever we went. He tells stories and says “that’s the news from lake Woolbegon” after each story.” News from Lake Wobegon monologues from the entire history of “the little town on the edge of the prairie” are presented in one collection. Cheaper by the Dozen. What do you get when you put twelve lively kids together with a father — a famous efficiency expert — who believes families can run like factories, and a mother who is his partner in everything except discipline? You get a hilarious tale of growing up that has made generations of kids and adults alike laugh along with the Gilbreths in Cheaper by the Dozen.
The Mysterious Benedict Society. “Hands down!!!! So fun and entertaining for adults and kids. Wonderful morals and witty to boot! We love this series so much we bought them! My absolute fav series, esp book 1 and Nicholas’ book! And we all loved the read aloud- 6 years through teen through adult!” Four very special children have a challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. “The narrator is fabulous. Great vocabulary, super funny and narrated by a fantastically British lady.” Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: “They must have been raised by wolves.” The Incorrigible Children actually were. Discovered in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. A recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.
Chicken in the Headlights. “If you can find a copy of it, it is our favorite, all time audiobook for a car trip. Everyone in the car loved it. It is a funny, lighthearted story about a family’s eventful summer. They don’t homeschool in the book, but they have the spirit of a homeschool family. (If that makes sense)”
Fantasy Audiobooks for Road Trips
Artemis Fowl series. “Great narrator, lots of voices, funny, exciting books.” From a strikingly original voice in fiction comes the story of Artemis Fowl, a very unusual hero. Artemis combines the astuteness of Sherlock Holmes with the sangfroid of James Bond and the attitude of Attila the Hun. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories. These fairies are armed and they’re dangerous. Artemis thinks he’s got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules . . .Full of unexpected twists and turns, ARTEMIS FOWL opens up a riveting world of magic, mystery, and humor.
Discworld books “are good for all ages and well acted.” The Color of Magic is where we meet tourist Twoflower and wizard guide Ricewind, and follow them on their always-bizarre journeys.
A writer who has been compared to Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams, Sir Terry Pratchett has created a complex, yet zany world filled with a host of unforgettable characters who navigate around a profound fantasy universe, complete with its own set of cultures and rules.
Lamplighter audiobooks. “Great dramatizations and stories.” Lamplighter follows Rossamand Bookchild, now one of the Emperor’s lamplighters, who is sworn to protect travelers from the ferocious bogles that live in the wild. Small and meek, he does not fit in. Then a haughty young female monster hunter is forced upon the lamplighters for training. As Rossam?nd begins to make new friends in the dangerous world of the Half-Continent, he also seems to make more enemies, finding himself pushed toward a destiny that he could never have imagined. . . .
The Green Ember. “Rabbits with swords! Captivating plot – and we ALL loved it from parents, 13-year-old, 9-year-old and 5-year-old. Great truths and character are woven into a super adventurous tale!”
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world. Kings fall, and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend, and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend. Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. “Great storyline, awesome voice acting for the different parts. An adventure story that appealed to my boys, but with enough strong female characters that would work for girls too.”
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
Fablehaven series. For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.
Adventurers Wanted! “All around win!” The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter’s bookshop window: “Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within.” No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation. Upon entering Mr. Clutter’s shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red – an evil dragon with a legendary treasure.
Susan Cooper series The Dark is Rising Series. On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that — the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their very lives in peril.
Trouble Twisters. Jaide and Jack Shield’s lives are changing in a very, very strange way. The weather is turning against them. Magical disasters occur when they’re around. And a mysterious explosion has just destroyed their house… from the inside. Without knowing why, the twins are stolen away to live with Grandma X – a relative they’ve never, ever met.
At Grandma X’s house, things are even stranger. Weathervanes point in the opposite direction of the wind. Doors appear and disappear. Cats talk. Jaide and Jack Shield don’t know the reason behind all this strangeness. They don’t know that they’re troubletwisters, and that they must defend the world against a dark, evil force. The time has come for them to discover the truth – and the powers that come with the truth. Are they ready?
How To Train Your Dragon. “We absolutely LOVE this one. The narrator is fantastic! Such a fun audiobook.” Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.
Kenny and the dragon. “This was hilarious. It’s read by Alan Cumming and he does fantastic voices. It’s a cute story about a rabbit befriending a dragon and then has to figure out how to convince everyone that he is not a scourge on the town.”When the simple folks in the sleepy little village of Roundbrook catch wind that there’s a dragon running loose in the countryside, they get the wrong idea and the stage is set for a fight to the death. So it’s up to Kenny to give his neighbors front-row seats to one of the best-known battles in history — the legendary showdown between St. George and the dragon — without losing a friend in the fray.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang narrated by David Tennant! “We just listened to this and adored it! It’s on Overdrive if your library uses that!”
Crackpot is what everybody calls the Pott family. So when they go to buy a new car and come back with a wreck, nobody is surprised. Except for the Potts themselves. First, the car has a name. And she tells them what it is. Then they find that she can fly… and swim… Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a car on a mission to stop a criminal gang in its tracks and she is taking the Potts with her! Jump into the world s most loved magical car, for her first adventure ever!
Land of Stories series. “The author narrates the stories and he does voices for all the characters. The story line has been super fun with all of us busting out laughing in the car at times. We listened to the first one on our last trip and my oldest who did not want to listen to a book at all, was totally hooked and asking if we could turn the story back on. Now that we are home, we have been listening to the remainder of the series. I will say, that in book 3, the main characters are 14-year-old twins and they have been talking about “crushes”…so something to keep in mind, depending on what ages are listening.”
Zacktastic. Upon the occasion of his 10th birthday, Zack learns from his uncle that Zack is descended from a line of genies. Before his uncle has time to fully explain the genie world, Zack is whisked through a bottle portal and sent on his first genie assignment. But he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is supposed to do or what his powers might entail.
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates “is a win for everyone – Kathryn Kellgren narrates and she’s great.” Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for 37 minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors. She particularly enjoys defying authority, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags. To escape from a life of petticoats and politeness, Hilary answers a curious advertisement for a pirate crew and suddenly finds herself swept up in a seafaring adventure that may or may not involve a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a rogue governess who insists on propriety, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous – and unexpected – villain on the High Seas.
The Phantom Toll Booth. When Milo finds an enormous package in his bedroom, he’s delighted to have something to relieve his boredom with school. And when he opens it to find — as the label states — One Genuine Turnpike Tollbooth, he gets right into his pedal car and sets off through the Tollbooth and away on a magical journey!
Will Hilary find the treasure in time? Will she become a true pirate after all? And what will become of the gargoyle?
Children’s Audiobooks for Road Trips
Dr. Doolittle! Polynesia the parrot, Jip the dog, Too-Too the owl, Dab-Dab the duck, Gub-Gub the pig, Chee-Chee the monkey and many other animals accompany Dr. Doolittle on his adventures in England, Africa and on the High Seas. Please note – due to certain unfortunate racial epithets and insensitivities contained in the narrative of this book, parental guidance is suggested.
Matilda read by Kate Winslet! Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!
The Tale of Despereaux “is excellent.” Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then?
The Trumpet of the Swan Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him.
Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?
Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School. Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the “family” sailboat. After a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School.
Mrs piggle wiggle series. “It’s entertaining and funny even for adults.” Meet Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle! She lives in an upside-down house with a kitchen that is always full of freshly baked cookies. She was even married to a pirate once! Best of all, she knows everything there is to know about children.
When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer or Dick becomes Selfish or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has the perfect cure. And her solutions always work, with plenty of laughs along the way. Perfect for fans of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, this classic series is all about learning and problem-solving. Young readers will love this book.
The Penderwick” series is fantastic!!! Great voices, funny, so endearing. My kiddos and I totally loved it.” This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
A Series of Unfortunate Events! “My family listened to these on road trips growing up and everyone loved them. They are simple enough for kids but clever enough for adults. Also, some of them are read by Tim Curry which is a major plus.”
There is nothing to be found in the pages of A Series of Unfortunate Events but misery and despair. In The Bad Beginning the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune and cold porridge for breakfast. Then again, why trouble yourself with the unfortunate resolutions?
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a Chinese rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.
Flora & Ulysses. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry – and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.
Henry Huggins, read by Neil Patrick Harris. “Great voices, enjoyed by littles and adults because it’s funny and relatable.” Join Henry on Kilckitat Street as he gets into hijinks – usually with the help of Ribsy and none other than Ramona Quimby.
Peter and The Star Catchers. Don’teven think of starting this bookunless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. Afast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peterand his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. Theyset sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk inits cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement anddanger.
Discoverrichly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary butfamiliar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles withpirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses thereader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries ofthe beloved Peter Pan.
Caddie Woodlawn. No one would accuse 11-year-old Caddie Woodlawn of being dainty and ladylike. In spite of her mother’s best efforts, Caddie is as wild as the wind, playing freely and rambunctiously with her two brothers in the Wisconsin backwoods. There are rafts to build and trees to climb and pranks to play. Caddie especially likes to watch her friend Indian John build birchbark canoes at the river.Every day seems wide with possibility – as wide as the frontier. But living on the edge of civilization has its risks, too. And when Indians threaten to attack the settlers, it is Caddie’s resourcefulness and bravery that save the day.
The One and Only Ivan. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan mostly thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home – and his own art – through new eyes.
Christian Family Audiobooks for Road Trip
Brinkman Adventures – both of these are Christian Audio Dramas, and explicitly share the gospel. What happens when you take the wacky adventures of a big family and mix them with exciting, true stories of modern-day Christian heroes? You get a brand new audio drama series called The Brinkman Adventures! Powerful stories from the lives of real missionaries come to life through the humorous escapades of the Brinkman family. These adventures will strengthen your faith and family and inspire young and old to follow Jesus wherever He may lead. The Brinkman Adventures are a treat for the ears, mind, and heart. Sold as books on CD for family road trips.
Jonathan Park. Christian Audio Dramas, and explicitly share the gospel. Santa Fe is hit by a catastrophic storm! To survive, two families are driven to seek safety in an underground cavern with a secret that will change their lives. Later, the Eagle s Nest Gang witnesses a robbery at the Museum of Ancient Art It s up to them to catch the thief, as the Park family travels to find artifacts that tell us about our past Will either of them succeed? JP is good for creationist science as well. Sold as books on CD for family road trips.
The Bark of the Bog Owl! First book in the Wilderking Series by Jonathan Rogers. He did the audiobooks himself and he did a fantastic job. It’s a retelling of the King David story from the Bible in a kind of late Medieval-ish/Southern US-ish setting (sounds weird but is awesome). Lots of action. Zany characters. Religious depth but not too much for little kids. Lessons in leadership and humility. Laugh-out-loud funny. Our whole family, parents to preschoolers, loves this series. There are three books in the series. Each audiobook is about five hours.
The Bronze Bow. “Family friendly, great story and narration. A favorite of ours!” This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.
The Door in the Wall. Ever since he can remember, Robin, child of Sir John de Bureford, has been told what is expected of him as the son of a nobleman. He must learn the ways of knighthood. But Robin’s destiny is changed suddenly when he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. Fearing a plague, his servants abandon him, and Robin is left alone.
A monk named Brother Luke rescues Robin and takes him to the hospice of St. Mark’s, where he is taught woodcarving and patience and strength. Says Brother Luke, “Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.”
Educational Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
Because I asked a lot of homeschooling families for recommendations, unsurprisingly, there are several educational or historical audiobooks that were recommended! I’ve tried to put them all together here for you to peruse! Because, hey, when you have your kids trapped together in a small space, why not multitask and teach them a little something while you’re at it (yet still enjoy the story)!
Rush Revere series. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has long wanted to make history come to life for the children of his listeners. In this book, he travels back in time with fearless history teacher Rush Revere. With the help of his faithful talking horse, Liberty, Rush experiences American history as it happens, having adventure after adventure with exceptional Americans such as Paul Revere and George Washington. Rush is transported back to the deck of the Mayflower as it makes its momentous voyage across the oceans to land at Plymouth Rock.
Greathall Productions. “We love any by them – folk tales, history, simplified stories. This company helped my daughter (7) fall in love with Shakespeare!” It’s one of the best books on CD for road trips and it’s told by Jim Weiss.
James Harriot books about animal stories. When you enter the world of James Herriot’s Animal Stories, you’ll share his wonder and humor, his adventures and misadventures as he contends with pet owners and landowners; rough-spoken farmers and soft-spoken gentry; orphaned lambs, litters of piglets and puppies, cattle and draught horses; and a miscellany of cats and dogs including, of course, Mrs. Pumphrey’s inimitable Pekinese, Tricki Woo.
Mr. Lemincellos Library. Everyone’s favorite game maker, Mr. Lemoncello, is testing out his new Fabulous Fact-Finding Frenzy game! If Kyle can make it through the first round, he and the other lucky finalists will go on a great race – by bicycle, bookmobile, and even Mr. Lemoncello’s corporate banana jet – to find fascinating facts about famous Americans. The first to bring their facts back to the library will win spectacular prizes! But when a few surprising “facts” surface about Mr. Lemoncello, it might be go to jail and lose a turn all at once!
Whew! You made it through my list of great audiobooks for your next family road trip!! Which ones are you going to give a listen to?