Sunday, December 20, 2009

Audiobooks for listening on family trips (ages 5 - 15)

Do you have a long car trip ahead this vacation?  Try listening to audiobooks in the car.  They make a great alternative to movies and music, and are fun to share with the family.  I've had great success downloading audiobooks to my MP3 player - either for free from my library system or through

My biggest challenge is finding books that work with a wide age range.  My 11 year old loves to listen to audiobooks, but she wants more complex and longer stories than my kindergartner will tolerate.  So we have to take turns.  Sometimes, I plug each child into their own story using headphones. But I much prefer finding stories that cross age ranges.

This week, I will highlight audiobooks that work for different ages.  My basic rule of thumb is that children can listen to books about two years before they can read them.  So, the Percy Jackson books are great to read in 4th and 5th grade, but 2nd and 3rd graders enjoy listening to them.

Here's a quick round-up that's my plan for the week.  I will add the links as the posts get published. 

teens:  * Marcelo in the Real World, by Fancisco X. Stork
            * Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

ages 10 - 12: * Rules, by Cynthia Lord
                     * When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

ages 7 - 10: * Dominic, by William Steig
                 * Percy Jackson series (starting with The Lightning Thief), by Rick Riordan
                  * Boy, by Roald Dahl (autobiography)

ages 4 - 7: * Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
                  * Mercy Watson series, by Kate DiCamillo

Do you have any favorites?  Please let me know in the comments or email me (greatkidbooks at and I'll include your suggestions in the posts!

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