Now that summer has settled in for good, families across the city will be piling into their cars for road trips to fun and family-friendly destinations. These days, long car rides are made easier by things like tablets and tv screens built into the backs of seats, but lets not forget about audiobooks. Listening to the a book together while on a trip is a great way to build family memories. You can all bond over your shared experience listening the story. Another great aspect to listening to audiobooks is that they are wonderful tools to help build and exercise our brains, whether we’re little children or grown adults. By listening along to a novel, we get to exercise our imagination and the part of our brains that help build critical listening skills. But best and most important of all, audiobooks are a real treat! As a self-proclaimed audiobook fanatic, I love to promote this part of our collection – which is sadly hidden away from sight now that our window renovations have made us temporarily move the collection downstairs! We still have them, however, so just speak to a staff member and we’ll happily help find what you’re looking for.
If you are taking a trip or just looking to try them out, here a few recommended listens that will appeal to the whole family.
by: Josh Lieb
This fun adventure story focus on a boy who, once bitten by a rat, turns into a rodent and manages to unlock the mythic sword Ratscalibur. Now, it’s up to him to protect his fellow rats from the evil crows. This story blends humour with classic children’s stories for a listen that is sure to have you and your kids sitting on the edge of your seat, even if you are strapped in by a seat belt. This book has been a big hit with readers of many different ages, and has been given a stamp of approval from one family of audiobook listeners who used it themselves on a car trip, to the delight of all.
In the vein of other classic stories like Homeward Bound, Nuts to You follows a squirrel, who was taken away from his home and his friends by a hawk and now has to find his way back. All the while, his friends are trying to get to him, too. It’s heartwarming and really cute, so it will appeal to families with younger children, as well. The reader, Jessica Almasy, is an award-winning reader who loves children’s books. She has said, “I love that I get to be a part of connecting kids to reading and seeing–in every sense of that word–for themselves.” Summer is a great time to listen to friendship stories, and this one will have you looking at squirrels in an entirely new light.
The Fourteenth Goldfish
by: Jennifer L. Holm
This is a realistic story with a bit of a science fiction twist, that will appeal to people who don’t normally go for out-of-this-world stories. When Ellie answers the door and sees someone her own age standing there, she definitely did not expect that that teen boy would turn out to be her grandfather. Through an experiment gone slightly awry, Ellie’s difficult grandfather now has to be looked after by his rather resentful daughter, which is a twist that had me smiling. This book hits a lot of different notes, which is helpful when trying to appeal to the various tastes of your family members. Family conflict is handled sensitively, and it’s great to see science stories that appeal to both boys and girls.
From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess
by: Meg Cabot
This middle-grade novel is a spin-off of the very popular YA series The Princess Diaries, which was made into a movie about 12 years ago. In this book, the exceptionally ordinary Olivia has to deal with her newly discovered royal status. On top of the complication that she is now famous for being a princess, she has to live with an aunt and uncle who have, in the past, treated her rather poorly. Meg Cabot is well known for her humorous writing style, and this newest addition to her body of work is no different. This is a princess book that will even appeal to those young readers who you aren’t necessarily fans of princess stories.
Lost in the Sun
by: Lisa Graff
Lost in the Sun deals with slightly heavier subject matter, but Lisa Graff writes it in such a way that it never feels like too much. Ramon de Ocampo, the reader, does a great job conveying the frustration and anger felt by Trent, without ever forgetting to also show the vulnerability that underlies everything he does. Trent is trying to sort through some complicated emotions after a tragic event earlier in the year, and when he befriends social outcast Fallon Little, he starts to understand that he can finally move on.
Whether you try out of these suggestions or check out another audiobook that you think will suit your family, I hope you discover the joy that this kind of “reading” can bring.