The very thought of a road trip with kids could get you all worked up. The excitement at the beginning of the trip usually turns to unbearable boredom as the trip progresses and, kids being kids, they could easily drive you up the wall with never-ending requests for bathroom breaks and other distractions. On a long road trip, a good audiobook could change all this. It’ll keep your kids away from their iPods and other mobile devices and they’ll be less restless, happily contented to just listen.
Choosing the very best audiobook is never easy as there plenty of books available as downloads. In making a choice, it is important to remember that the ages of your kids do matter – what is good for a ten-year-old will not be good for the three-year-old.
In addition, consider what the kids normally love – are they more drawn to mystery stories, sci-fi or adventure stories. You’ll already know this from the bedtime stories you have been reading them. If you are just beginning to use audiobooks for a family trip, you’ll get the most out of an audiobook if you choose a story that the kids already know – hearing the reading of a book they have already read makes it doubly enjoyable and it fully engrosses them.
1. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler — E.L Konisgsburg
Written almost half a century ago, this novel has been a classic for children of all ages. It narrates about Claudia Kincaid who runs away her brother Jamie from home and end up in New York’s Metropolitan Museum . At their new destination, the duo gets involved in an endless string of adventures whose narration takes over three hours. This is fascinating story will also make your kids develop more significant interest in museums.
2. The Cricket in Times Square — George Selden
Running for two and a half hours, this is the story of Chester, a countryside cricket who finds himself in Times Square and quickly becomes friends with an unlikely trio: the son of a newsstand owner, a city cat and a streetwise mouse. Full of good humour, this story also has excellent musical interludes as the cricket plays his wings to the sound of a violin.
3. George’s Secret Key to the Universe — Lucy and Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking has continued to baffle the world with his scientific knowledge and the series of books he has been co-authoring with his daughter, Lucy, is perhaps the closest the physicist comes to speaking the language the majority of us can understand. Hawking’s elevated position aside, George’s Secret Key to the Universe is the engrossing story of a shy boy who has been influenced by his environmental-activist parents to not only embrace green living but also to participate in protests against global warming. Lofty as the parents’ dreams are, George only wishes he could own a computer which is not forthcoming and his desire becomes an obsession when a scientist who owns a supercomputer moves into the neighbourhood. The only avenue open to help George acquire a computer is by entering a science competition in school but even this route is not guaranteed to achieve its objectives for there is an evil and ill-meaning scientist standing in George’s way.
4. The Despereaux — Kate DiCamillo
If your kids have identity issues, this is one audiobook that will prove useful. It tells of a story about a tiny little mouse, Despereaux, who has a problem fitting-in in his own society. Despereaux’s search for love ends up with him falling in love with a human princess and, with his dreams seemingly coming true, he swears that he’ll forever love and honour her. Despereaux’s promise is given a huge test when the castle he stays in with the princess is threatened by a huge and menacing rate and the tiny mouse has to stand up to protect it.
5. The Harry Potter Series — J.K. Rowling
Deciding which of the Harry Potter audiobooks to buy should mainly be guided by the ages of your kid. If your kids are above the age of six, it will do no harm to introduce them to Harry Potter beginning with the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The real beauty about audiobooks is that they offer a great substitute when children are unable to read the books themselves.