Roadtrip Roundup 2: Another 14 great audiobooks for the road

My previous Roadtrip Roundup has been the most popular post on Read, Kids, Read! to date. Here are another 14 audiobooks I am delighted to recommend. Some will make you laugh, some may make you cry. All will make the miles fly faster and enrich your time together with your kids.

Disclosure: Links below are affiliate links, i.e. purchases you make via these links result in a small commission to me at no cost to you. These support the blog and keep it going. Thanks!

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish Book CoverTitle: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Length: 13m
Age group: 4
The skinny: Would you trade a parent for a couple of shimmering goldfish? Well, that’s what the protagonist of this tale chooses to do in this amusing, short tale. Hijinks ensue when the child attempts to retrieve his dad. Narrated in Neil Gaiman’s inimitable voice.

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends Audio CD CoverTitle: Where the Sidewalk Ends
Author: Shel Silverstein
Narrator: Shel Silverstein
Format: Poems, narrated aloud
Length: 6hr 15m
Age group: 4
The skinny: This audio collection is not to be missed. Like some rascally uncle stirring his charges up to mischief, Silverstein whispers, growls, cajoles, and conspires, his raspy voice guaranteed to thrill listeners of all ages, whether to inspire mischief (“Sick”) or to just plain inspire  (“Listen to the Mustn’ts Child”). And don’t be fooled by the suggested age – like all the audio books recommended here, this one can be enjoyed from 4-94. (Read my full review.)

 

Title: Fortunately the Milk Audiobook CoverFortunately the Milk
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Length: 58m
Age group: 7
The skinny: A madcap tale, featuring another slightly distracted dad, who’s forgotten to buy milk for his kids’ breakfast when mom is out of town. He returns from a belated grocery run taking somewhat longer than usual. Did he stop to chat with a friend, or did he indeed have an extraordinary adventure including aliens, a stegosaurus pilot, spaceships, piranhas, and pirates…But more importantly, does the carton of milk that the children have been waiting for, survive the adventure? Listen and find out. (The book and illustrations are great too).

 

Odd and the Frost Giants Audiobook CoverTitle: Odd and the Frost Giants
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Length: 1hr 46m
Age group: 8
The skinny: This wintry tale (yes another Neil Gaiman selection…sorry, I go on author binges) is based on Norse mythology. Odd the protagonist, is an unusual boy. He is unfortunate in some ways, but mysterious and unflappable as well. Does he have what it takes to face down the mythic forces that have cursed his village with eternal winter?

 

Title: Big Hero Six
Author: Disney Press
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 2hr 18m
Age group: 8
The skinny: You may be surprised to hear about Big Hero 6, the audiobook! The movie was of course a huge hit some year ago and no doubt your kids, like mine, saw it then. But in our household, that only increased interest in listening to the audiobook adaptation. The audiobook is really well written and read with a resonant voice by MacLeod Andrews. It explores some fun and relatively sophisticated robotics concepts which may be missed while watching the fast-paced film, and deals sensitively with loss and with the power of friendship. A great find for kids who may be skeptical about the audiobook experience. (Read my full review.)

 

Heroes Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Audiobook CoverTitle: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Author: Christopher Healy
Narrator: Bronson Pinchot
Length: 9hr 4m
Age group: 9
The skinny: Ever considered the pressures and expectations that go with the title “Prince Charming”? Ever wondered how in heaven those ‘happily ever afters’ could work out when the fairytale couple barely know one another? This hilarious romp turns many fairytale cliches on their head, and includes reluctant princes and princesses, mismatched pairings, and a whole host of other character tropes from witches, to bards, to outlaws and trolls. Superbly narrated. Enjoy!

 

The Dreamer audiobook cover

Title: The Dreamer
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Narrator: Tony Chiroldes
Length: 4hr
Age group: 9
The skinny: Neftali Reyes is a shy, tongue-tied child and a colossal disappointment to his father. But one day he will be known as Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet. The transformation of a stuttering dreamer to a confident young man determined to explore the beauty and pain of the world, speak through poetry for the voiceless, and claim his name and destiny, is the subject of this wonderful book. Sensitively narrated by Tony Chiroldes. (Read my full review.)

 

Arcady's Goal audiobook coverTitle: Arcady’s Goal
Author: Eugene Yelchin
Narrator: Ari Fliakos
Length: 2hr 27m
Age group: 10
The skinny: Twelve-year old Arcady does not know much outside of a children’s home where he has lived ever since his parents were declared “enemies of the state” in Soviet-era Russia. He survives on his wits and his exceptional soccer skills. When he is adopted by a visiting inspector, he suspects his adoptive father’s motives. But will they coincide with his own goals and dreams? A heartwarming tale about second chances.

 

Echo Audiobook CoverTitle: Echo
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Narrator: Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews
Length: 10hr 31m
Age group: 10
The skinny: Three children living through different challenging times in history (the rise of Nazi Germany, the Great Depression, and World War II) must do what it takes to survive and forge their own destinies. Music from an enchanted harmonica and an ancient prophecy are the threads that connect their lives. The audiobook is wonderfully enhanced by musical interludes, adding something extra special to the listening experience.

 

Title: The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Narrator: Adam Grupper
Length: 3hr 46m
Age group: 10
The skinny: There once was a 400lb western lowland gorilla named Ivan, who lived in a concrete cell in the middle of a shopping mall. For 27 years, he entertained human shoppers and gawkers, but had no contact with others of his kind. It is from these dire, real-life circumstances, that author Katherine Applegate spins a soaring and unforgettable tale, expertly narrated by Adam Grupper. (Read my full review.)

 

Title: In the Shadow of the Sun
Author: Anne Sibley O’Brien
Narrator: Jackie Chung
Length: 8hr 56m
Age group: 10
The skinny: Mia Adams is on an unusual family vacation in North Korea with her father and surly older brother Simon. When dad is seized by North Korean authorities on charges of being a spy, the children find themselves stranded in a country about which they know dangerously little. Armed with little more than a tourist guidebook and an illegal camera that holds incriminating photographs of labor camps, the siblings are on the run for their lives. A gripping adventure that lifts the curtain’s edge on one of the world’s most secretive nations. (Read my full review.)

 

Alexander Hamilton-The Making of America Book CoverTitle: Alexander Hamilton: The Making of America
Author: Teri Kanefield
Narrator: Pete Cross
Format: Biography
Length: 3hr 54m
Age group: 10
The skinny: For those who can’t get their kids to plough through the 800 pages of the Ron Chernow Hamilton biography (joke), here is a wonderful audiobook for your next roadtrip. Pete Cross deftly narrates the moving story of Hamilton’s desperate beginnings, his adventures during the American Revolution, his shifting relationship with George Washington and other founding fathers, and his vision and lasting influence on the country. The story arc hews quite closely to that of the musical, while providing just the right amount of content for kids (and adults) to chew on.

 

Refugee Audiobook Cover

Title: Refugee
Author: Alan Gratz
Narrator: Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen
Length: 7hr 37m
Age group: 12
The skinny: Alan Gratz weaves together three riveting stories from different time periods (Berlin in 1938, Cuba in 1994, and Syria in 2015) to explore the refugee crisis from an important perspective: the perspective of refugee children. Each of the three audiobook narrators does an amazing job of bringing the three protagonists vividly to life. Parents should note that the book deals head-on with difficult topics such as loss, grief, violence, and fear. While heartbreaking, none of it is gratuitous. This is a vitally important story to read/listen to and discuss together.

 

Rowan Hood Audiobook CoverTitle: Rowan Hood
Author: Nancy Springer
Narrator: Emily Gray
Length: 3hr 56m
Age group: 12
The skinny: Rosemary lives at the edge of the woods with her mother. When her home is destroyed and her mother killed, she travels deep into the forest, disguised as a boy, in search of Robin Hood, the legendary hero who she thinks might be her father. A magical tale that expand the legends of Sherwood forest. Beautifully narrated by Emily Gray (though there are 1-2 instances of some off-key singing.)

 

You may notice that  I use a lot of superlatives in my reviews! That is because I read and listen to dozens and dozens of options, discard most, and bring you only the best.

Access: The links above are through Audible at Amazon.com. Depending upon where you live in the world, you can likely also access these for free through your public library and other resources that I am blogging about, like Hoopla.

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The post Roadtrip Roundup 2: Another 14 great audiobooks for the road appeared first on Read, Kids, Read!.