Road Trip Audiobooks for the Whole Family

Audiobooks are one of the best parts of a road trip. Shared stories, then shared adventures. Sigh. Truly solid memories.

So many of our cross country treks are marked by the books we listened to en route; it’s like they’re merged together in a beautiful, collaborative way.

This summer we have two specific books on the docket … The Hobbit and A Whale of the Wild. The Hobbit because my boys are curious about Lord of the Rings and I figured it was a good place to start. Also, we recently loved this picture book. And then A Whale of the Wild because our summer term is going to be all about the ocean so an ocean book seemed fitting.

I wanted to highlight a handful of our favorite audiobooks in case you’re hittin’ the road too! Each of these have been enjoyed by mama and kids ages 3-13.

Now, I will say, a few probably aren’t age appropriate for the 3 year old, but, well, he’s along for the ride and that’s just part of being kiddo number five. For most books I aim to hit in the middle of everyone so these days our stories are for the 8-10 year old range … sometimes a little younger, sometimes a little older. All in all though, decent options for the fam.

The Menagerie by Tai T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland

Mythical animals hidden in the middle of Wyoming? Yep, it’s as adventurous as it sounds! This is the first book in a trio of stories about griffins, dragons, and krakens.

Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt

A camel in Texas … why? Well, you’re soon to find out! Once Upon a Camel is a steady, sweet story recommended for fans of The One and Only Ivan.

The Wingfeather Saga: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

We recently finished book one of The Wingfeather Saga and everyone but Jem was entranced; she’s more of a historical fiction gal these days. Anyway, it was well enjoyed, the boys are begging for book two, and Angel Studio has an animated film that pairs as a fun “celebration” at the book’s conclusion.

A Single Shard by by Linda Sue Park

I’m not surprised one bit that A Single Shard won the Newbery – it’s impactful! This book follows Tree-ear, an orphan boy in 12th century Korea, and teaches valuable lessons you’ll find yourself referencing over and over.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and One Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The first of five books, The Penderwicks, is one of our family classics now. We ADORE these sisters, their friends, and the many mishaps they endure. One sis is a smidge “naughty”, mostly in her language, but we used that as a lesson in how important it is to speak kind, especially within your family.

The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

Jemma and Max were in this production recently and in preparation for the show, the little boys and I listened to the audiobook so we would have a solid reference of the storyline. This BBC rendition especially is WONDERFUL. We love the brave, inventive, and thoughtful children.

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson

Are British stories better? I’ll let you be the judge :) The Secret of Platform 13 will engage listeners of all ages as you bridge to “normal” world and one of magic and mystery. Who is the true prince? Only a few hours of listening will tell.

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

If someone had asked me to nominate a book for the Newbery back in 2019 A Wolf Called Wander would have been it! Based on a true story, this novel follows Swift, a young wolf, looking for home. Written in his voice, you experience the world through a wolf’s viewpoint and I feel like listening to this book helped my kids grow in their own writing skills when it comes to perspective.

The Labors of Hercules Beal by Gary D. Schmidt

One of my boys has a penchant for Greek mythology right now. Hence, The Labors of Hercules Beal was the perfect listen for us! It’s witty and wise, albeit a little sad too (Herc is a middle school orphan being raised by his older brother). You’ll find yourself cheering Herc on as he tackles some unique tasks to complete a creative school assignment. Cross my heart, this one is a win!


Do you have family -friendly listen aloud recommendations? I’d love to know … our list is ever-growing!

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