Road Trip Audio Books


My children and I will be starting our annual road trip to see family in a few weeks. We spend a little over two weeks in the car and cover many miles. My car does not have a DVD player, and I am doing my best to keep it that way. We started using audio books two summers ago, and it is holding the backseat passengers’ attention for now.  We have learned that a great read aloud at home may not be a good audio book.  It all depends on the narrator.  Here is a list of a few we loved… and some we did not.

Everybody Liked:

  • Magic Treehouse (any in the series) read by the author, Mary Pope Osborne.
  • The Boxcar Children read by Phyllis Newman.
  • Little House in the Big Woods (or any Little House book) read by Cherry Jones.
  • Frindle read by John Fleming.
  • Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing read by the author, Judy Blume.
  • The BFG read by Natasha Richardson.
  • The Cricket in Times Square read by Tony Shalhoub.
  • Lunch Money read by John H. Mayer. added 7/2012
  • Hotel for Dogs read by Katherine Kellgren. added 7/2012
  • Abby Cornelia’s One & Only Magical Power read by the author, David Pogue. added 7/2012

My Children Liked; I Did Not:

  • Junie B. Jones read by Lana Quintal. (My children thought these were hysterical.  But, what comes across as silly when read at bedtime in our house seemed so obnoxious through the voice of Lana Quintal.  I wanted to spank Junie B!)
  • The Secret of the Old Mill read by Bill Irwin. (This is a Hardy Boys mystery. The reader was too slow for me, but my children loved the sound effects.) added 7/2012

Nobody Liked:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events read by the author, Lemony Snicket.  (This was probably a bad choice on my part.  Not only was the author’s voice very nasal, the book is much darker read aloud, and the content was too old for my children’s ages.)

I need new selections for our upcoming trip.  Any thoughts?  I am looking for titles that will be appropriate and enjoyable for a 7-year old, a 5-year old, and a 40-year old.


Have you ever read a book that was so good you hoped it would never end?  Students are always asking for book suggestions that are “just like” a great book they finished last night, last week, or last month.  Here are some popular book titles with alternate book names that might almost be as good as the original. (If you have a great read-alike, please add a comment!)

If you love Harry Potter, TRY:

  • Knightly Academy by Haberdasher
  • The Magic Thief series by Prineas
  • Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist by LaFevers
  • Books of Elsewhere series by West

If you love The Lightning Thief, TRY:

  • Magickeepers series by Kirov
  • Kane Chronicles by Riordan
  • The Grimm Legacy by Shulman

If you love Wrinkle in Time, TRY:

  • When You Reach Me by Stead
  • 13th Reality series by Dashner
  • The Magic Half by Barrows

If you love Little House on the Prairie, TRY:

  • Caddie Woodlawn by Brink
  • Understood Betsy by Fisher
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by MacLachlan
  • The Bread Winner by Whitmore

If you love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, TRY:

  • Candymakers by Mass
  • The Candy Shop War by Mull
  • Gollywhopper Games by Feldman
  • Floors by Carmen

If you love My Side of the Mountain, TRY:

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by O’Dell
  • Hatchet by Paulsen
  • Far North by Hobbs

If you love From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, TRY:

  • Wonderstruck by Selznick
  • Red Blazer Girls by Beil
  • Sherlock Files series by Barrett

If you love The Hunger Games, TRY:

  • The Giver by Lowry (and all companion books)
  • The White Mountains trilogy by Christopher
  • Museum of Thieves by Tanner

If you love The Lord of the Rings, TRY:

  • The Ranger’s Apprentice series by Flanagan
  • The False Prince by Nielsen
  • The Thief by Turner