Amazing Audio Books To Listen to on your Summer Vacation

Good listening material is essential over the summer, whether it be for long road trips, short excursions around town, or something to listen to quietly in your room. Audio books offer an excellent source of listening material that the whole family can enjoy both together or on their own. 

Our family has not listened to a huge number of audio books yet.  I have, however, been pulling together a list of potential listening material for our upcoming road trip.

To help me with my list and maybe with yours, I asked a friend whose family loves listening to audiobooks together to share a few of their favorites. 

Whatever your listening needs are this summer, consider the following list of audio book recommendations from Sharlin and her family:

 

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Reviewed by 10 year-old daughter

Peter Nimble is a young boy who has no eyes. He finds a box with special eyeballs in it. Each pair of eyes does something different. He puts a pair in, and has a very exciting adventure. He finds many helpful people and creatures along the way.

I think this book is very good for kids six and up and for adults, too!

The 13th Princess by Diane Zahler

Reviewed by 16 year old daughter 

This is a book about Zita, who is the 13th princess of a king who wanted only sons. She works in the kitchen as a servant while the rest of her sisters are treated like, well, princesses. When her sisters mysteriously fall ill, the only clue to the cause of their sickness is their strangely tattered dancing shoes. Zita has to discover what is enchanting her sisters before they are seriously hurt or killed.

I listened to this book over and over again because the story was so thrilling. The perspective that the book is written from is fun because it’s Zita’s, who is treated more like a servant than a daughter, versus one of the princesses. It was my absolute favorite book when I was younger, and I still love it very much.

 

The mysterious Benedict society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Reviewed by 13 year-old son

An orphan boy named Reynie lives in an orphanage/school with his tutor. He meets Mr.Benedict who recruits him and a few other children to foil the evil plans of Ledroptha Curtain.

I liked it because it was easy to feel attached to the characters, and it made me wonder what was going to happen next. This is an interesting adventure and mystery book.

 

The Willoughby‘s by Lois Lowry

Reviewed by middle aged mother

As the mother of this family, the summary on the back of this audiobook left me feeling very skeptical about its content for my children. However, we gave it a shot, and I was exceeding pleased that we did.

The story is about a dysfunctional family whose lives come around in the end. It is hilarious and filled with facetious humor. The reader added alot to the story with his excellence at performing voices dripping with sarcasm. I’ll admit that not everyone may love this type of humor, but all six of us, ages 41-7, laughed repeatedly throughout. I would definitely recommend giving it a try!

 

Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks

Reviewed by 7 year-old son (with some help from the rest of the family)

This story follows a person (you can choose whether it’s a man or woman, depending on which audio version you choose) who wakes up with no memory and finds himself in a strange new world. You follow his adventure as he learns to find food, perform basic functions, build shelter, stay alive and explore this new world. 

It was written in first person, which draws the reader in quickly. There is also lots of danger and adventure to hook the listener. Although you don’t need an understanding of the game Minecraft to enjoy the story, you should be warned that after you listen, the whole family will probably want to play Minecraft together.

Other Excellent books you should listen to (in the middle aged father’s humble, but correct opinion):

While it has been a while since we have listened to the following audiobooks, and the details are a bit too hazy for reviews, these stories stand out as some of the best audio books we’ve heard:

A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle

Every Ramona audiobook ever by Beverly Cleary

Crunch by Leslie Connor

 

Thanks Sharlin and family for sharing your favorites!

If you want more ideas, the most recent What Should I Read Next podcast episode would be a great listen:  Ep 134: Audiobooks for the whole family to binge.

If you are looking for ways to listen to audio books, check out Audible or consider checking them out of your local library. If you would rather stream than use physical CDs but don't want to pay full price, there are several apps/websites that allow you to listen to audiobooks for free through your local library, like Overdrive and Hoopla

What Audiobooks would you recommend? I'd love to grow the list. Please leave a comment with your favorites!

 

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