17 great audiobooks for kids

17 great audiobooks for kids

We’ve talked about audiobooks quite a bit in the past few months—on the blog and on the podcast—which has led to an outcry of but what about my kids? 

Today I’m happy to oblige, with this list of 17 terrific audiobooks for the younger set. (There’s a lot more titles here if you count all the books in these series.)

This is by no means exhaustive; there are literally thousands of good options, which is fantastic, but a little overwhelming. Have no fear: you can’t go wrong with any of these titles.

And if your favorite is missing from the list, would you tell us about it in comments?

Series: Audiobooks for Kids Round-up
Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl

Author:
In this fantasy series, Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old criminal mastermind, the last in a long line of crime lords in a legendary crime family that has seen better days. When this novel was first released, Publishers Weekly couldn't resist commenting how much the novel read like a screen play. That's good news for audiobook fans: it's amazing in this medium. Fun fact: the author described this book as "Die Hard with fairies." More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World

This quirky novel lives in the shadow of its better-known companions From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The View from Saturday, it deserves more recognition—especially the terrific audio edition read by Edward Herrmann. This story is about a kid with a dream, a search for a true friend, and a long-buried secret that dates all the way back to Nazi Germany. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers

Bestselling funny guy Dave Barry turns to Kid Lit in this fantasy tale, a prequel of sorts to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Great characters, daring adventure, and not a small amount of hijinks. Jim Dale narrates. More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Misty of Chincoteague

Misty of Chincoteague

This 1947 novel is a must-read for any young horse lover. A tiny island in coastal Virginia is home to a band of beautiful wild ponies, and Paul and Maureen dream of making one of them their own. The children learn that following a dream isn’t easy, and that sometimes it’s hard to hold onto what you love. Newbery Honor Book. The terrific audiobook is narrated by Edward Hermann, who also read the award-winning narrations of The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

Forget everything you've heard about this being an "important" book, and if you're not the poetry type, pretend you don't know this is a memoir-in-verse. All you need to know is this story is fantastic, and it absolutely comes alive when read by the author herself. Woodson tells the story of her childhood, moving with her family (or part of it) from South Carolina to New York City and back again, sharing her observations through a young girl's eyes with a writer's sensibility. National Book Award winner. More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars

Author:
I love Gary Schmidt. This is one of his most beloved works—a historical novel that revolves around middle school drama, the New York Yankees, and the Vietnam War, as seen through the eyes of seventh grader Holling Hoodhood. Readers will come back to it again and again. Funny and poignant, it's perfect for fans of E.L. Konigsburg. A Newbery Honor book. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Crossover

The Crossover

Author:
Another novel in verse, read by the author. A heads up to the kids who think they aren't poetry types: when read aloud, this story doesn't sound "poetic." It just sounds awesome. This coming-of-age story revolves around two twin boys, both basketball stars, raised by an ex-NBA star, and the plot features plenty of action on and off the court. Poetry doesn't waste words, which heightens the reader's emotional experience as the characters deal with the regular pains of growing up and the not-so-regular family issues. A Newbery Award winner. More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game

This science fiction classic is one of Audible's most highly-rated audiobooks of all time. I don't want to say too much ... but this story revolves around Ender Wiggins, who gets roped into his civilization's quest to save the world. The top-rated audiobook is narrated by a cast, which makes for an even richer reading experience. A Hugo and Nebula Award-winner. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Author:
It's the classic you know and love, in a newly released audio version narrated by Rachel McAdams. For kids, this is an excellent introduction to Anne. For adults, Rachel's new narration is a wonderful way to revisit an old favorite. (Hot tip: buy the right kindle edition and then add the Rachel McAdams narration for just $1.99.) More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Redwall: A Tale from Redwall

Redwall: A Tale from Redwall

Author:
The plot admittedly sounds a little weird, but Brian Jacques has won over legions of skeptics with this series. It's all in the telling, really: Jacques is known for his technicolor descriptive styles; he doesn't just show the readers what's happening—comes alongside you so you can feel, smell, touch, and taste it. Narrated by a full cast, so you get to hear lots of different accents and dialects done well. Read it, and read it on audio. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Muggie Maggie

Muggie Maggie

Author:
My 9-year-old adored this Beverly Cleary title (that I'd never heard of until this year!) begged me to read it until I relented. It was even one of her 3 favorites when she was a guest on the What Should I Read Next podcast. It's the same Beverly Cleary we know and love, although this one is aimed at a slightly younger audience than the Henry and Ramona books we love so much. And at only 41 minutes long, this is a gentle introduction to the world of audiobooks. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Flora & Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses

Author:
It's hard to go wrong with any Kate DiCamillo book; this Newbery Award winner is a good place to start. Flora is a girl addicted to the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!; Ulysses is the squirrel who needs saving. Endearing, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny, especially as narrated by the talented Tara Sands. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

My fourth grader is reading this one right now and LOVING it! Gail Carson Levine is terrific on audio. In this story (her first!) she takes a friendly young girl today's kids can relate to and her into a fantasy world filled with ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers. A fun twist on the Cinderella story. A Newbery Honor book. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries

Author:
This whole series is great on audio; the first three books are narrated by none other than Anne Hathaway. Mia is a more-or-less typical ninth grader, who lives in Greenwich Village her single mom. But then her dad comes to town and rocks her world with a major announcement: he's not the "European politician" he's always claimed to be, but the prince of a small country. Mia is his only heir, and it's time for her to learn how to be a princess. Heads up before you buy this for your kids: the book is richer than the movie, but not as innocent. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Shoe Books

The Shoe Books

These charming books were discovered by a new generation of readers when Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) recommended them to a Fox Books patron in Nora Ephron’s 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail: “I'd start with Ballet Shoes, it's my favorite; although Skating Shoes is completely wonderful.” There are 11 shoe books in all; though only three are available on Audible. Start with Ballet Shoes, narrated by Elizabeth Sastre. More info →
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

Author:
If you're remotely inclined to pick up these books (and I hope you are) might I suggest you consider the fantastic HarperAudio editions? Each has a different narrator: Kenneth Branagh reads The Magician's Nephew, Lynn Redgrave reads Prince Caspian, Jeremy Northam reads The Silver Chair, Patrick Stewart does The Last Battle. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Author:
This was required reading for Jack, my 13-year-old, and from what I heard, he wasn't the only one who struggled with the dialogue at first. But once he got the hang of it he was off and running, reading ahead of the school schedule because he wanted to find out what happens next. Packed with adventure, plus material for lots of good discussions in the classroom or at the kitchen table. The excellent Nick Offerman narration is currently available as a Whispersync deal. "Buy" the linked kindle edition here—for FREE—and add the narration for just $.99. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com

I know you have great ideas for kids’ audiobooks. What would you add to the list?

P.S. Visit the brand-new audiobook category on the blog for more audiobook recommendations.

audiobooks for kids

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99 comments

  1. Katie Fox says:

    Thanks for this list, Anne. We’ve recently discovered that our kids both tend to get car-sick in the car if they are reading, so we’re exploring more audiobooks. Question: are those your own kids’ headphones in the pic? And if so, would you recommend the brand? We have had a hard time finding good quality kids’ headphones that don’t break quickly and can stand up to some wear and tear. Thanks!

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve never heard of Muggie Maddie, either, despite being a life-long lover of Beverly Cleary! I’m going to check it out for my daughter, who’s seven. Thanks!

  3. Stacy says:

    We love the Melendy quartet by Elizabeth Enright on audio. Two new favorites we listened to this summer were Moon Over Manifest and Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. My daughter also enjoys the Mrs. Piggie Wiggle books and My Father’s Dragon.

  4. Cassie says:

    Thank you so much! I’m listening to an audiobook almost all day while tending to the 16 month old and I’m not comfortable with adult novels or themes since I play them outloud.

  5. Amy says:

    The Penderwicks series is a favorite of my girls. Trixie Belden narrated by Ariadne Meyers (the first 5 books in the series) and Little House series by Cherry Jones are other favorites that they listen to over and over again. When they were younger they loved all the Beverly Cleary books and Judy Blume (Fudge series in particular), who narrates her own books. (Of course, my 9 year old currently has an affinity for Judy Moody and the Wimpy Kid books on audio but we won’t go there. 😉 )

  6. Jo Skidmore says:

    If you don’t already have one – which I would find hard to believe considering the people who would be following this blog – I encourage everyone to get their library card and sign up for overdrive. You can check out e-audiobooks (e-books as week) from the library. The kids selections appear to be as extensive as the adults. You don’t even have to go into the library – the books are delivered directly to your device.

    Sometimes with the adult audiobooks, you can be on hold for a little while – not sure about the children’s books, but well worth the wait considering the (non) price.

    And naturally, it was from MMD that I was introduced to overdrive

  7. Stephanie says:

    Our family loves the Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright (The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, and Spiderweb for Two), read by Pamela Dillman.

    We started listening to them about 5 years ago, and they are still favorites that we pull out toward the end of a long road trip! The four kids in the story are spread out in age, so I think different characters appeal to my kids as they mature.

  8. Sarah says:

    My son and I have enjoyed audiobooks on our 30min commute to work/school since he was in kindergarten. He’s now in second grade and we have loved listening to all of the following: Harry Potter series (Stephen Fry’s lovely narration), Chronicles of Narnia books (just finished The Silver Chair), How to Train Your Dragon series (so different from the movies, but hysterically funny – and narrated by David Tennant!), James & the Giant Peach, Matilda (w/ Kate Winslet), Charlotte’s Web, Anne Hathaway’s narration of The Wizard of Oz, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the first Percy Jackson book (The Lightning Thief), and we just started The Hobbit last week. I love that my son is so eager to “turn on the story” as soon as we get in the car! 🙂

  9. Jennifer Guzik says:

    We listen to audio books often, as we live in a small town and have to drive an hour roundtrip to get to appts. and such. The ABSOLUTE BEST audio books for kids are Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (read by Brenden Fraser who does an amazing job with the different voices), Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (a wonderful story and a Full Cast audio production), Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby, and The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. My kids (ages 15, 11, and 7) and I have listened to each of these multiple times. These are our favorites.

  10. Kimberly Bunyard says:

    When my big kids were younger we loved the Elizabeth Enright books on audio as well as A Cricket in Times Square. The books by E Nesbit were also a hit.
    Currently we’ve been listening to Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book and The Book Thief. These aren’t for younger kids, but probably 10 and up.

  11. rachel.vanderley says:

    So many great recommendations! I love the Artemis Fowl books, and the audiobooks are wonderful, especially the narrators accent. Some of the others on the list were my favorites as a child (Misty and Redwall – the food Brian Jacques describes!!), so it would be really fun to come back to them as audiobooks.

    For fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, I recommend Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre version. Completely faithful to the books, done with a full cast of extremely talented actors. You can get the whole series as a box set and it is well worth it!! Really, any of their radio productions are great, but that would be my number one pick for children! They also did Anne of Green Gables withe Mae Whitman (of Parenthood fame) voicing Anne.

  12. Abby says:

    All my kids (tween through preschooler) love the Freddy books by Walter R Brooks, about a clever pig detective. John McDonough is the fantastic narrator of the whole series. I also second all the Melendy Quartet comments.

  13. Sarah M says:

    Such a great list-many I had not thought of before! My son voraciously reads through his ears–he averages about 4-5 books a week. He recently has loved the 39 Clues series (mystery), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The Invention of Hugo Cabaret, Crenshaw, and he LOVES anything Rick Riordan puts out-he’s read all of ’em.

    I’m about to head to my library website now…

  14. Kitty Balay says:

    I just finished listening to Brown Girl Dreaming to fulfill my Newberry/ Honor Book requirement for the 2017 Reading Challlenge. WOW! I never would have chosen it if I hadn’t heard about it on WSIRN. Absolutely gorgeous! I also listened to The Cross Over for the same reason. (Thanks Caroline Rose Star!) What a great book and story that I never would have chosen myself. Listening to these books on audio, and hearing the voices and rhythms that aren’t my own took me into the authors’ worlds in a way that I don’t think I could have found reading them on my own. They are both SO GOOD! Peter and the Starcatcher is also pretty spectacular because of the talent of narrator, Jim Dale. He brings many large characters to life in this adventure with such specificity and fun that you never get confused about who is speaking.

  15. Tami says:

    We discovered audiobooks as a way for our family to enjoy long car rides. We listen as a family and all of us love it. Our favourite series is the Hatchet series of five books by Gary Paulsen and also have listened to and loved The Phantom Tollbooth read by David Hyde Pierce.

  16. Kitty Balay says:

    And, by the way, I recently read (on paper) Ender’s Game to fulfill “a book recommended to you by a family member” on the 2016 Reading Challenge. My son had been asking me to read it for YEARS. I don’t care for Scifi, but because of the challenge I finally read it. My son was so pleased to finally be able to talk to me about it!

  17. Sara says:

    My girls have been loving The All-of-a-Kind Family series on audiobook. I second getting the audiobooks using our library card and either Hoopla or Overdrive. The apps are easy to use/play via my phone and the selection is great! No more bulky CDs and late fees!

  18. Naomi says:

    My boys and I loved the “How to Train Your Dragon” series by Cressida Cowell. There are 12 books and they are narrated by David Tennant. These were the books that turned us in to audio fans. Absolutely wonderful!

  19. Holly Van Houten says:

    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede is narrated by a cast and is excellent for any child who loves magic. Since it turns all the fairy tales on their heads, it is also excellent for any princess or dragon loving young person. There are four books in the series and all great.

  20. Christine says:

    We love The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series on audio. We tend to listen dependent on who reads them. Like Jim Dale, who reads the Harry Potter books. All his other audio books are fantastic.

  21. D says:

    Anyone have some audio ideas for American History (either engaging non-fiction or historical fiction)? We are heading to DC this spring and would love to give them more background about the area.

    • Erin in CA says:

      Check out Steve Sheinkin’s books. My son was probably 8 or 9 when he started reading them, and has loved every one (although he’s never done one on audio).

  22. Erin in CA says:

    My kids are big audiobook consumers. A few I haven’t seen mentioned:
    — Betsy-Tacy (so sad they didn’t do the whole series on audio!)
    — the Ivy & Bean series (love these!)
    — a newer middle-grade book called Counting Thyme. My ten-year-old daughter is extremely picky when it comes to books, and she LOVED this, as did I. (Warning, a younger sibling in this book has cancer, but it does have a happy ending.)

  23. Alicia G says:

    We would add:

    – Little House on the Prairie CD’s narrated by Cherry Jones
    – Harry Potter Series
    – Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
    – E. Nesbitt’s Psammead Trilogy
    – the Bevery Cleary compilations off Audible
    – Pippi Longstocking & The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lundgren

    We listen a LOT. 🙂

  24. Kristen says:

    I would add Wonder by A.J. Palacio. The audio includes different voices for each chapter. It’s fantastic. It held the attention of my 8, 10 & 11-year olds (and me!) all summer long.

  25. Daisy says:

    I’ve been rereading A Series of Unfortunate Events on audiobook narrated by Tim Curry. They’re so fantastic! I’ve also enjoyed A Bear Called Paddington.

  26. Brianne says:

    My boys are 4 and 7, and they love the Geronimo Stilton books, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, A to Z Mysteries, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Roald Dahl books, and Pippi Longstocking.

  27. My youngest son and I are right in love with Gary Schmidt these days. We are listening now to Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy which is incredible, but I think our favorite was O.K. for Now.

    I love the way Gary works art and literature into a book for young teens (especially boys!). Amazing work.

  28. Kristin says:

    Love all of these ideas! We primarily listen to audiobooks in the car but I would love to set up my kids (7 and 5) with a small speaker and mp3 player for their rooms so they can listen during their quiet time. What products are you using to play audiobooks in your kids’ rooms?

  29. Kristen says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! I just listened to Matilda by Roald Dahl and read by Kate Winslet. It’s so good! I also recently enjoyed Charlotte’s Web read by E.B. White himself.

    • Scarlett Pierson says:

      Yes!!! Matilda had been my favorite new find. My son and I listened to it during the holidays curled up in bed. So good!!!!

  30. Melissa says:

    My 8-year-old daughter and I listened to The Butterfly Club and it was incredible. A great message and lovely narration.

  31. Robyn Lilly says:

    I would add “Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer. Read by Chris Colfer. I can’t say enough great things about this book series. Brilliantly writtten and read!

  32. Sarah says:

    Anne, this is GREAT! I’d made it my goal this year to listen to more audiobooks, but I don’t like to wear earbuds since I have three littles running around the house. This list is exactly what I needed! Thanks!

  33. mbmom7 says:

    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede is a lot of fun. (The books are Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons). It’s done by a cast of players (at least the one we listened to) , so it was a very different experience than the usual audiotapes. And if the kids are in a “Magic Tree House” phase , those aren’t bad. (They got us through a bunch of car trips.)

  34. Sara says:

    Anything by Roald Dahl, the version with the new bright covers. They are beautifully narrated and engaging.

    As are any of Beverly Cleary’s books

  35. Margaret says:

    You’ve provided so many great recommendations in the past but today you outdid yourself. Nick Offerman reading Tom Sawyer!!! I cannot wait!

  36. Sue Reynolds says:

    Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale. I have so many fond memories driving kids around listening to these books. My kids are in their 20s now( how did that happen!!) and my daughter still listens to these stories when she is depressed.
    I also love the Ramona Quimby series narrated by Stockhard Channing and we loved listening to Holes too.
    Audiobooks are a wonderful tool to help young readers develop listening and comprehension skills and a wonderful way to experience stories together as a family. 😊

    • Jocelyn says:

      Last year I bought myself ‘Cursed Child’ as a birthday present (only 2 weeks after Harry’s) and realised that he had been part of my life for 18 years!!!! How did that happen?? LOL

  37. Natasha D. says:

    Love all these! The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge is great on audio. I can’t remember who it was read by… I’m thinking it was John McDonagh…

  38. Lisa says:

    My son loves to listen to an audiobook in the bathtub. I mainly will choose a kids book but we have also chosen some classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (17 hours long!) and Peter Pan. Here are some others we have enjoyed:
    * Magic Tree House Series
    * Pippi Longstocking
    * Cricket in Times Square
    * Paddington Series
    * Edward Tulane (same author as Flora and Ulysses)

  39. Erika says:

    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (both free listening on Loyal Books) are two of the best narrated books I’ve ever heard (right up there alongside the Lord of the Rings Trilogy narrator Rob Inglis on Audible). I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to listen with me! 😉

  40. Zhenya says:

    I would add Jacqueline Wilson’s Story of Tracy Beaker. A british kid in a care home, written in the form of her own writings, the kids quickly learnt that Tracy does a lot to avoid the unbearable truth. Brilliantly done, a girl with anger problems and abandonment issues. Brought to life by Sandi Toksvig.

  41. Heather says:

    Great list! I’d add the Little House series which will release on Audible on 2/7 (hooray!) and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

  42. Tara says:

    Richard Peck! I’m surprised no one mentioned him! The two books I always listen to after a heavy or depressing read is A Year Down Yonder, and A Long Way From Chicago ( I can’t recall which is the first). They are so so funny – about a brother and sister who stay with their grandmother in the summers. Grandma Dowdel is large in stature and even larger in personality, and she’s always causing some kind of town mischief and involving her grandkids in it. I always laugh when I read these.

    Also, the book Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage would be a fun audiobook for kids probably age 8+ and parents alike. Sweetly southern with a mystery and some adventure.

  43. Rachel says:

    I would recommend Recorded Books’ version of Anne of Green Gables. Barbara Caruso’s narration in it is wonderful, and I have fond memories of listening to it as a kid in the summer.

  44. Joy says:

    CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN read by Dana Ivey. What an incredible surprise delight! The novel is nothing like the movie. Frank is now one of my new favorite literary characters.

  45. Pingback: The List List #237
  46. Crystal Blake says:

    The 39 clues books various authors some better than others but all good there is also a series called spirit animals which are interesting but have a lot of characters to keep track off.
    The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
    The first 5 Percy Jackson books, the Heroes Of Olympus series, The Kane Chronicles, The Trials Of Apollo or The Magnus Chase Books by Rick Riordan.
    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
    Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris
    Peter Pan narrated by Tim Curry
    How To Train Your Dragon read by David Tennant
    The Worst Witch read by Gemma Arterton
    Eoin Colfer has another series called W.A.R.P which is really good although I have only read the first one so far also only read book 1 Magyk from Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage but that one was good enough to make me search out the others.
    If you are a fan of Roald Dahl you might also like David Walliams books, we have just finished The Demon Dentist.

  47. Jenn says:

    Anything by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson, Kane chronicles, heroes of Olympus).
    Shannon Hale books (the Goose Girl series, the Princess Academy series)
    Rediscovered some classics recently like The Little Princess, The Secret Garden and Little Women.
    And I completely agree with Artemis Fowl. I have listened to the entire series at least three times 🙂
    Older kids/teens may enjoy the Eragon series (Inheritance series) by Christopher Paolini.
    The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is very good.
    And finally, the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke is amazing on audio (Lynn Redgrave, Brendan Fraser).

  48. Erika says:

    The Penderwicks and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
    Socks read by Neil Patrick Harris
    The Wizard of Oz read by Anne Hathaway

  49. Our family has loved the audiobooks version of Elvis and the Underdogs (there are two in this series), Escape from Lemoncello’s Library (there are two in this series), The Worst Class Trip Ever (It’s $3.99 right now on Audible), Sarah Plain and Tall, and Matilda among others.

  50. Hannah says:

    What a wonderful list! Another wonderful audio series is Hank The Cowdog written and narrated by John R. Erickson. My family listed to these during summer road-trips and many of the lines are woven into our family lore.

  51. Jessica says:

    I just checked out Ender’s Game based on your recommendation, and while I’m sure my kids would like the story, I had to abandon it after just a few tracks because it introduced some vocabulary I don’t want them repeating (ba$tard and a**hole). Maybe a caveat that it’s best for older kids or a warning about the language… but we are loving the Narnia books and have put several others on hold, too. Thank you for all of the work you do! I never would have come across Jayber Crow if not for you, and my life is so much richer for having read it.

  52. Ani says:

    I LOVE “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on audio! Narrated by Tim Curry and the first one, “The Bad Beginning,” is a multi-voice production with a score and sound effects.

  53. Cori Niles says:

    I love this list, but am wondering what you would recommend for a three-year-old with an insatiable love of stories. I look forward to listening to these in a few years, but they mostly seem out of her depth for now.

    • Erin in CA says:

      At that age my son started with Jim Weiss (look on Amazon — some of his stuff is for much older kids, but he has some for the 3-5 age range) and Sparkle Stories (they have their own website). Both of my kids started listening to these around age 3, and at ages 10 and 13 still really enjoy audio books. Good luck!

      • Quinn says:

        My 3.5 yr old listens to sparkle stories. Heard of Jim Weiss. Need to add him to birthday Christmas wish list!

    • Crystal Blake says:

      Anything by Julia Donaldson all the audiobooks are great, we have a few from audible and a CD collection.
      Paddington Bear read by Stephen Fry was a hit with mine other than those I have to have a think about what we have in our collection that is suitable for a 3 year old. Hugs Crystal x

  54. Laurie Foote says:

    Inkheart and anything narrated by Jim Dale! Shannon Hale also has amazing stories and usually has full cast narrated audio books.

  55. Stephanie says:

    Hi Anne, I love your blog and your recommendations! I’m wondering if you have any tips for selecting audiobooks for kids who are HSPs. My daughters are 7 and almost 10, and both are HSPs (as am I). I’m struggling to find books and audiobooks (or even regular books) that will challenge them and hold their interest without overstimulating their HSP natures. Just to give you an example, my 10-year-old still can’t handle the first Harry Potter book because it’s too “exciting,” but classics are often “too boring,” while books geared toward younger kids just aren’t interesting/challenging enough. If you have specific book recommendations, that would be wonderful, but tips on what to look for in general would be immensely helpful!

    • Anne says:

      You know what? This probably deserves its own blog post. My first non-obvious thought is that a lot of highly sensitive kids are uncomfortable with plot tension—they want to know that everything will turn out okay. And they want to know what’s happening. So having a physical copy of the book they can read along with, or read in advance, can be particularly helpful. That way they have more control over the reading experience than they would if they were a captive audience (say, in a car) listening to the audio for the first time.

      • Stephanie says:

        Yes! That’s a good point; it’s definitely plot tension, and no amount of my assuring them things will turn out seems to relieve that anxiety. Your point about being more in control with a physical book also makes a lot of sense. In our particular situation, though, my kids are just as nervous about this sort of thing when they’re reading a physical book as they are about audiobooks. My Harry Potter example was actually the physical book, not the audiobook. :/ So maybe my question should have been more general: how do you choose books (whether physical or audio) for your HSP child and/or how do you help them choose for themselves? If you ever decide to tackle this in a post, I’d love to read about what you come up with!

      • Stephanie says:

        I’ve been mulling this over some more, and I think plot tension is the reason my 7-year-old still prefers to have short read-aloud books read to her. She doesn’t like chapter books at all (even though she gets engrossed in the stories when she’s “subjected” to them when I’m reading to/with her sister), and I think it might be because they have much more plot tension than the short and sweet children’s books. Interesting!

  56. Quinn says:

    I commented on an audio book that was an older post. I’ll comment too in this newer one. Any recommendations for audio listening for a 3.5 yr old girl? Looking for something during rest time since naps are a no more.
    Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

  57. Wendifer says:

    My Fathers Dragon from the listening library–from small children, though teens and adults have fun listening together. Anything narrated by Jim Weiss–stories for all ages (The Forest Cottage and Best Loved Stories in Song and Dance for the wee ones. Archimedes when they get older.). Jim Weiss narrates History of the World Series. The first disc is appropriate for younger children; as they get older, the series changes to with them. Winnie the Pooh, specifically the BBC production. My son listened to that so many times, that he spoke with a British accent for a time!

  58. Wendifer says:

    Also–Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” as read by the late, very talented Natasha Richardson. Love to hear her say “snozzcumbers.”

  59. Erin says:

    We’ve been listening to audiobooks for years, as my kids have grown up with Adventures in Odyssey CD’s at the ready. From there, we’ve branched out and here are a few of our recent fave’s:
    Andrew Clements’ Map Trap,
    Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Pest,
    CS Lewis’ Narnia series,
    & Shirley Parentau’s Ship of Dolls.

  60. Thanks for the list – I’m check them out (although some are not available on UK Audible 🙁 ). Some we have loved:
    The Hero’s Guide Series read by Bronson Pinchot. Can’t recommend this enough for all ages -my youngest enjoyed it at 3 even though it’s 10 hours a book; my 11 year old still does.

    Echo – the story weaves in music and works so well on audio (older kids as there are difficult WW2 themes).

    How to Tame Your Dragon series read by David Tennant. My younger boys like this. My 11-year old HSP finds it too scary!

    Kate Saunders’ Beswitched, Magicalimity and the Whizz-Pop Chocolate Shop and Curse of the Chocolate Phoenix series. Good for 7+ and nicely British 🙂

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