Audio books have been a great source of comfort to me in recent weeks. When I need new distraction I can lay on the couch, put on my headphones, and let someone tell me a story. If you've never listened to an audio book, now is an excellent time to give it a try, share one with the kids, or listen to a book as a family. Think of the latter as a family book club, only no one talks until you've finished whatever segment you're listening to.
Audible is offering a large selection of children's audio books for free. The titles are organized by age group and include books for little listeners (Dr. Seuss and more), elementary school listens (including a fun Minecraft novel and Alice in Wonderland) and audio books for tweens and teens. There's also a selection of literary classics, so if you've been thinking: one of these days I'll read Moby Dick or Pride and Prejudice, it's a great time to listen to something that's been sitting on your unread classics bucket list.
Below are some other audios I recommend - a couple each for adults, kids, and books that work well for family time.
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - if you haven't read this one yet, the audio is fantastic. The story of a young woman as she comes of age alone and ostracized on the outskirts of a small town on the North Carolina coast. This novel also has the most remarkable customer ratings I've ever seen: 44,622 reviews and five stars. Not to be missed. Fiction
City Spies by James Ponti - the first book in a new series perfect for fans of Stuart Gibbs' Spy School. Five kids from across the globe are brought together to become real-life spies. A fun blend of mystery, action, danger, and friendship. Ages 8-12
- The Ralph S. Mouse Audio Collection by Beverly Cleary - this audio includes Cleary's children's book classics Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S. Mouse, and Runaway Ralph, narrated by actor B.D. Wong. Ages 7-12
- Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky: Tristan Strong, Book 1 by Kwame Mbalia - published by Rick Riordan this fantasy that brings together West African gods and African American folk heroes is perfect for fantasy readers looking for something new. The first in a new series, and winner of a 2020 Coretta Scott King Honor Award. Ages 8-12
AUDIO FOR THE FAMILY:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1 by J.K. Rowling - even if you've all read this series before, I highly recommend the audio version. Narrated by actor Jim Dale, it's simply a delightful listening experience for the whole family.
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio - a story everyone should read, or in this case listen to. A book that inspired a movement of kindness, this story will make your heart grow no matter your age. A book you'll want to talk about together.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - still one of my favorite audio books of all time. Narrated by Sissy Spacek. Timeless and always worth revisiting for those who've already read Lee's classic.