If you’re headed out on a family road trip this summer, be sure to be prepared with lots of entertainment for the whole family. Instead of letting them plug into video games and movies, why not try bonding together some of these best audiobooks for family road trips that everyone will enjoy?
We recently took our longest family road trip ever (5 full days down the Pacific Coast Highway) and decided that no electronics would be allowed while in the car. Yep, ZERO. We thought this would be a difficult task to accomplish, and it actually wasn’t really! Our 7-year-old son paid close attention to each story and even shushed us if my husband and I tried to have a conversation over it.
Here is a list of the 17 of the best audiobooks for family road trips to help keep everyone happy and avoid the dreaded question, “Are we there, yet?”. Be sure to check out our post on the must-haves for surviving any long family road trip as well!
17 Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Narrated by a very entertaining Jim Dale, this audiobook series captured the interest of our 7-year-old for our entire 5-day #LoweSummer road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles and I’ll be honest, it had us parents hooked as well. Even if you’ve already seen the movies, you will thoroughly enjoy the audiobooks. We are *still* listening to them daily during times like folding laundry or just snuggling on the couch!
- My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara
When Tom’s big brother decides to become an Evil Scientist, his first experiment involves dunking Frankie the goldfish into toxic green gunk. Tom knows that there is only one thing to do: Zap the fish with a battery and bring him back to life! But there’s something weird about the new Frankie. He’s now a Big Fat Zombie Goldfish with hypnotic powers… and he’s out for revenge!
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Charlotte the spider weaves words into her web about Wilbur the pig desperately looking for a friend and Fern, the girl that saved Wilbur’s life when he was born.
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but he’s on a mission. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band. Bud’s got an idea that those posters will lead to his father.
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
When James Henry Trotter accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit, and when he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of marvelous oversized friends—Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in the house of his despicable Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure begins!
- Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Kyle Keeley is a huge fan of every kind of kids game so when the world’s most creative game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, becomes the designer for his town’s new library, Kyle is thrilled when he wins the chance to spend the night in the new building. However, in the morning Kyle and the other contest winners cannot get out of the building, and they must solve every clue to this ultimate game to escape the building.
- Stuart Little by E.B. White
A daring mouse known as Stuart sets out on an adventure into the world in order to find his best friend, a bird that briefly stayed with Stuart and his family.
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Jim Hawkins finds a map that is supposed to lead to buried treasure, and he decides to follow it. He embarks on an incredible journey where he meets plenty of colorful characters that lead him down a road of mysteries and clues that keep him guessing until the very end.
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
A journalist and fiction author, Tom Angleberger has a knack for capturing the lives of today’s youth. In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, socially awkward Dwight shows up to school one morning waving a green finger puppet. Strange enough, but then Dwight starts talking in a funny voice and doling out advice. Is it the puppet, or is it Dwight? And will paper Yoda be able to help Dwight convince the girl of his dreams to go to the big dance with him?
- Frindle by Andrew Clements
Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it.
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.
- Savvy by Ingrid Law
A vibrant new voice . . . a modern classic. For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy”—a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day. As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up—and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all – a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug.
- Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry – and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school – until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
When Miyax walks out onto the frozen Alaskan tundra, she hopes she is leaving problems at home far behind. Raised in the ancient Eskimo ways, Miyax knows how to take care of herself. But as bitter Arctic winds efface the surface of food, she begins to fear for her life, and turns to a pack of wild wolves for help. Amaroq, the leader of the pack, eventually accepts Miyax as one of his own defenseless cubs, protecting her from danger and saving portions of the daily kill for her. But as Miyax makes her way nearer to civilization, her life with the wolves, as well as all that she has come to learn about herself, are challenged as never before.
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
A horrible tempest hurls an abandoned ship against the shoal rocks with the force of a hurricane. Once the tremendous storm passes, a family appears from within the crushed vessel. Now a father, a mother, and their four sons must carve out a new life for themselves on an uncharted tropical island. Come and join the Swiss Family Robinson, as they learn how to survive while battling the savage forces of nature and discover the wonders of their own paradise.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
What are some of your favorite audiobooks for family road trips?
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