The family road trip is one of those vacations people either love or hate. Those hours from point A to point B and sometimes places in between can either be magical or downright exhausting. After logging thousands of miles in road trips reading (and listening to) hundreds of books while driving along, we’ve come up with our list of best audio books for a family road trip. Enjoy!
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Many of these audio books may be available at your public library. Opinions are 100% my own.
Best Audio Books for a Family Road Trip
This audio set includes two books, Mercy Watson to the Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. Mercy is not just a pig, she’s a porcine wonder according to her owners Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Mercy’s antics will keep your kids laughing and distract them from the journey ahead.
What’s not to love about James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Enormous Crocodile, and The Magic Finger all in one place? Told by the author himself, children and adults alike will enjoy his dynamic storytelling and fantastic stories.
3. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This was one of my son’s favorite books in second grade and he still talks about it. This is the second book in the series where Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country! They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas, and there, finally, Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and her family are kept busy and happy with the promise of their new life on the prairie.
4. The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus Book #1) by Rick Riordan
If your kids are fans of Percy Jackson, they will love this first book in the Heroes of Olympus series by the same author. Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? They quickly find out in this action packed book that will have kids asking for more.
5. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web is the classic children’s story by E. B. White. The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.
6. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
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?
7. D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
Read by Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Kathleen Turner, and Matthew Broderick, here are the stories of the immortals of Olympus – the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece – as freshly described as if they were alive today.
Mighty Zeus, with his fistful of thunderbolts; mischievous little Hermes; grey-eyed Athena, godess of wisdom; Asclepius, the first physician; Orpheus and his beloved Euridice; Helios the sun, crossing the heavens in his fiery chariot…. these and other equally fabulous figures are featured here with their heroic deeds and petty squabbles illuminated in full dimension. My children have been fans of this audio book for a very long time.
8. Frindle by Andrew Clements
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.
9. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy, where hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets…Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious thirteen-year-old boy who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo delight in being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.
10. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis’ acclaimed and universally loved novels spring to life in these spellbinding full-cast BBC dramatizations. Anyone who’s visited Narnia wants to go back again, and these radio dramas make for a hugely entertaining first-time or return journey.
11. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
This story (and the other in the series) follow the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.
12. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
13. The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Will Everett has always wished for an adventure. Little does he know his adventure starts the moment he boards the Boundless. There is a murder, and now Will protects a key that can unlock the train¹s hidden treasures. Villains are fast on his heels and strange creatures are lurking outside the windows, as the Boundless hurtles across the country. Together with Maren, a gifted escape artist, and Mr. Dorian, a circus ringmaster with amazing abilities, Will must save the Boundless before someone else winds up dead. His adventure may have begun without him knowing…but how it ends is up to Will.
14. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for. Probably better for older kids, but younger children will enjoy the fantasy elements.
15. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that makes for a thrilling listening experience. As the story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. Perfect for road trips with tweens and teens.
Do you have any favorite books your family loves to take on a road trip? We would love to hear about them!