Audiobooks for Your Summer Family Vacations and Staycations
School’s out for summer, and the kids are ready for fun. Road trips or plane rides, two weeks at the beach house, or three months of staycation; whatever your plans are, they’ll all go better with a family audiobook or two.
This month’s Take 5 roundup is your family listening lifesaver. These audiobooks will make the travel go faster and will brighten up a rainy, indoor afternoon. They might even keep your young listeners happy when you send them out to weed the garden or organize the garage. We can always hope, right?
As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to limit my recommendations to just five good stories, so I picked titles based on several criteria. First, all of the audiobooks featured here are under 4.5 hours, which means they can be listened to in a single car ride or while doing a family activity, like working on a jigsaw puzzle. Read more…
Candace is a full-time freelance book editor as well as a book reviewer and journalist. When she’s not working, you'll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the 2016 Audio Publishers Association's Audiobook Blogger of the Year.
Calling All Percy Jackson Fans—It’s Another Series Not to Miss
Gather all the Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson fans as AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Robbie Daymond, who shares his insights on Riordan’s latest, THE BURNING MAZE. The Trials of Apollo series is perfect for listening to on your summer family road trips, and Robbie narrates all three audiobooks!
“Rick Riordan books exist in this amazingly well-crafted, rich, beautiful universe.”—Narrator Robbie Daymond
Behind the Mic with Fiona Hardingham and Steve West
This week we have a special double feature—narrators Fiona Hardingham and Steve West take us Behind the Mic with EVERLAND — the narrator duo alternate chapters between the points of view of Gwen and Hook. Described as a steampunk homage to PETER PAN, this is an audiobook you don’t want to miss.
“It is an unexpected story. It’s very dark and twisted.”—Narrator Fiona Hardingham
This visit Behind the Mic brings us a chat with Khristine Hvam, co-narrator of EXTRAORDINARY MEANS. Author Robyn Schneider sets a stage in a not-so-distant future, when a virulent strain of tuberculosis is sweeping the U.S. In a dual narration, Khristine and James Fouhey tell the story of two teens who are battling the epidemic.
“We sometimes forget what strength and power teenagers really have.”—Narrator Khristine Hvam
Every year, audiobook lovers rejoice in AudioFile’s Sync Audiobooks for Teens summer listening program. It’s free audio, thoughtfully curated, and there are always SO many good titles that I start to have audio anxiety (Audio anxiety (noun): The state of panic and fear that arises when an audiophile realizes there are more audiobooks that one yearns to listen to than there are hours in a day/week/year/lifetime/geologic time scale.) This summer, I foresee an especially bad case of audio anxiety coming on.
“Sandhya Menon’s writing is cinematic and makes for a fun read.”—Narrator Sneha Mathan
OF COURSE, what makes Sync even better, at least for the week of May 24-30 specifically, is that we have a ROMANCE to discover. Now, newsflash. Many people who claim not to like romance Actually. Like. Romance. (Ahem, Sarah Maas. Ahem, THE HUNGER GAMES. Ahem, Rainbow Rowell.) So, no matter your usual genre preferences, you’ll want to check out WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI. When a romance is all about dialogue, you know it’s perfect audiobook material. And narrators Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam ensure that listeners are as in love with the story as the characters are with each other. Listen in as Sneha talks about the audiobook with our Behind the Mic video above!
Caitlin is a librarian from Connecticut who enjoys great narrators and happy endings. She has been reviewing audiobooks for Audiofile Magazine since 2006, and she has had the privilege of judging numerous Audie Award categories since 2009. Her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and whatever she's listening to right now!
Narrator Simon Vance is a man of many voices, in both contemporary fiction and classic literature, and he’s won dozens of awards for his audiobooks. In our interview on The Download, Simon shares reflections about many books he’s narrated—starting off with children’s classics likeTHE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, he takes us through details of his process to create his distinct “vocal wizardry.”
“Sitting in my little box, I do my own thing—I am free to let my creativity roam far and wide.”—Narrator Simon Vance
How do children’s audiobooks catch my attention? Sometimes it’s a visual
pop from the cover, sometimes it’s wanting to hear a narrator I love, and sometimes it’s the Earphones Award a reviewer recommends.
The cover of Junot Díaz’s ISLANDBORN immediately grabbed me, and the Earphones-worthy performance by the author sealed it. The unlikely appearance of a Swedish children’s series from the 1940s, Pelle No-Tail, is another that made me curious. Master narrator Rupert Degas is one of my favorites, and his performance ofTHE ADVENTURES OF PELLE NO-TAIL sealed the deal. Rupert’s performance in THE GOLDEN COMPASS is one I hold dear, and his SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT series was a marvel.
As we watch and listen to the young leaders from Parkland, Florida, Americans are divided by whether both life and liberty can be attained jointly. Values, many adults seem hasty to opine, come from maturity and experience, which may be another way to say that the suspension of disbelief in the face of actual events is a subtle art that escapes youth.
History, however, shows a different reality, and it’s a reality born of fact: Teenagers are at peak power of seeing the emperor has no clothes, saying the emperor has no clothes, and acting on their observation that the emperor has no clothes. Read more…
Francisca Goldsmith has worked with teens, collections, and administering branch services in public, school, and academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Connecting communities to information and supporting new Americans in learning both language and culture are her passions. To those ends, she’s worked with audiobooks and listeners for the past 20 years.
Narrator Pete Cross brings humor and empathy to Bill Konigsberg’s LGBTQ teen novel
Narrator Pete Cross takes AudioFile readers Behind the Mic to share his narration of Bill Konigsberg’s funny and sweet audiobook for teens, OPENLY STRAIGHT.
“I was happy, really happy, to be a part of it because I thought it was important . . . I’m gay, and when I was a teenager, there weren’t books with main characters my age who were gay and that had these positive images of gay people.”—Narrator Pete Cross