Remember the first time you read Harry Potter? For me, it was in college. I mocked my friend who wanted me to read her little brother’s book. But I was hooked. I read them each several times, and escaped into the world of Hogwarts like it was a comfortable landing spot. I wanted teachers like Professor McGonagall and protectors like Hagrid and surprises and maybe even a little mischief.
Your kids feel the same way. And it’s okay.
My four little monsters have always loved a book series better than stand-alones. They get to know the characters and settings. They become friends. And don’t you dare change the narrator on them – that’s good way to get some kids storming down the stairs to proclaim, “Do you know what they did?!”
These books are their happy place. They talk about them. Reference them. And you know what’s better? When the whole family listens together and shares those special people and places. Not to mention, books don’t have to be boring to be beneficial. They’re an integral part to how I school from the driver’s seat.
These books listed below are some of our favorite friends. They get talked about by first name, but to our family of six, that’s normal because we all know who they are talking about. Try out some of these books with your kids of all ages, and the whole family will be asking to listen.
My children have yet to stop quoting the amazing narrations of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. It’s British. It’s over the top. And so much fun for Mom too.
Clementine is a mischievous girl who will crack you up. I found myself telling the husband the plot of the story. She will make you and your kids giggle. Nine cute books.
Warning. Once your kids listen to Jim Dale’s Harry, your kids will listen to all of them on repeat. The all-time favorite in my house. The best audiobook investment ever.
When movie-Gollum narrates book-Gollum, it’s a win for everyone. If you have a hesitant listener, promise them Gollum, and your whole family with be brought into The Hobbit. He has read all the LOTR books BTW. All.
The Land of Stories is another series that my girls have memorize from audiobook. Fantasy and fairytales come together to be narrated by the author, Chris Colfer. Prepare to get all six in the series because the story continues.
Every little girl needs Ramona because she realizes how much she is Ramona. Read by Stockard Channing, this collection of the eight Ramona books will keep you busy for 18 hours. Until she listens again that is.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has been around for a long time for a reason. With silly names and ridiculous situations, the kids will laugh while seeing themselves in the antics. Short chapters make for an easy listen for quick trips.
The Penderwicks series is five stories of four sisters, their adventures, and lots of sweet times. This is a very family-oriented series that shows the love of siblings that persists no matter their trouble.
There are six Vanderbeekers books (so far). Fans know because we count down to the new release date. This family of five kids live in NYC with pets, grouchy neighbors, friends, and love.
Fans of Little House on the Prairie will love the Birchbark series because they also are about a girl and her family. She’s an Ojibwe from the Great Lakes. So much to treasure and learn in these stories.
Kids love the familiarity of a series. How better to get them wanting to read Magic Tree House than to let them enjoy them through audio first. They’re historical. They’re fast. They’re simple. And a staple!
I Survived books are a great way to bring history into your life especially for the difficult boys. Each book stands alone and can hook them in quickly. Great adventure stories based on true events.
Mom Needs Some Listening Too!
Escaping into other worlds isn’t just for kids. When the kids are crazy, you’re cooking supper, or life is just too much at the moment, go to your book. I highly recommend Blutetooth headphones and an audiobook. You can still be present with the kids in the room, and they don’t hear the occasional naughty word. The boys are fighting over a game, and the dog just pooped in the floor. It doesn’t matter. You can chop that onion while riding your horse through Scotland in the 1700s with a dashing red-haired Scot fighting for your love. Hypothetically speaking of course.
Forget the TV series, fall in love with Jamie and Claire with the words of these Outlander tomes. Audio is the only way here because the narrator is fabulous and her accents are amazing. You’ll be hooked.
Time travel. History. Magic. Vampires. Love. I’ve always said it’s like Harry Potter for grown ups. I might have listened to the Discovery of Witches set multiple times thanks to the fabulous narrations.
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