One of the coolest things about being a parent is getting to share parts of your own childhood with your kids. Kids in this age range can start handling more challenging materials and have the attention span to follow stories that are several hours long, so it’s the perfect time to start introducing more demanding stories with new subject matter.
One beloved book series from my childhood that I can’t wait to share with my son is C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia”. These classic books are incredibly immersive and will appeal to adults, children and teens, as the listeners are drawn into a magical world of adventure and heroics. BBC Audiobooks has created a wonderful listening experience: the full cast narration, music and sound effects are spot on and make it an easy and engaging listen. There are seven books in the series, which makes it simple to find the next book for your family to enjoy.
Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” is another fantasy series, but with a slightly darker tone. This trilogy is great for kids on the higher end of the age range: the plot is more complicated, the subject matter is elevated, and the vocabulary will introduce them to strong new words. The books are easily enjoyed as a magical adventure, but also operate on a higher level with lots of metaphor, allegory, and insinuations that will sail over the heads of younger listeners but will engage the adults in the car. This is another high-quality, full-cast narration by BBC Audiobooks.
If you’re looking for a book to bridge the gap between your younger kids, your middle schoolers and even your teens, try Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. Written by Carmen Agra Deedy, the story centers around a cat named Skilley who gets a job as a mouser at a popular haunt for famous writers, but strikes up an unlikely friendship with the head mouse, Pip. The story is at turns charming, mysterious and filled with action, perfect for younger listeners, and the clever way in which the author plays with language will keep adults and teens listening raptly.
If your middle-schoolers prefer to read about real life over fantasy, try Jerry Spinelli’s
Stargirl. Featuring a quirky heroine and her best friend, Stargirl is all about learning how to be yourself in a world filled with bullying and peer pressure. It’s fun, funny and heartbreaking.
Check back tomorrow to find out my top content-approved listens for teens that will make everyone in the car happy.
Find more great audiobooks for for your young listener in our Ages 9 to 12 section.