Summer is great, but it hasn’t seemed to slow my family down at all. We seem to be in the car more than ever, driving to camps and classes, and on long road trips to grandma’s house. After watching (OK, I was listening) to the same DVD in the car again and again, I decided to take charge.
We’ve talked before about taking advantage of your captive kid audience. Buckled in the car, they are bored and at your mercy. Insert audio book CD, and it is amazing how they will listen to books they would have balked at reading.
I find this is great for those award-winning books that perhaps look a little boring to my kids from the cover. These books have a way of coming to life in the car. Often times my kids will even check out the actual book after listening to it in the car, especially if it is the first of a series.
If you are over hearing your kids fighting in the car, or bored of listening to the same DVD playing, try this tactic. Check out the StorySnoops site for books that appeal to you (OK, and your kids). Take that list to the library. It is amazing how many books are on audiotape nowadays. Here are some that we’ve particularly enjoyed in my car so far this summer…
The Graveyard Book – A total winner. The author, Neil Gaiman, narrates the book himself in his most delightful and sometimes spooky British voice. All the kids were riveted. Selfishly, I wished this one had been longer!
Island, Part 1, Shipwrecked – This is the first in a trilogy by Gordon Kormon. My son especially liked this action packed story. After we listened to this first book in the series, he went on to read the other two by himself.
Holes – My whole family, despite their wide age range, loves to listen to this in the car. It’s a family favorite, and listening to the book in the car gave each of them the courage to tackle the book immediately.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book I: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood– We gave this book a good hour, but my kids kept asking, “What? What is happening? She is just saying a lot of words that make no sense and that I don’t understand”. I’d like to say that it was just the British vocabulary, but they loved Harry Potter and The Graveyard Book. Just not a connection here.
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulson. This was a funny read that my older kids enjoyed. My youngest asked for some clarification from time to time, but mostly kept quiet and listened. My older kids got the jokes and laughed.
Stormbreaker: Alex Rider #1 by Anthony Horowitz — Although this is a young adult book, it was my nine-year-old son that loved this. A British narrator, spy gadgets, and lots of action kept him quiet on this trip. He had some questions on some of the vocabulary, and it was a little long, but overall, it was a hit. I think that the next book in the series might be too hard for him to read so we are listening to it in the car. (Alex Rider #2: Point Blank – so far so good!)
How about you? What books have your kids enjoyed reading in the car? Please share, I could use some more suggestions!