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Best Audiobooks for the Family Road Trip: Summer 2019

The long-awaited 2019 recommendations are here! This year there are lots of great middle grade listens, but it is a little leaner on the young adult list. However, a good audiobook transcends age demographics so the young adults in your car will probably enjoy everything on this list.

To see full content review, please click on book cover.

Recommendations for Elementary Ages and Tweens

by Deborah and James Howe

Length: Approximately 2 hours

This is an old-y, but a good-y. It is particularly well-suited to younger listeners in both length and style. Currently, the audio version comes as part of a set featuring the first three books in the series.

The Griffin’s Feather
by Cornelia Funke

Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins

The first book, Dragon Rider, was narrated by Brenden Fraser, but this sequel is not. However, the reader is good and they go full-out with music and sound effects throughout. The author has a cameo reading a few brief scenes that are taking part on the other side of the world from the main plot line and this is a nice touch. It is not absolutely necessary to have read the first book in the series to follow this adventure.

Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton, No. 1)
by Geronimo Stilton

Length: 1 hr and 12 mins

Again, this is a recommendation for the youngest of listeners in the car. It is a quick listen with sound effects galore.

The Last Kids on Earth
by Max Brallier

Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins

Narrated in first person, the reader’s voice perfectly captures the protagonist’s spirit. Loved the match! Yes, there are zombies and it isn’t a particular deep work of literature, but really, Jack Sullivan is a character with heart and that comes through in the audio version. Funny and light, this is a great car trip listen for multi-ages.

by Gordon Korman

Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins

Solid author with a really interesting premise for the plot. Different chapters tell the story from a different character’s viewpoint; so in this recording there are multiple readers voicing the unique characters. All the readers voices “fit” and I always love it when there is a variety of readers. This is a book that teen listeners would also be able to engage with.

The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)
by Sayantani Dasgupta

Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins

This is a high-octane, girl-power story, but there are two prominent male characters and action galore so regardless of demographic, there should be strong appeal to both male and female listeners. First person narrative again is a fabulous format because the reader “matches” the character. Plus, bonus is the reader is the author! Lots of modern references, dialogue, and banter with the cool India culture angle.

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
by Adam Gidwitz

Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
Yes, I love multiple viewpoints and multiple readers so here is another one. Take a brilliant book and add these brilliant performances by the readers and I just can’t say enough good things about it.

Recommendations for Teens

Well, That Was Awkward
by Rachel Vail

Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins

There is a whole lot of drama going on here with a stream-of-conscious internal dialogue from a protagonist that will have you laughing. Teens will identify with, well, the messy situations of life that we all have to work through. Light listen and although, yes, books shouldn’t be for “girls” or for “boys”, but for everyone, I do think females will particularly identify with the main character.

by Kathy Reichs

Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins

This is the listen for the adrenaline seekers in the vehicle. With a nice ensemble mix of female and multiple male characters, the story is narrated in first-person by Tory. Excellent reader with some occasional music and sound effects.

Ink (The Skin Books #1)
by Alice Broadway

Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins

This listen is for those dystopian lovers of books such as Hunger Games and Divergent. There is a bit of an extended set-up for this first in the series, but the reader is outstanding so even if there isn’t a lot of action at first, the book moves along easily.

Happy listening and be safe out there on the roads this summer!

See our Audiobook Recommendations from Previous Years

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!

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