The Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips and Home Listening

Family audiobooks for road trips
The Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips and Home Listening 34

Ready to head out on a family vacation this summer? Don’t forget to download some of our favorite family audiobooks for road trips before you go!

If you have kids of all ages that you don’t want to sit on electronic devices the whole car ride, then we’ve got you covered.

Each of the books on this list has been road trip tested by our own families! We can personally vouch for the fact that these books will entertain adults as well as kids.

Before you download family audiobooks for your upcoming road trips, check out this list comparing Audible to Libro.Fm. You might be surprised with which service you want to use!

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Table of Contents

Family Audiobooks for Your Beginning and Early Reader (Ages 6-9)

Ramona Quimby and more family audiobooks for road trips

Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Ramona is another adorable character who is perfectly imperfect.  She is sweet and lovable and gets into her share of trouble.  Whether you are reading to boys or girls, every child can relate to Ramona.

Stuart little

Stuart Little by E.B. White

Adventure- Check. Animals- Check. Animals who can talk and wear clothes- Check check. This is a tale that everyone loves about a boy who also happens to be a mouse.  All my kids love this great story.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and more family audiobooks for road trips

Mrs. Piggle-wiggle by Betty MacDonald

If your family loves Mary Poppins or Amelia Bedilia, then they will love Mrs. Piggle-wiggle too!

This cheery old lady has the craziest fixes to any childhood issues, but they work everytime! I love that each chapter is it’s own short story. It makes it easier to digest for younger kids.

the mouse and the motorcycle

The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Ralph the mouse lives in a hotel where the main rule is simple… don’t get spotted by a guest! But Ralph lives for speed!

When a little boy leaves a toy motorcycle unattend in his room, it’s too much for Ralph to resist. Soon he’s zooming around the hotel and making friends with a human!

When my boys were deep into their car loving phase, this book had them hooked! I loved the wholesome story too and found myself entertained by Ralph and his adventures too.

We’ve got many more books for beginning readers here.

Family Audiobook Series for Road Trips

The Vanderbeekers of 141st

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

This charming story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.⁣

My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family. ⁣

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.

The first in a 5 books series, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family roadtrip.

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Move over Harry Potter, there is a new Middle Grade Fantasy series poised to take your throne! After hearing all the kids in our area talking about this book series, I knew I had to listen to it with my kids.

We literally couldn’t stop reading this. I’m telling you, we were all stuck sitting around the speaker anxiously awaiting the next chapter. I’m so excited there are 8 books after this one!

Classic Family Friendly Audiobooks

Peter Pan and more family audiobooks for road trips

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan is one of Kirsten’s favorite childhood stories. The magical world of Neverland with it’s pirates, mermaids, and natives is so engrossing.

The story of Peter Pan and his adventures with the Darling children have inspired countless spin-off books, movies, and theatrical productions for a reason. It’s a must-read for everyone.

Charlottes Web

Charlotte’s Web by E.B White

This is such a wonderful story of unconditional love and friendship.  When Fern saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the pig litter, she promises to take care of him. As Wilbur grows, he befriends Charlotte, a spider, who ultimately saves his life a second time.

Why We Love This Book: This is such a heartwarming classic book for kids. We dare you to read it without crying.
Appropriate for ages 
Find this book in
Best Classic Books for Kids / Read Aloud Children’s Books / The Best Family Audiobooks

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

This classic middle-grade story is one the whole family will enjoy. Claudia and Jamie decide they want to runaway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When a new statue arrives while they are hiding at the famed museum, they won’t rest until they solve the mystery of who created it! Will they solve the mystery before the museum staff?

This story sparked some pretty fun conversations about how to properly prepare to runaway and just where each member of my family would wish to escape to!

Family Friendly Audiobooks for your 10-13 year old


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This is a middle grade book that all adults should read. It’s about a group of extremely gifted children who are sent to spy on an evil organization.

This is the first book in a series that is geared toward older middle grade kids. It was funny and interesting and extremely clever.

the chocolate touch by patrick skene catling

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

I adore this story about a little boy who gets the magical power to turn everything he touches into chocolate. This twist on the Midas Touch is adorable and the thought of turning parents into chocolate had my kids rolling with laughter.

Mr. Lemoncello

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games. To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape.

Why We Love This Book: If you are looking for great bedtime stories for kids, this series will hit the mark. It will get your kids engaged with one-of-a-kid puzzles and delightful twists and turns.
Appropriate for ages 9-11
Find this book in
Audiobooks for Kids / Netflix Book Adaptations / Middle Grade Mysteries / Books for 11-year-olds / Read Aloud Books

THe Candymakers and more family audiobooks for road trips

The Candymakers by Wendy Maas

This story appears on our list of books about candy! I decided to read this book with my boys prior to our visit to Candytopia.

It was a lovely take on life at a candy factory and felt almost like an updated version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 4 kids are competing to win a candy-making contest to have their creation mass-produced. This is the first in a series of middle grade novels. It’s one of the must-read books for 11-year-olds.

Family Friendly Fantasy Audiobooks

Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling

I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about. 

I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published. 

This book is so much more than just a book.  It is a vernacular that is used in our house.  It is the book that changed all books and our culture forever. 

I am so grateful for the world of Harry Potter because I think it opened up the world of books to people who may never have known they love to read.

Love Harry Potter? Head to our Harry Potter Hub for more book lists inspired by HP!

Percy Jackson and more family audiobooks for road trips

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I am including this series because of how many times my son has read it.  I don’t think there is a boy (or girl) out there who has read this series and not loved it. It is the only series that can compare to Harry Potter in terms of how much my son LOVES it.  

It is not magic in the strictest sense of the word.  Rather, it’s about the Greek Gods set in a modern world, with their own special kinds of powers.

peter and the starcatchers by dave barryridley pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry

This Peter Pan retelling finds Peter aboard a ship of sailors. He and a bunch of other orphans aboard the ship have to protect a treasure locked in a chest hidden on the ship from pirate captain Black Stache.

Think of this as the origin story to Tinkerbell, her fairy dust, and how Peter gained his abilities to fly.

Mystery Family Audiobooks for Road Trips

Winterhouse and more family audiobooks for road trips

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse.

This middle-grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you love a cozy mystery, pick this one up!

The Westing Game and more family audiobooks for road trips

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The book that got me into mysteries as a child is great as an audiobook as well! When Mr. Westing dies, he leaves the residents of Sunset Towers are named in his will.

But they need to solve the mystery of his death in order to win control of his company and his vast fortune. Your family will love trying to work out what happened!

Greenglass House and more family audiobooks for road trips

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

This middle grade mystery reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways. A child is trying to uncover the secrets of Greenglass House, a hotel for smugglers and spies before the adults do.

We read this as a family read-aloud and it was wonderful. It’s one of the books for an 11-year-old that younger readers might struggle with.

Find this book in Best Ghost Books / Best Winter Books / Terrific Hotel Novels / Best Mystery Books for Tweens / Best Family Audiobooks / Books With Colors in the Title

The Egypt Game and more family audiobooks for road trips

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Neatly Snyder

This story enchanted me as a young girl. The 6 “Egyptians” play in the back lot of an antique store, dressing up, performing rituals, and speaking with Oracles.

Then, a murder happens in the area and trouble comes to the lot. Don’t worry, there is a happy ending and also a sequel about gypsies!

Feel Good Family Audiobooks for Road Trips

the remarkable journey of coyote sunrise

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote Sunrise lives with her Dad, Rodeo on an old school bus, riding around the country but never returning to where her mother and sisters died.

Until Coyote gets a call from her grandma that the park where she hid a memory box is scheduled to be torn down. Soon Coyote needs to figure out a plan to get her dad back to Washington before she loses that box.

Why We Love This Book: Filled with life lessons and charming strangers they meet and transport along the way, I adored Coyote and her unique life. My kids listened along to this coming-of-age novel with me too and they felt the same way.
Appropriate for ages 9-12
Find this book in
Realistic Fiction / Audiobooks for Kids / Audiobooks for a Road Trip

one and only ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Based on the true story of Ivan, a gorilla trapped in a shopping mall, this feel-good story is one of the best family audiobooks for any road trip.

Stella, a young girl gets Ivan to start painting again and she realizes how lonely he is. Bob, a stray dog, works to help Ivan and Ruby, a baby elephant, garner the attention they need to be sent to a better home.

Why We Love This Book: This book will touch your heart. Even though it is partially a sad book, the ending will make it worthwhile. This is one of the best animal fiction books for middle grade and adults.
Appropriate for ages 8-10
Find this book in
Books for 9-year-olds, Zoo Books, Family Audiobooks, Animal Novels / Audiobooks for Kids


Wonder by R.J Palacio

A must-read realistic fiction story for kids in middle school, this is an amazing book about embracing differences, kindness, and being yourself.  However, this would also be a wonderful read-aloud book for a younger audience. CW: This is one of the books that will make you cry.

August Pullman is a boy with an extraordinary facial difference.  He has been homeschooled his entire life and is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep.  This book for 11-year-olds is amazing and has a lesson about love and acceptance that everyone needs to read.

song for a whale

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

This coming-of-age story is about a deaf girl who is struggling to connect with her community and a whale named Blue 52 who can’t find his ocean community either. She sets out to connect with Blue 52 and along the way she finds her inner strength beautifully.

Why We Love This Book: This was one of the realistic fiction audiobooks for tweens I listened to with my kids and we all just adored it. I had tears streaming down my face at the end.
Appropriate for ages 9-12
Find this book in
Books for 10-year-olds / Audiobooks for Kids / Realistic Fiction / Coming-of-Age Novels

Ban tHIS BOOK and more family audiobooks for road trips

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

This is technically a  middle-grade read. The heroine of this story is a girl whose favorite book was just banned from her school library. She starts her own locker library filled with more banned books from the school’s library.

As she stands up for her right to read, she challenges adults in her community and learns about the power of books to bring everyone together.

This story made our list of the best books set in school!

Echo and other May 2021 Novel Ideas books.

Echo by Pam Ryan Munoz

I listened to this with my kids and WOW. We were all completely blown away by this story. It’s three tales woven together in one with a magical harmonica at the center.

I can’t recommend the audiobook version enough. Music plays throughout the story and adds such depth to the tale. This is perfect for a family road trip.

Modern Classic Family Road Trip Audiobooks

Tale of Despereaux and more family audiobooks for road trips

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

We Love Kate DiCamillo. She is a modern storyteller that appeals to children in an intelligent and thoughtful way. I feel like I could have chosen every single one of her books to put on this list so take your pick.  This Newberry Award-winning book is delightful.

The lion the witch and the wardrobe and more winter books

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

The iconic book is actually the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series. However, since the first book is technically a prequel, I consider this the first and it can be read independently of the rest of the books in the series.

When four children discover a secret passage from a wardrobe into the Land of Narnia, they find a land enslaved by the white witch. They find friends, enemies, and magic in this book that has withstood the test of time. This classic children’s book series is one for the fantasy lovers!

Matilda and more family audiobooks for road trips

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a magical little girl who loves books. Stuck in a family that doesn’t value education, her life is changed when she meets Ms. Honey at her new school.

But the principal, Miss Trunchbull hates children. When she terrorizes the kids at her new school, Matilda finds the power to fight back.

Funny Family Audiobooks for Road Trips

Howliday inn and more family audiobooks for road trips

Howliday Inn by James Howe

Technically the sequel to Bunnicula, this one can really be read as a stand-alone. Chester and Harold are being boarded while their family is on vacation, but they are convinced they are staying in a haunted hotel!

I remember laughing out loud as I read this book as a child. This one stands the test of time.

This story also made our list of books for Halloween!

Wayside school

The Wayside School Collection by Louis Sacher

Louis Sachar’s hysterical collection of stories about the students of Wayside School is a true must-read for students and a perfect read-aloud book.

The wacky tales and backward ways of the students and teachers at Wayside will have your child in a fit of giggles.

Which of our favorite family audiobooks for road trips are you downloading for your next vacation?

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