Heard any great middle-grade books lately?
If not, you’re in for a treat. With long road trips to vacation destinations looming ahead, or just endless days filled with proclamations of “I’m BORED!”, summer is the perfect time to get hooked on great middle-grade audiobooks.
Listening on the road: Audiobooks are a great alternative for kids who feel carsick while reading. They also make a nice change from DVD’s and endless games of “Bumper Stumpers”. You can listen to audiobooks on your car CD player or they can be uploaded as playlists on your middle grader’s MP3 player.
Listening at home: Audiobooks can help augment your middle grader’s everyday book-reading too. Listening to the first book in a series, for instance, can encourage kids to check out later volumes in print form too. Audiobooks can also encourage kids to try books at a higher reading level. Once they’ve heard a book read out loud, it may encourage them to seek out other books by the same author.
Listening at the library: Check out your local library’s audiobook selection. Often, popular titles are more readily available in audio than in print form. Some libraries allow users to download the sound file directly from the Internet. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!
Oh, wait a sec. Yes, it does…
Listening on the go: Ask your school or local librarian whether they have PLAYAWAYS. These self-contained MP3 players are pre-loaded with an audiobook. Great to grab-and-go.
Everything old is new again: Even old favorites seem new-to-you when read by a great narrator. The HARRY POTTER series by JK Rowling, read by Jim Dale, A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle, read by the author and A SINGLE SHARD by Linda Sue Park, read by Graeme Malcolm, are all oldies but goodies. (Click on the image to hyperlink to a sound sample.)
Newer titles like WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead, read by Cynthia Holloway, OPERATION YES by Sara Lewis Holmes, read by Jessica Almasy and GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES!: VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE by Laura Amy Schlitz, read by Christina Moore and a full cast, are also great bets.
A few more top picks from our Mixed-Up authors:
THE BOXCAR CHILDREN by Gertrude Chandler Warner, read by Phyllis Newman
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson, read by Robert Sean Leonard
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl, read by Eric Idle
THE GET RICH QUICK CLUB by Dan Gutman, read by Angela Goethals
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo, read by Graeme Malcolm
THE RED BLAZER GIRLS series by by Michael D. Beil, read by Tai Alexandra Ricci
NORY RYAN’S SONG by Patricia Reilly Giff, read by Susan Lynch, and the sequel, MAGGIE’S DOOR read by Fionnula Flanagan
BUD, NOT BUDDY by Christopher Paul Curtis, read by James Avery
And there’s more!: Here are a few more lists to get you started…
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you listened to any great middle-grade audiobooks lately? Care to share?
**Oh, and don’t forget to enter our second summer giveaway – one lucky reader will win three amazing middle-grade books!
Hélène Boudreau listened to the whole HARRY POTTER series (close to 100 hours worth!) while training for her latest half marathon walk, and appreciated Jim Dale’s company and fabulous narration through it all. You can visit her at www.heleneboudreau.com