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We are big fans of passing the time together and listening to family-friendly audiobooks, especially on a road trip. Since our first 10 Audiobooks for Family Road Trips article, we’ve added several more to the collection.

We recommend an Audible PLUS membership so you have these books always on hand. Our kids have been known to listen and relisten to all the audiobooks in our collection, making the membership well worth the cost. That said, many of these titles are also available at your local library too.

8 Family-Friendly Audiobooks

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Read by actor Laura Linney, any fan of the original Nancy Drew series will love reliving these tales in audio form. I was, and still am, a huge Nancy Drew enthusiast. In fact, it was the bulk of what I read from about 10-13. Linney does a fairly decent job with the material, especially as the series goes on.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

The Penderwicks has been on my to-read list for a very long time, and it was definitely worth the wait. It’s a lovely and nostalgic reminder of just how magical and carefree childhood is in the summer.

More of Poirot’s Finest Cases: Seven Full-Cast BBC Radio Dramatisations

It wouldn’t be an Our Wandering Family audiobook list without a little Agatha Christie. We are huge fans of radio dramas, and the BBC knows how to do it right. John Moffatt returns as Hercule Poirot and using his “little grey cells” sets out to solve

  • “Evil Under the Sun:” on holiday in Devon, Poirot becomes embroiled in the murder of a glamorous American starlet.
  • “Sad Cypress:” a poison pen letter begins a chain of events which is to end in tragedy.
  • “Murder in Mesopotamia:” when death occurs at an archaeological site in the Iraqi desert, Poirot is on hand to dig for clues.
  • “Lord Edgware Dies:” Lord Edgware is found brutally stabbed, his wife the prime suspect. But did she murder him?
  • “Hallowe’en Party:” the sleuth investigates the death of a girl drowned in an apple-bobbing tub on All Hallows’ Eve.
  • “Murder on the Links:” summoned urgently to France, Poirot finds his wealthy client dead. Can he trace the killer?
  • “Five Little Pigs:” a bride-to-be hires Poirot to solve a 16-year-old case and prove her mother innocent of murder.

Now, a word of caution. While most of these stories are incredibly tame, and superbly adapted with no colorful language to worry about, there are a few that have a moment or two of descriptive violence, specifically in ‘Murder in Mesopotamia.’ If anyone in your family is sensitive to such moments, as we are, I recommend fast-forwarding for several seconds and then you’ll be good to go.

Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Audible has put together a novelization that bypasses the “where” and starts with the “who,” giving us Carmen’s backstory into how she became the globe-trotting thief. By now, If you grew up in the 90’s, you should be singing a certain theme song in your head brilliantly sung by Rockapella. If you didn’t grow up in the 90’s, Google “where in the world is Carmen Sandiego theme song” and thank me later.

How to Train Your Dragon

Are your kids in full-on dragon mode? Mine are. We’ve exhausted the entire movie collection and TV series on Netflix. And we moved into the world of books where we have enjoyed listening to David Tennant bring the original story of Hiccup Haddock to life. Like Nancy Drew, these are pretty easy listens and perfect for shorter car rides.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

I’m just going to leave the publisher’s summary here because I love it so much:

Publisher’s Summary: “A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander’s masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. 

Scamander’s years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books – the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail… others will surprise even the most ardent amateur Magizoologist.

Narrated by Eddie Redmayne, this is the first audiobook edition of Scamander’s textbook ever to be released. Having starred as Newt Scamander himself in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, who better to narrate this Hogwarts Library book from one of the wizarding world’s most famous Magizoologists? Eddie’s film credits include The Danish GirlMy Week with MarilynLes Misérables and The Theory of Everything, for which he won a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor.”

The Hobbit:

If you are ready to dig into the Lord of the Ring Series, this audiobook is for you. Like Jim Dale and the Harry Potter series, Rob Inglis is the go-to narrator for all things Lord of the Rings and, while you don’t necessarily have to start with “The Hobbit” to enjoy the series, we recommend enjoying the adventures of Bilbo Baggins first. But be prepared. This is a long listen, so best saved for those long travel days.

Mary Poppins:

The nanny who comes to save The Banks family is magically brought to life by Sophie Thompson, making what I found a rather hard book to read-aloud, much more accessible in audio form. If your kids, or you for that matter, have Mary Poppins fever, this first book will be a welcome listen.