It’s summertime and we’re on the road again, as the song says. My family has a couple of annual camps that we attend each summer, both of which are over 10 hours away. I’ll be sharing some of what I learn at each one sometime soon. But what I want to talk about today is one way we like to pass the time in the car.
We love to listen to audiobooks!
Of course we have time on trips that we sleep, talk, listen to music (or musicals), or the boys play video games…but we also always have at least one audiobook along that we listen to. We frequently find them at our library to check out, but have been known to borrow them from friends and purchase them ourselves as well.
I thought I’d share some of our favorites that you might enjoy with your family.
Series of Audiobooks
On our “Old West Vacation” to the Black Hills and Yellowstone several years ago, we listened to
The Francis Tuckett Books by Gary Paulsen
It’s a series about a 14 year old boy who is travelling across the country in a wagon train with his family. He is left behind and captured by Pawnees. The series tracks his adventures as he tries to reunite with his family.
Another series that we discovered and just loved was
The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher
12 year old George accidentally breaks a piece off of a carving outside of a museum while on a field trip. Suddenly, he is able to see statues of all kinds come to life around him, and he’s thrown into an adventure in a layer of reality not visible to anyone around him. There are gargoyles, dragons, and talking Sphinxes. Lots of action!
Two historical books that we listened to were
A Higher Call by Adam Makos
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
A Higher Call is the dual tale of both an American and German pilot in WWII whose lives intersected in a most unusual way. The American bomber pilot and his crew were heavily hit and things didn’t look good when a German fighter pulled up on their tail. Instead of destroying them with the squeeze of a trigger, what he did defied expectation. The book tracks these two pilots and their intertwined story.
The Boys in the Boat is the amazing story of the 1936 Olympic Rowing Team. It follows Joe Rantz, who was literally abandoned by his family during the Great Depression and finds a place for himself through rowing. The book is a ‘root for the underdog’, ‘defying the odds’ kind of story. It also creatively gives a behind the scenes look at the Berlin Olympics that we found fascinating.
Some other historical audiobooks we’ve enjoyed have been biographies from
The Heroes Series (Heroes of History, Christian Heroes) put out by YWAM
The ones we’ve listened to are David Livingstone, Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. These are definitely aimed at younger listeners, but despite being a bit simpler in language, we have still enjoyed them. Each one focuses on a person from history who has had a positive impact and can be a role model. They are straight up biographies, but have interesting anecdotes woven throughout.
Besides audiobooks, we have a few podcasts that we enjoy listening to and often download for trips. Both are from How Stuff Works and are typically from 30-45 minutes in length.
These podcasts take sometimes common, sometimes rare, topics and dissect them in an entertaining way. Over the course of a few episodes, you might learn about the digestive system, Harriet Tubman, beheadings, platypuses and the Boxer Rebellion. We download a bunch, and then can pick and choose topics on the road.
Extend the Fun
There’s an extra fun bit that goes along with listening to audiobooks while you travel. We almost never finish an entire book during a trip. What that means is that after we get back, anytime we ride somewhere together (to church, up to my parent’s cabin, the store) we get to listen to our story. It’s like prolonging our trip!
If you’re looking for snacks for your trip, including a recipe for cookies that travel well, check out this post.
I hope you enjoy checking out some of these audiobooks, and I’d love to hear about your favorites…we always have a trip around the corner!
*This post contains some affiliate links. Part of why I created The Sparrow’s Home was to be able to share resources that I’ve found useful or wonderful in some way. Every so often, I’m fortunate enough to become an affiliate with the makers of these fantastic resources. This will never add cost to my readers.