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Our Favorite Audio Books

We've gathered up dozens of terrific audio books, perfect for car trips, lazy summer afternoons, or any time a good story is in order. You'll connect with some familiar friends — Ramona, Alvin Ho, and Nate the Great — plus some new characters with adventures to share. Poetry, folktales, classics, and more in this carefully slected list.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

26 Fairmount Avenue

By: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

The first in a series of autobiographical chapter books about Tomie dePaola's early years, this story focuses on his family's move from their apartment in Meriden, Connecticut, to the now famous address, 26 Fairmount Avenue. This Newbery Honor book is sprinkled with humorous sketches, and is ideal for reading aloud and for the sharing of family stories.

A Single Shard

By: Linda Sue Park
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Tree Ear, a homeless orphan, longs to work as a potter, a respected but competitive employment — especially for a boy who lives under a bridge. Set in 12th century Korea, this Newbery Medal winning novel is as relevant as if it were taking place today. (2002 Newbery Medal Winner)

Alvin Ho Collection: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

By: Lenore Look
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Although 2nd grader Alvin Ho admires superheroes, he is quite unlike them. In fact, he is afraid of everything! Alvin's disarming character is perfectly voiced in this two-book collection.

American Tall Tales

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by: Michael McCurdy
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet heroes (and heroines) in these well-told tales of fictitious and actual characters from American folklore. These tales are ideal for reading aloud, and are illustrated with strong-lined wood engravings.

Because of Winn-Dixie

By: Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Opal meets (and rescues) a dog in a Winn Dixie grocery store, the shaggy hound gains a name, a friend and a home. He also becomes the catalyst to bring a community together. Humor and goodwill are the hallmarks of this imaginative tale.

Bud, Not Buddy

By: Christopher Paul Curtis
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Young Bud runs away from the latest and worst foster home in search of his father. Though he doesn't find his father, Bud (not Buddy) does find family, music, and more on his long trek across Michigan during the Depression. In this Newbery-winning novel, both humor and Bud's naive voice make difficult issues accessible to younger readers. (2000 Newbery Medal Winner)

Charlotte's Web

By: E.B. White
Illustrated by: Garth Williams
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The classic story of friendship and how a spider named Charlotte saves Wilbur, a small pig, from certain death with words in a web is now more than 50 years old. Nonetheless, it remains as fresh as the day it was first written.

Clementine

By: Sara Pennypacker
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet Clementine, a 3rd grader with enough energy to land her into trouble with great frequency. Her everyday adventures continue in other books.

Echo

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A harmonica and a bit of magic link different children from different times. 

Emily's Fortune

By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When 8-year old Emily is orphaned she heads west to find her kindly Aunt Hilda. Emily's rip-roaring adventure involves a dastardly uncle, a huge fortune, and a good friend. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger sure to keep even the most reluctant reader reading!

Everything for a Dog

By: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Bone, a stray dog, narrates the sometimes harrowing tale of how he finds a permanent home, effectively and evenly read.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

By: Roald Dahl
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Though the farmers on the three neighboring farms are quite different, each raises some type of poultry, each is very mean and ornery, and each shares their dislike of foxes. Can one fox outwit them? Only a very special, indeed fantastic Mr. Fox can — and does! A movie version of the book was released in November 2009.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: KG Campbell
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The small squirrel rescued from a super vacuum cleaner by 10-year old Flora emerges hairless but with new superpowers. Newly named Ulysses, the squirrel cracks Flora's protective cynicism as she copes with her parents' separation. Humor and pathos combine in text and illustration in this humorous, memorable and poignant novel. (2014 Newbery Medal Winner)

George's Marvelous Medicine

By: Roald Dahl
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

When young George concocts a medicine in an attempt to alter his old grandmother's nasty disposition, he quickly loses control of the situation for a laugh-out-loud listen. Appropriately narrated in a British accent, this is vintage Dahl (with a hint of sardonic humor).

Ghost

By: Jason Reynolds
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down.

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

By: Robbie Robertson
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, Myths and Legends
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The author retells the saga of Hiawatha who with the Peacemaker was instrumental in creating the federation of tribes, known as the Great Iroquois Nation. Dramatic illustrations evoke mystery and drama to complement the straightforward narration. An author’s note concludes this sophisticated, unique and handsome book.

How to Catch a Bogle

By: Catherine Jinks
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Bogle-catching in Victorian England is comes alive in this deliciously spooky tale effectively presented in an accented voice and a capella singing.

Ivy and Bean

By: Annie Barrows
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Two girls, Bean and Ivy, learn that in spite of their very different personalities, they have lots in common. And their funny, sometimes outrageous, highly credible, everyday adventures begin one summer.

Jump Back Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

By: Sally Derby
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Experience the breadth and depth of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poetry. From his childhood in poverty and his early promise as a poet through his struggles to find acceptance as a writer and his tumultuous romance with his wife, to his immense fame and his untimely death, Dunbar's story is one of triumph and tragedy. But his legacy remains in his much-beloved poetry — told in both Standard English and in dialect — which continues to delight and inspire readers today.

Little House in the Big Woods

By: Laura Wilder
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

Meet Laura and her family in this first of the Little House series in their cozy Wisconsin log home. Setting and characters come alive through the vivid detail of family life and living in the 1870s. The calm narration mitigates the more explicit particulars of pioneer life.

Mary Poppins

By: Mo Willems
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Banks family, their children, and a most amazing Mary Poppins are brought to life through the narrator’s spot-on British accent.

Moon Over Manifest

By: Clare Vanderpool
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future. Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. (2011 Newbery Medal Winner)

Nate the Great Series

By: Marjorie Sharmat
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nate the Great has been delighting beginning readers for 30 years. The quirky characters and simple, clever storylines are a big hit with kids – all of whom love to solve each mystery alongside the most popular sleuth in the business.

On the Blue Comet

By: Rosemary Wells
Illustrated by: Bagram Ibatoulline
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Great Depression changed everything for 11-year-old Oscar and his widowed dad. Oscar's prized model trains are sold, his dad leaves Illinois to find work in California, and Oscar begins an adventure through time and places after he jumps onto a model train.

Our Only May Amelia

By: Jennifer Holm
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Twelve-year-old tomboy May Amelia Jackson, the youngest of seven children and the only girl in a Finnish immigrant family, lives in the wilderness along the Nasel River in Washington State in 1899. Through May Amelia's travels, readers witness the diverse ways of life in the expanding West: peaceful relations with the Chinook Indians, the dangers posed by the neighboring logging camp, her aunt's life in the nearby boomtown of Astoria, Oregon, as well as the rhythms of the seasons.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

By: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Myths and Legends
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon and a human woman (and title character in the Olympian series of novels) retells traditional Greek myths. His voice is informal and chatty, adding contemporary insight and drama. The tellings are punctuated by handsome, theatrical illustrations in a satisfyingly large format.

Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: Volume Two

By: Rabbit Ears
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Listen in to these two classic tales — about princes and princesses — read with character and energy by Oscar-winning actors Williams and Thompson.

Ramona's World

By: Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray
Illustrated by: Tracy Dockray
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ramona, now starting 4th grade, gets a teacher who is a stickler for proper spelling. Ramona is propelled into writing a letter when she finds an error in an advertisement — all with the verve and humor readers expect of Ramona.

Shiloh

By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Eleven year old Marty must decide whether or not to return an abused beagle to its rightful owner, an unkind man. His dilemma includes hiding the dog, Shiloh, telling his parents the truth, and more in this riveting, award-winning novel which is ideal to read aloud with slightly sophisticated listeners. It was adapted into a live action film in 2000.

Stallion by Starlight

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this Magic Tree House book, siblings Jack and Annie time travel to ancient Greece to help Alexander the Great, successfully read by the book's author.

Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid

By: Megan McDonald
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stink's real name is James, just like President James Madison. And like Madison, Stink is short — a notion constantly reinforced by his older sister Judy. Stink, however, learns how to cope with it while along the way learning about U.S. presidents.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate

By: Jacqueline Kelly
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Girls didn’t always have the freedom to choose what they wanted to do. This is certainly true for Callie Tate, the only girl in her family. How she follows her interests and deals with not being taken seriously is revealed in rich, well-paced language. Callie’s story started in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate though both books can be read without the other. Both will appeal to sophisticated readers.

The Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Join siblings Annie and Jack on their first eight magical adventures as read by the author.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

By: Beverly Cleary
Illustrated by: Tracy Dockray, Louis Darling
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

While on a family vacation in California, the Gridleys stay in an old hotel where a mouse named Ralph finds a toy motorcycle and meets Keith, the youngest Gridley. Thus begins a friendship and a memorable adventure of a mouse on a motorcycle. Ralph's adventures continue in Ralph S. Mouse (1982).

The One and Only Ivan

By: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ivan lives in a "domain" at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall. In evocative language and gentle illustrations Ivan's story unfolds through his touching, taut, yet hopeful narration. It's a chronicle of friendship, loyalty, and the power of art. (2013 Newbery Medal Winner)

The Penderwicks in Spring

By: Jeanne Birdsall
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Spring holds many surprises for each of the Penderwicks in this latest adventure.

The Tale of Despereaux

By: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: Timothy Basil Ering
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Distinct stories which involve a mouse, a human princess, and a rat seamlessly come together to surprise and absorb readers as they see the struggle between light and dark in this Newbery-winning novel. (2004 Newbery Nedal Winner)

The Willoughbys

By: Lois Lowry
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated readers (and fans of Lemony Snicket) will appreciate the sly humor and word play in this outrageously funny take-off on novels of yesteryear. Here, the Willoughby children must overcome their self-centered parents who ultimately meet their rightful — and very satisfying — end.

Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year

By: Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton
Genre: Fiction, Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Family

There's something for every member of the family in this carefully selected and expertly performed poetry by a well-known mother-daughter team.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

By: Grace Lin
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Minli embarks on a journey to change the luck of her family and their village. Traditional stories inspired by Chinese folklore combine with a rousing adventure for an altogether satisfying tale. Richly-hued illustrations decorate and enhance the handsome novel.

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