Growing Reader



The Best Audiobooks for Kids and Families to Listen to This May

by Janssen Bradshaw

Background credit: Westend61/Getty Images

With spring upon us, it feels like there are more adventures to be had. Our family spends a lot of time in the car driving to hiking trails or picnic spots or to the zoo — and, of course, all that car time means more opportunities to listen to audiobooks! (If you’re staying indoors, not to worry, an audiobook is a great companion there too.)

Here are some of our recent favorites for every age:

  • Middle Grade

  • Carnival Magic

    by Amy Ephron, read by Laraine Newman

    A circus, a psychic, and a magical wind that can transport you to different worlds? Yes, please. This companion to The Castle in the Mist stands on its own, so you don’t have to have read the first one to enjoy this it, plus Laraine Newman (who you may know from the original cast of “Saturday Night Live”) does magical things to the audio version!

    Listen to a clip:

  • The Journey of Little Charlie

    by Christopher Paul Curtis, read by Christopher Paul Curtis and Michael Crouch

    You probably recognize Christopher Paul Curtis as the author of Newbery Medal-winning Bud, Not Buddy. His newest title follows 12-year-old Charlie who just lost his dad. And that’s not the biggest of his troubles — Cap’n Buck is coming to collect a debt and Charlie makes a deal with him to save his own life. Charlie agrees to track down some thieves, but when he finds out that those thieves are escaped slaves? Well ... Charlie has some very hard choices to make. Curtis’s talent is on display here in a book filled with the heart and humor he always brings.

    Listen to a clip:

  • The Penderwicks at Last

    by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Susan Denaker

    I can’t even talk about this book being available without feeling tingles of excitement. My oldest daughter has listened to The Penderwicks books at least a dozen times and we are both ecstatic that the finale is finally here. Nine years have passed since Lydia first burst on the scene and now, at 11 years old, she cannot wait for Batty to come home from college. This book has all the charm and family love you’ve come to expect from the Penderwicks.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Young Adult

  • Ash Princess

    by Laura Sebastian, read by Saskia Maarleveld

    When Theodosia was six, their country was conquered and her mother was killed. Now Theo has spent a decade as a prisoner in the palace. But when she’s forced to do something horrific, she realizes that she can no longer just focus on her own survival. The time to act and save her people is now. This epic fantasy is a must-read for anyone who loves a strong heroine and a storyline that just won’t stop.

    Listen to a clip:

  • More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War

    by Kenneth C. Davis, read by MacLeod Andrews and Adenrele Ojo

    A hundred years ago, the Spanish flu broke out during World War I and it was the worst disease outbreak in modern history. This flawlessly researched audiobook is a fascinating look at global epidemics and how it could happen again. More Deadly Than War is nonfiction at its finest.

    Listen to a clip:

  • Tradition

    by Brendan Kiely, read by Alex McKenna and Robbie Daymond

    There’s nothing quite like a boarding school book and there’s nothing quite like Fullbrook Academy. From the outside, it looks historic and prestigious. But Jules, whose social life has fallen apart, and Jamie, who is there on a sports scholarship and feels deeply out of place, are starting to realize that everything isn’t as good as it looks at Fullbrook. But what will happen if they try to stand up to their classmates and the institution that wants to keep the status quo?

    Listen to a clip:

  • Grown-Ups

  • Tangerine

    by Christine Mangan, read Barrie Kreinik and Erin Mallon

    Mangan’s thriller debut just came out and it has already been optioned for a movie version starring Scarlett Johansson. In this domestic noir, Alice and Lucy are former roommates who haven’t spoken for a year. But when they both find themselves in Tangier and then Alice’s husband goes missing, things get very mysterious very quickly. Not to be missed!

What audiobooks are you looking forward to diving into this month? Let us know in the comments below!