Audio books are a great way to introduce your readers to an author, series, or subject.
You might have a favorite book you remember, and you’d like to share it with your family at bedtime or in the car. Santa Clarita Public Library offers a wide variety of audiobooks that you can check out for your family to enjoy. Just like books, audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks at a time. They can be found in the library and online through our website.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, issued in 2008, is a winner of the Odyssey Honor award which recognizes excellent audio books. Such a treasure to be able to introduce readers fourth grade and up to this wonderful recording by Tony award winning actor Alfred Molina!
Remember this childhood favorite? All ages enjoy the dare devil adventures of Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Maybe there is a series you’ve heard about, that your young readers would like to sample. You can start with an audio and then turn them loose on the other volumes. Gregor the Overlander by Susan Collins is one I sampled recently. When I read this description, “When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders,” I was almost put off by the cockroaches, but it was well worth it. For those who enjoy fantasy and a good adventure story this is an excellent choice.
Another fantasy series worth exploring is:
The Sisters Grimm: Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley tells the story of Orphans, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, who are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother.
So many readers already love the stories in the Lemony Snicket series but I know they’d enjoy listening to them too. This is volume one, and we have copies in print, all thirteen volumes, to have them pursue once they want to experience them again or for the first time.
For middle grade readers we also have:
Lemonade War which introduces a three book series by author Jacqueline Davies that embeds some lessons on economics.
Wild Born is Book 1 of Spirit Animals by Brandon Mull a very popular series authored by a variety of well-known children’s writers.
Double bonus points for this rollicking series with a Star Wars tie-in:
Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger starts: “Not so long ago, in a middle school not so far away”…I was hooked right away. Tommy assembles this first case file in the blockbuster bestselling Origami Yoda series, hailed by School Library Journal as “honest, funny, and immensely entertaining.”
More for more mature listeners and fans of historical fiction: The War That Saved My Life, equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, also received Odyssey, Newbery and Schneider Family awards.
One benefit of families sharing audio books is the potential for discussing difficult topics and expanding reading comprehension. For the tweens and those approaching middle school an excellent choice might be Fire Girl by Tony Abbott, “A middle school boy’s life is changed when Jessica, a girl disfigured by burns, starts attending his Catholic school”. This can expand the dialogue you may have begun on Wonder by Palacio after reading the book or seeing the movie. We have the spin-off books in audio too.
I hope you sample some new genres, authors, as well as revisit and share old favorites. It doesn’t have to be a road trip. Families spend so much time in the car commuting from home, school, sports, scouts and other activities there are plenty of opportunities to start enjoying what the library has to offer. With our new app Libby you can download e-audio books or use audible and play them on your phone or device wherever you go.
By: Miss Lee