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Topic: Book on Tape for Family Car Trip

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Subject: Book on Tape for Family Car Trip
Date Posted: 6/28/2008 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 19
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My family is taking the Great American Road Trip from Southern California to the Grand Canyon, through New Mexico to Texas then back for a stop in the New Mexico mountains before heading straight home.  (we planned this trip before gas prices hit 4.60 a gallon in California!)

So my question is.....what audio book(s) would you recommend for this long trip.  I have three kids (16,12, and 9)  so it has to appropriate for all of us... Althought they will be plugged into Ipods and DVD players most of the time!  I was hoping for a book they might want to listen to instead of staying in their own worlds!




Date Posted: 6/28/2008 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
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My family has been enjoying listening to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books together, the first in the series is The Lightning Thief and the author is Rick Riordan. My library has the audio versions of the books (there is a wishlist for them here). They are about a middle school age boy that discovers his father is a Greek god. They include a lot of action and Greek mythology.

Date Posted: 6/28/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 497
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How about the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? It's nice and long (!), but interesting, perhaps to kids of all ages.
Date Posted: 6/28/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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The audiobooks my family all used to enjoy (all ages, all fields of interests) were the Harry Potter books (these are brilliantly read) "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Ernestine & Frank Gilbreth, "Big Trouble" by Dave Barry (very funny but with some adult stuff (depending on what you judge your 12 year old to be mature enough for)

Last Edited on: 6/28/08 1:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/28/2008 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 1,251
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We love listening to Hank the Cowdog.  Yes, they are geared to kids but they are just so funny to listen to.  My kids are 21 and 18 and when we went on vacation this year listened to them and we laughed all the way, never get old.   Also like to listen to westerns on tape.

Last Edited on: 6/28/08 1:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/28/2008 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 95
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I have heard that Harry Potter is great on CD/tape even if you have read them already.

Date Posted: 6/28/2008 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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I recommend the Mitford books by Jan Karon. A great series for any age.


Date Posted: 6/28/2008 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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If they're all girls what about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?  If you have a boy or boys what about C.S Lewis's Narnia books?

I just remembered another great one...Anne of Green Gables...great for boys, girls, and adults. 


Last Edited on: 6/28/08 5:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2008 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
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Where the Red Fern Grows.  But be careful who is driving at the end of the book.  My husband was driving through a very curvy canyon and was bawling like a baby, I finally got him to pull over!

Someone mentioned the Lord of the Rings - I would go for the Hobbit.

Date Posted: 6/30/2008 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 19
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Thanks for all of the suggestions.  I will have a look in the  library to see what I can find! 

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 84
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If you can find the BBC radio version of the lord of the rings, it's great b/c there is music and actors and its like listening to a play. Good fun indeed!

Subject: Will capture the adult/teen's interest as well as the little one's
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Penelope Farmer's The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (future boy scouts in Africa. Enthralling)

Dave Barry's Peter and the Starcatchers (Where Hook and Pan first meet. Funny, exciting)

Terry Pratchett's kid series: Wee Free Men, Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, or the stand alone Maurice and His Eucated Rodents. .(Brilliant, funny)

And, of course, Huck and Tom and Harry.

Subject: Been there, done that...
Date Posted: 7/1/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2008
Posts: 13
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Had some disasters too.  Picked audio no one wanted to listen to.

What did work was Dave Barry - very funny.  Bill Bryson - enormously funny travel books (try A Walk in the Woods).  Harry Potter always worked.  I Robot was also very successful.

But over all, it is VERY difficult to find anything that works for everyone.


Good Luck

Date Posted: 7/1/2008 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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When we went to Disney World, I picked up a copy of Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States and I read it.  Everyone liked it and the kids were at a difficult age.  The sit-in-the-back-and-sulk age. 

Since Barbara has mentioned Dave too, I'd second it (especially with a professional reader!)

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
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We loved listening to Bill Cosby and Dave Barry books at all ages and would listen to them over and over on car trips!! (The Bill Cosby CDs that are his sketches, they were on records back in my parents' days.)

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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My daughter and I loved the Harry Potter books on audio.  The reader, Jim Dales is fantastic. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 173
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"Dragon Rider"  Cornelia Funke

It is read by Brendan Fraser (actor from the Mummy, and George of the Jungle).

I love all the Cornelia Funke books and Brendan Fraser does a good job.  Of course, not as good as Jim Dale on the Harry Potter books!!!!

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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I really enjoyed "The Big Garage on Clear Shot" by Tom Bodett.  It's very funny, it's clean, it's G-rated.  It's short stories, so you don't have to worry about losing a long plot.  You can probably get it on here, as it's old!

Tom Bodett is famous for the Motel 6 "We'll leave the light on for ya" commercials.  He's really very funny, I think.

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I don't know who read them (perhaps there's only one version?), but the Harry Potter books were wonderful on audio.  I stopped at a certain point because I didn't want him to grow up any more.  Although my children are adults now they've both read all of them.

Date Posted: 7/5/2008 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2008
Posts: 79
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Something I enjoyed on long cross country road trips were the old radio show tapes my mom brought, they were hit portions of the classic radio shows from the radio's heydays.  We also had a bunch of short stories.  Listening to full books we did do, but the shorter stories I liked a lot better, as they kept my attention better.

Date Posted: 7/5/2008 4:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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How about "Hoot" and "Flush" and "Holes".  All good stories with kids as the story teller.  

Hope you enjoy your trip.  My husband and I just got back (one hour ago) from the canyon, New Mexico, and Texas only we came from Ala.  Try to see the canyon at both sun rise and sun set.  remarkable.



Last Edited on: 7/5/08 4:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 114
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I would highly recommend "Into Thin Air" by Jpn Krakauer. It's about climbing Mount Everest and will hold everyone spellbound.
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 19
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Now my delima is WHICH BOOK(s) to pick.  We leave very soon and I am still trying to decide..but I think I am going to try Dave Barry.  It seems he gets a lot of votes.  I will let you all know how it turns out in when we arrive home in a few weeks.

Susan B.  Thanks for the tips about the canyon!  We will be sure to see it at both sunrise and sunset!  It has been years since I have been there and the first for our children! 


Date Posted: 7/10/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,852
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"Risk Management" by George Costanza.
Subject: My whole family has listened to
Date Posted: 7/18/2008 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,564
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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  I have 5 married brothers and sisters all in our late forties and early fifties.  The kids are from age 10 to 21, everybody has a spouse and two kids!  A little Stepford sounding but we are all Italians, so.......My Mom and Dad in their eighties also listened to this one on a car trip from Florida to Kansas and back. 

The reader uses different voices for the characters and does a great job.  You always know who she is talking for.  We loved the conversations with our family of kids later.  They all were able to identify with someone in the book.  They all found something about the story truly remarkable and inspiring.

Maybe too late for this year, but keep it in mind for next.  We passed around the unabridged tapes, the ipod download, and CD's. 

 Boy!  I would love to spell check these posts!

Last Edited on: 7/18/08 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2