And my children’s lives…. Ok, that last bit may be a bit of hyperbole. Though we say we are homeschoolers, we are really on-the-go-schoolers which means we spend a portion of almost every day in the car. I have a mini van which means every child can sit without touching a sibling. You’d think that alone would create peaceful drive times but my kids have mastered the art of creating an argument out of thin air. Very early in our homeschooling days I discovered that if I put an audiobook on, they would melt into absorbed, rapt silence. When they were younger we listened to lots of great children’s literature and I’ve seen many lists that offer up captivating titles for the elementary age set. The thing is, now we are used to audiobooks and even though they can hook into their respective electronic devices to maintain my sanity in the car, we still enjoy our car rides more if we have a good audiobook. There seem to be less recommendations for the middle school set than there are for the younger kids.
I was thrilled to hear about the Sync YA program that releases FREE audiobooks every week in the summer targeted specifically to the “young adult” set. They release two titles every week—one popular young adult fiction and one classic that has similarities in either plot, setting or theme. The first week pairs the John Steinbeck classic “Grapes of Wrath” with the apocolyptic fiction book “The Eleventh Plague” by Jeff Hirsch. From their website “What theme unites this pairing? Well, the R.E.M. lyric, “It’s the end of the world as we know it…” comes to mind. Let us know what YOU think connects the two.” This pairing is only available through TODAY and the next pair releases on the 21st. You can sign up for reminders either by email or text so that you don’t miss any titles. I predict several months of blissful driving in our future!!! Bring on the ROADTRIPS!
If you miss some of these titles, or just get hooked on audiobooks like we have and need some more suggestions, here is a list of some of our recent favorites suitable for the middle grades and up.
“Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” by Rodman Philbrick. We listened to this during an impromptu unit on the Civil War and it immediately got placed on our favorites list.
“A Single Shard”. By Linda Sue Park. We just finished this one as part of our study of Korea for an upcoming countries of the world forum with our homeschool group.
“Airman” By Eoin Colfer. My son has listened to this multiple times—Great “fairy tale” for older kids.
“Life of Pi” By Yann Martel. My Oldest listened to this but I think it is about time to bring it back out for my younger two. It can be a bit heavy, but on audio it works.
The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey. Ok, this is a young adult novel, with heavy leanings on the adult. If I’d previewed it ahead of time I probably would have rejected it but we were on a 13 hour drive and it sucked us in. Really good if you like monster stories, but very graphic.
“Holes” by Louis Sachar. Good for any age really. He has such a way with weaving the story line in and out and connecting everything.
Audio books are expensive so check your library! Often we are able to get an anticipated title more quickly on audio book than in book form. Our library also has many books that can be downloaded and copied onto my MP3 player which I can connect to my car stereo and play.