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Monday, November 21, 2011

Favorite Recorded Books for (Long) Family Car Trips

Here are some of our family's favorites for listening together while making long trips around the holidays. 

All of the "Ramona" books recorded by Stockard Channing

These are the best.  So funny and usually some kind of poignant resolution (that gently teaches a lesson).  These stories will make you laugh out loud and maybe (if you're a sentimental mom like me) even shed a small tear.  Beverly Cleary understands children (and parents!) so well.  If you've never read these books, do yourself a favor and listen to them very soon!

Titles include:
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1991) 
  • Beezus and Ramona (1992)
  • Ramona and Her Father (1992)
  • Ramona and Her Mother (1992)
  • Ramona Forever (1992)
  • Ramona the Brave (1992)
  • Ramona's World ( 1999)
  • Ramona the Pest (2000)
Age 7 through adult.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 volumes!)

I think these incredibly creative books are better listened to than read.  Language is so important in these stories -- so hearing the words spoken is even better than reading them on the page.  Maybe you need to have a dry sense of humor to really "get" these books, I don't know.  My family thinks they are hysterical (and also sometimes kinda sad...  but in a good way.)

Here are the titles with their original book publication dates.  Most of the audio books are read by actor Tim Curry athough the author Daniel Handler (as Lemony Snicket) reads books 3 to 5.
  1. The Bad Beginning (1999)
  2. The Reptile Room (1999)
  3. The Wide Window (2000)
  4. The Miserable Mill (2000)
  5. The Austere Academy (2000)
  6. The Ersatz Elevator (2001)
  7. The Vile Village (2001)
  8. The Hostile Hospital (2001)
  9. The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
  10. The Slippery Slope (2003)
  11. The Grim Grotto (2004)
  12. The Penultimate Peril (2005)
  13. The End (2006)
Age 10 through adult.

The Chronicles of Narnia -- Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

These are really good adaptations of the Chronicles.  They are not word-by-word readings of the stories, but dramatic renderings.  The set includes all seven stories:
  • The Magician's Nephew
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Horse and his Boy
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Last Battle
Ages 8 through adult.

Anne of Green Gables

It seems there are a lot of versions of this classic story out on CD.  The one we've enjoyed is narrated by Barbara Caruso. 

Age 10 through adult.

What are your family's favorites?

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