12 Favorite Audiobooks for an 8 Year-Old Boy

audiobooks for an 8 year oldWe are an audiobook family. Our third grader especially enjoys finding new books to listen to while he cleans his room. Although he’s usually listening to something new, there are a few books he comes back to again and again. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard parts of these stories when I walk past his room after lunch. If you’re looking for something for the young reader in your life, here are 6 of his favorites and 6 similar reads (because when you have a child listening to a book a day, there’s no such thing as too many books!): Continue reading


The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

penderwicksChoosing a read aloud is serious business around here. Sometimes I will pick something based on the season or what we’re studying in school, but we generally choose by committee. First, I collect a short stack of my own childhood favorites or books I’ve been wanting to read. We sit on the couch the children look at the covers and flip through the pages while I read the introductions on the jacket covers. We usually have an obvious choice by the end, but when we’re still not sure, we take a vote. The process has served us well for a few years now. But when it came time to pick our most recent read aloud, the choices were limited. We were in no position to head to the library that day, so I gathered up all the books in the house that seemed like a good fit that we hadn’t already read. (There weren’t very many.) The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall didn’t have any of the things that usually draw us to a read aloud (magic, dragons, buried treasure, talking animals…), but we decided to give it a try anyway.  Continue reading

A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

a wolf at the doorIn the course of our fairy tale unit last month, I stumbled across a shabby copy of A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales at my local library. I tossed it in the library bag, thinking it might be a nice addition to our fairy tale options. It wasn’t until we were home and sorting through our library haul that I noticed it contains stories by Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Garth Nix, Gregory Maguire and more. I may have mentioned before that don’t read many short story collections, but I was intrigued enough by the lineup to read this one cover to cover. Continue reading

Eight Authors for Silly Readers

8-favorite-authors-for-silly-readersTwice in the past few months, I’ve had friends ask me for recommendations for young readers looking for funny books that aren’t dependent on crude humor for the laughs. I know kids love them, but I can’t even look at the cover of the Captain Underpants books. I’m lame like that. Even excluding potty humor, there are tons of funny books I can test books on my resident third grader. I know a book is hitting the mark when he comes out of his room repeatedly to read me a passage or relate a joke from the story. It happens so regularly that I’ve had to tell him that jokes are usually only funny the first time. (He hates this rule.) Here are six of our favorite authors when we’re looking for a new, silly read: Continue reading

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

When I was in tuck-everlastingthird grade, I started reading books faster than anyone could put them in my hands. Weekly trips to the school library were too far apart to keep me in books, and my teacher knew it. At the end of the year, she gave me a copy of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and suggested I give it a try over summer vacation. I read the first few pages and never opened it again. I wasn’t enthralled by the book and both the cover and premise seemed boring. (The new cover is no more exciting, perhaps, but it is prettier. I’d like to think I would have read it if it had this cover.) I felt guilty about it every time I say the book sitting on my bookshelf, but I never read the book nor returned it. In an effort to give something old a fair try (and because the library had a copy on the shelf when I was there last), I suggested we choose Tuck Everlasting as our read aloud book after Christmas. As of this week, I finally finished the book I started reading over twenty years ago. Continue reading