11 audiobooks for older kids

I wrote this post – 10 Great Children’s Audio Books For Long Car Trips in my first year of blogging and the audiobooks were really aimed at younger kids. Given that eight years have passed,  I thought it was certainly time to provide an update and share some more audiobooks that my kids are loving listening to now that they are older.

With the exception of the Roald Dahl collection and the Harry Potter series, the remainder of the audiobooks listed below we have listened to using Borrow Box. I wrote about Borrow Box here, but in case you missed it, I will tell you how it works.

How Borrow Box works

Borrow Box is an app you can install on your smart device, either Android or Apple. It allows you to borrow audio books online using your local library account and have them on your device. Once you have downloaded the app, you use your library card and set up an account and start borrowing.

You can search for titles to download to your device and it is recommended to do this on wifi. You can reserve audio books that are currently on loan and you will be notified when they become available. Once the borrow period is up, they are automatically removed, so no late fees and no lost discs!

Your library will have set limits on how many audiobooks you can borrow and/or reserve and any one time. However you can return audiobooks as soon as you have listened to them and then borrow something else.

The app keeps you at the spot where you finished listening once you close the app and even if you change to another audiobook in the app. It also has a sleep function that you can set so it turns off in a set period of time.

How we use audiobooks

We listen to many audiobooks on our car trips. As noted yesterday in my post on Tips for helping kids with travel sickness, a number of our kids suffer from travel sickness in varying degrees, so they are super helpful in keeping them entertained.

On days when the younger kids come home from school and seem tired, we might put on an audiobook after they have had afternoon tea and allow them time to recharge. A current favourite way to wind down is for the younger two to listen to an audiobook in the bath before dinner.

For the older kids we have also borrowed some of their text books for English so they can have another way of digesting the book after they have read it.

11 audiobooks for older kids

Below are some current favourites. I have included what the recommended listening age is from the publisher, but parental discretion is recommended though to ensure you are happy with what your kids are listening to. For some of these books, our kids have listened to them earlier, but you need to make your own call 🙂 .

Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon


About: The Tom Gates series is written by English author Liz Pichon. They have sold 2,000,000 books in the UK,  been translated into 36 languages, selling 1 million in Australia and New Zealand and another 1 million around the world.

Tom likes to likes to draw pictures and write about stuff. He sometimes lacks focus at school and is a master of excuses and creative story telling which kids find hilarious. I like the English accent of the narrator.

Recommended listening age: aimed at 9+

Purchase: online here

Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan


About: John Flanagan is the Australian author of this best selling series.  A fantasy series, this will be for those kids who also enjoyed Lord of the Rings and the Eragon series. The audio books are read by an Australian author and uses dramatic music.

Recommended listening age: 9+

Purchase: online here

The Floods series by Colin Thompson


About: The Floods are a family of Wizards and Witches. The parents, Nerlin and Mordonna, have seven children, some of whom were not created in the traditional way like you, but were made in the cellar underneath their house, using incredible mystical powers, a set of very shiny ‘Jamie Oliver’ saucepans and a small chemistry set.

The Floods is also an Australian series written with great humour and a little rudeness. They are read by an Australian narrator with some over the top dramatic music thrown in for affect.

Recommended listening age: 8+

Purchase: online here

The Just series by Andy Griffiths


About: My kids love this series, but I have to admit to not enjoying listening to these ones as much as others. They are very true to their name. For example, I find Just Annoying, annoying and I think Just Stupid, is quite stupid! But it isn’t about me and the kids like them.

They are read by prolific voice over artist Stig Wemyss, who reads the books with a strong Australian accent.

Recommended listening age: 9+

Purchase: online here

The Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton


About: I do enjoy listening to these stories from Andy and Terry. Read again by Stig Wemyss, with good sound effects, they are a funny stories that keep the kids entertained for long periods of time. There is debate in our house over the best book in this series, it is either the 52 Storey Treehouse or the 78 Storey Treehouse

Recommended listening age: 8+

Purchase: online here

Morris Gleitzman


Morris Gleitzman narrates his own stories which is something I really like. While we proudly call him Australian, he is English born so has a slight English accent. He has a large library of audiobooks to choose from but some of our favourites are:

  • Too Small to Fail – this story is a powerful tale about greed and what is important in life. I was as eager as the kids to hear how things worked out for Oliver and Barclay.
  • Misery Guts – the twists in this book surprise you and it gives lovely insights into human nature.
  • Once, Then, Now, After, Soon  –  Gleitzman’s famous series based on a young Holocaust survivor Felix.

Recommended listening age:  varies on the book

Purchase: online here

The Gracey Stories by James Maloney


About: This series starts of with the book Dougy which we first came across as a text book from our kids’ Year 7 English class. Since then we have listened to all three of the Gracey Stories by Australian author James Maloney – Dougy, Gracey and Angela.

The three books look at important issues such a racial tension, indigenous culture in Australia, alocholoism and stereotyped attitudes about Aboriginal Australians amongst others.

Recommended listening age: 12+

Purchase: online here

Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda


About: Another Fantasy series by an Australian author. Narrated by Ron Haddrick with great expression, these are easy to listen to even if you don’t love the fantasty genre.

Deltora Quest series 1 tells the story of three companions – Leif, Barda and Jasmine – who are on a perilous quest to find the seven lost gems of the Belt of Deltora. Only when the belt is complete will the evil Shadow Lord and his rule of tyranny be overcome.

Recommended listening age: 8+

Purchase: online here

Ronald Dahl


About: We have the entire collectioin of paperback books from Roald Dahl and the audiobooks and they are still listened to on our car trips. There are various narrators, but they are all fantastic including Stephen Fry, David Walliams and Kate Winslet.

Recommended listening age: varying ages

Purchase: online here

Harry Potter series by K. K Rowling


About: Harry Potter doesn’t need much explaining! We have a rule that you can only listen to the books that you have read or have had read to you. I will often find myself listening intently to these audiobooks!

Recommended listening age: varying ages

Purchase: online here

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz


About: A typical young spy series read by an English narrator. These are fast paced books so keep the kids hanging on to see what happens next and how Alex can miraculously save himself from his latest life threatening situation.

Recommended listening age: 8+

Purchase: online here

Do you have some favourite audiobooks?