Monday, August 1, 2016

Milestone: Family Audiobooks

The kids and I do several road trips throughout the year, driving five hours to Ohio to visit my family.  Typically, the audiobook situation on these trips is as follows:  I listen to my audiobook on my ipod through my left ear bud only, leaving my right ear free to hear the screeching and squabbling of my kids and whatever DVD they have chosen.  Is this legal?  I don't know, but I think a sane driver is a safe driver.  Audiobooks keep me sane.

On an earlier trip to Ohio this summer, the kids finally agreed to a whole-van audiobook listening experience.
We listened to Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.  These books were read by the author and, to be honest, I didn't love the narration, but the kids and I both really enjoyed the listening experience anyway.  I had read both books multiple times as a girl and it was really fun to revisit them with my kids.  We laughed at Fudge and shared our thoughts on Sheila.  "Why does she brag and lie so much?" was an insight from my middle guy.  Positive experience.  These books were good choices because they were short.  It was satisfying to finish a whole book on one leg of a car trip, with breaks taken between CDs.
A couple weeks after the Judy Blume listening fest, we were on a road trip to Indiana with my husband at the wheel.  Surprise of all surprises, he agreed to a family audiobook and actually seemed to enjoy it.  I have been reading Beverly Cleary's Ramona books aloud to my youngest two (though the oldest has joined us many times) so we listened the next book up for us, Ramona Forever.  Stockard Channing was a great narrator, and the story of Ramona, her father's job search, her aunt's wedding, and her friend Howie's grandmother made our 3.5 hour journey go quickly. 

The only tricky part about family audiobooking was that our GPS would "talk over" the narration when we were receiving guidance.  Our CD player does not have a pause button (at least that I could find), but I found that if I just turned the audio off, that we would be at the same spot on the CD when I turned it back on. 

On our road trip last week, they chose DVDs and squabbling again, but I think we do have more family audiobooking in our future.  Any recommendations?

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