The Best Family Audiobooks for All Ages

Listening together is quality time well spent. Perfect for the whole family, these audiobooks are sure to put a smile on the face of everyone: little kids, big kids, and grown-ups alike.

Sharing stories with your family can leave a lasting impression. As a parent, you probably remember the magic of having a book read aloud to you as a kid, and family audiobooks offer that same experience for your own children. Whether you’re looking to help increase literacy or discover the joy of group listening, our list has some of the best family audiobooks, from best sellers to newcomer favorites. Here are the best family audiobooks.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the inaugural tale in the best-selling Chronicles of Narnia series that follows the four Pevensie siblings into the magical world of Narnia for the first time. Evacuated from London during World War II, the children find adventure through the back of a wardrobe, discovering a world in conflict where they have the opportunity to make positive change with the help of magical beings.

Emmy-nominated British actor Michael York takes on the task of conveying a complicated world filled with themes of discovery, conflict, and the importance of family. By differentiating character voices, intonation, and accents, he enlivens the children’s complex emotions and introduces us to new fantastical creatures. Simply put, York leads listeners through the magical wardrobe along with the children to a world of fantasy.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time has been a childhood classic since it was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1963. Madeleine L’Engle’s tale follows Meg Murray and her little brother, Charles Wallace, whose father has been missing. He was experimenting with time travel when he unexpectedly disappeared. A mysterious stranger gives them the tip they need—that time can, in fact, be manipulated. With their friend Calvin, the children embark on a magic-filled journey to find their father.

The 2018 film adaptation ushered in a revival of the classic story for a new audience, and it’s only fitting that this new audiobook includes significant players from this new era: film director Ava DuVernay performs the introduction, author Madeleine L’Engle delivers the foreword, and her granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, performs the afterword, while Tony-nominated actress Hope Davis performs the story itself. In the story, a powerful group of astral women guides the children on their journey; this group of narrators serves a similar purpose for listeners, and they do a stellar job of making it magical.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1

If you haven't yet discovered the stories of the legendary boy wizard, allow author J.K. Rowling to introduce you with the help of Jim Dale’s award-winning performance. On his 11th birthday, Harry Potter learns that he’s a wizard and leaves the muggle (non-magic) world he’s always known to take his place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Dale—winner of two Grammy Awards and 10 Audie Awards—is a bonafide audio expert. When you listen to him skillfully embody each character, fully visualizing the unique world, there’s no mistaking the crucial role he plays in bringing this wondrous fantasy to life. Even better, he performs all seven novels in the Harry Potter series, keeping the progression of the plot consistent, and helping listeners better understand the magic of Harry’s world.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien has gone down in history as one of the most masterful fantasy world-builders of all time. Telling the tale of Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit documents his transition from a life of solitude and leisure to one filled with grand adventures, dwarves, giant spiders, and a dragon. Originally published in 1937, the story has stood the test of time with film adaptations and generation after generation of new audiences.

Delivering such an immense tale to listeners is no easy task, but Rob Inglis takes on the challenge with ease. His performance comes from experience that makes him uniquely qualified for the task. During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Inglis wrote, produced, and performed his own one-man dramatizations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to audience raves. His distinct voices for all the different characters enliven the action, fully immersing listeners in the audio experience of this unabridged classic.

Inkheart

Inkheart

Remember the whimsy of a good story when you were a kid? Everything was magical and enthralling, and it was easy to feel like it was all so real. Inkheart takes that sensation a step further and depicts what happens when stories actually do come alive.

It follows a father and daughter as one of their books suddenly springs to life in their home, bringing with it an evil ruler they must defeat. They’re faced with learning what caused this and harnessing the tools they need to defeat it. Lynn Redgrave’s performance differentiates each unique character and adds excitement to an already exciting plot. She does more than read the story to us—she makes us feel the suspense of encroaching villains with growling or whispery tones. Redgrave makes the characters come alive just as they do in the book.

The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson is like any other 12-year-old boy: he has a hard time staying out of trouble...especially when his algebra teacher turns into a monster and attempts to kill him. Okay, so maybe he’s not like other boys his age. When he ends up at a summer camp full of Olympians and magical beings, he’s launched into a world of Greek mythology where he learns he’s actually half Greek god. And as he’s accused of stealing Zeus’s lightning bolt, the stakes grow so high that his algebra class incident seems laughable.

You’ll be introduced to new gods and creatures right alongside Percy, and the narration will only help you along as the journey unfolds. Jesse Bernstein’s Earphones Award-winning performance captures the complexity that young Percy is experiencing...and if you’re wondering what Greek gods even sound like, you’ll be pleasantly thrilled and surprised.

Foreverywhere

Foreverywhere

In 2017, former Blue’s Clues host Steve Burns joined forces with Grammy Award-winning musician Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips to create an album of children’s songs. Not surprisingly, Foreverywhere stood out from the rest in its class. And it’s this very musical endeavor that served as the inspiration for an Audible Original of the same name.

Writer Gabe Soria helped the pair adapt the album into this one-of-a-kind listening experience. Foreverywhere follows a young unicorn on his quest to start the best band in the universe with the help of a giant, a spider, and a princess. Burns’s acting experience and Drozd’s musical prowess give parents more than enough reason to listen: whether it’s nostalgia from their own childhood days of watching Blue’s Clues or seeing a member of their favorite band do something new.

Matilda

Matilda

To feel misunderstood can be part of growing up, and Matilda Wormwood’s life is no exception. She resorts to pranks in order to fight back against mean parents, but things change when she meets the horrid Miss Trunchbull at her boarding school. Here, her pranks are no longer just little-girl tricks on terrible grown-ups. With the added discovery of telekinetic abilities, Matilda begins to use her powers to fight against injustice.

Academy Award winner Kate Winslet’s Audie-winning performance demonstrates her ability to throw herself into the depths of a vast cast of characters. Winslet has an extensive repertoire of film, television, and stage performances that aid in her ability to embody different characters with ease. From Matilda’s childhood discoveries to the warmth of Miss Honey, Winslet is a joy to listen to.

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

It’s only appropriate that author E.B. White narrated his own 1953 Newbery Honor Book. He tells the story of Wilbur, a pig who befriends a spider named Charlotte who helps him avoid slaughter. White wrote the story with care and compassion, and performs it as such—there’s no added drama or flair, and each character is portrayed exactly as he intended.

This Earphones Award-winning rendition is the first audio version of this beloved classic, and it stands the test of time. It tells children a timeless story of kindness and compassion, and parents will value the lessons it instills. Even more than 50 years after its debut, Charlotte’s Web still holds the same gentle magic that parents will remember from their own childhood.

How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is tasked with far more than growing up with a mouthful of a name: he also has to catch and train a dragon in order to become fully initiated into his Viking tribe, the Hairy Hooligans. How to Train Your Dragon follows Hiccup’s path of becoming a hero, the hard way, reminding listeners of all ages that hard work is the best way to accomplish anything.

Just like the challenges ahead for Hiccup, narrator David Tennant (of Doctor Who and Good Omens fame) has the task of doing more than just narrating this story. He gives distinct voices to all the characters with his trove of nuanced Scottish accents, as well as breathes life into the dragons with a collection of booming voices, snorts, and snarls.

The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection

The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection

Sibling dynamics are...complicated, to say the least. Ramona Quimby and her older sister, Beezus, are no exception. Beverly Cleary’s series follows Ramona as she grows through elementary school and navigates childhood. While she’s often a pest to Beezus, the two are together through some pretty notable life changes.

Parents are likely familiar with the best-selling series, with the first publication in 1955 and the latest in 1999. Emmy Award winner Stockard Channing’s performance takes you back to your own childhood—when you had to be brave, when you started kindergarten, when you were getting a new baby sibling, or any other assortment of the relatable situations Ramona experiences. Kids will love listening to a character they can see themselves in, while parents will appreciate the reminders of their childhood. This collection includes eight titles, so it’s perfect to listen to in pieces or straight through on a road trip.

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

Despereaux is a mouse on a mission: to save Princess Pea from a troupe of rats. While this story has classic themes of a fairytale hero, Despereaux isn’t your typical protagonist—not only because he’s a mouse, but also because his is not the only perspective this story has to offer. Kate DiCamillo composed the story in four parts, the first three following the three main characters individually and then bringing them all together in one final book.

Audie Award-nominated narrator Graeme Malcolm performs this tale of whimsy and adventure with deft precision. Each character is given their own voice and life without the story slipping into a state of melodrama. As a result, the listener is afforded the unique experience of three stories in one.

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan follows a silverback gorilla living in a cage at a suburban mall. Despite his environment, Ivan is pretty happy with his life. He lives simply and is seen as the wise older member among his animal friends. His world changes forever when he’s given a new purpose: a young elephant named Ruby has been taken from her family, and Ivan is tasked with watching out for her.

Adam Grupper performs Ivan’s wisdom and unique relationship with Ruby with gentle precision, at a pace that’s easy to follow for younger listeners. His varying character voices and touching delivery send messages of friendship, while offering listeners of all ages a fresh take on the lives of captive animals.

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

If you never had a nanny growing up, Mary Poppins was the closest substitute. When she arrives at the home of Jane and Michael Banks, they quickly realize: she’s unlike any nanny they’ve ever encountered. She brings with her a magical carpet bag that can conjure nearly anything and an ability to slide up the banister; she can even make medicine taste good. While you may have watched the movie as a family, P.L. Travers's Mary Poppins makes for a refreshingly different but equally enchanting audiobook.

Sophie Thompson’s delivery is a song to your ears with a spoonful of sugar all the way down. Not only is this rendition a favorite for humans, but it’s also been noted by Audible as a great listen for dogs. Leave it on while you’re at work so your fur baby can enjoy the familiar magic of Mary Poppins as well.

The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording

The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording

From the beginning, Lemony Snicket sets the stage that A Series of Unfortunate Events is going to be a miserable story. Following the lives of new orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, listeners will be subject to insufferable incidents, atrocious adopters, and miserable manipulation. But those who soldier through these trials will be rewarded with gripping tales of adventure. The Baudelaire children are smarter than their circumstances and captors, and use the power of innovation, intelligence, and sharp baby teeth to remain a family, despite their often sad state of affairs.

English icon Tim Curry’s Grammy-nominated performance serves as the perfect addition to this tale of woe. His extensive history of vocal performances, particularly as cartoonish villains, qualifies him for such a vile venture. Curry and a full cast of characters will have you shivering with anticipation over what misery the Baudelaires will experience next.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers

In a world filled with revivals, a reinterpretation is a welcome breath of fresh air. Peter and the Starcatchers takes the beloved character of Peter Pan and reimagines his world and counterparts. With familiar characters, terms, and plot lines in a retelling that’s full of adventure, we have the opportunity to fly with Peter once again, made all the better by Jim Dale’s award-winning performance.

In 2005, Dale won the Audie Awards for both Male Narrator and Children’s Narrator of the Year for this listen, and it’s quite likely that his performance will have everyone in your family hooked. Parents who’ve known the classic story their whole lives will enjoy a new rendition, and younger kids can have fun expanding their imaginations.

Pax

Pax

The journey of growing up is often rife with transitions, both positive and painful. Pax tells the story of a young boy and his fox, who’ve been together ever since Peter rescued Pax. Much like a beloved family pet, Pax is an integral part of Peter’s childhood, even after they’re separated by war. The rest of the story revolves around both of their journeys of growth and finding their way back to each other.

Michael Curran-Dorsano’s Earphones Award-winning performance will tug at your heartstrings. He depicts feelings many of us are familiar with: growing pains, missing a best friend, loss, and finding yourself. At times a tearjerker, Pax will surely remind your whole family of the important bond we can make with our pets.

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

The Baby-Sitters Club series was a staple for many ‘80s and ‘90s babies. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls comes from the original group of novels, published in 1986. This Audible exclusive follows Claudia, vice president of the club, as she and other members try to solve the case of mysterious phone calls they keep receiving on the job.

With a touch of nostalgia for parents, this story is narrated by Elle Fanning, an endearing young star who's familiar to kids of all ages. Unfortunately, this audiobook doesn’t come with matching scrunchies, but maybe you can get your family a stash after they become fans of this series.

The House at Pooh Corner

The House at Pooh Corner

Winnie-the-Pooh has been a lovable member of nearly everyone’s life for decades, and it’s likely this tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff and his friends have become part of your family as well. This collection of stories follows Pooh and the crew around the Hundred Acre Wood—Eeyore gets a house, Tigger is introduced, Piglet is very brave, and the game of Poohsticks is invented, just to name a few of the memorable happenings.

What makes this nostalgic dive even more special is the dramatization brought to listeners by a more-than-qualified cast of star narrators. Stephen Fry as friendly Pooh and Judi Dench as motherly Kanga are some of the notable voices that make this collection a valuable part of anyone’s listening experience. With their theatrical backgrounds, the cast members all embody their respective roles perfectly, making kids of all ages instant fans. The shorter sections are great for adding up on a road trip or just listening to during daily car rides.

The Weirdies

The Weirdies

If you love the darkly funny twists and turns of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the subversive humor of Roald Dahl, or the eccentricities of the Addams Family, the Weirdie triplets—Barnacle, Garlic, and Melancholy—will feel like old friends. After being accidentally abandoned, the Weirdies must learn to fend for themselves in a big, scary world...but, at least, they have each other. Their story will capture you right from the start—it's hilarious, sometimes sad, and delightfully weird. Oh, and it's narrated by Kate Winslet so the listening experience is extra amazing.

New Kid

New Kid

Winner of the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Author Award, New Kid was also a 2020 Audie Awards Finalist and named an Audible Book of the Year. A cast of all-star narrators tells the story of Jordan, who loves drawing cartoons and dreams of being a professional artist some day. But instead of appreciating his talents and sending him to art school, Jordan's parents send him to an elite middle school with a focus on academics. It's not easy being the new kid at this school, even more so when he's the only kid of color and has to travel to a different neighborhood for school. Somehow, Jordan has to figure out how to succeed in his new school while also maintaining his friendships at home—and, of course, his beloved artwork. Not only is this audiobook a full-cast production, but it also includes sound effects and original music! The sequel, Class Act, was released at the start of 2021.

The Golden Orchard

The Golden Orchard

If you have budding foodies at home, don’t miss the absolutely gorgeous time-travel journey, The Golden Orchard. A great choice for kids nine and up, this listen follows Maya, a young girl who loves nothing more than cooking alongside her grandmother, learning the rich, flavorful Korean dishes that offer a glimpse into her culture and heritage. But one day, Maya finds that a single bite of her beloved Halmunee’s dishes has the power to transport her back in time to different moments in her family history. That journey soon brings her to the Golden Orchard, a garden sprouting with memories. An enchanting Audible Original brimming with depth, this listen will impress on young listeners the true significance of food as a symbol of shared history, culture, and family.

Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons

Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons

Jazz occupies an indelible place in Black American history, with roots in New Orleans. Celebrating that legacy, this witty, family-friendly mystery is one of the best-loved listens in Audible Plus, and it’s easy to hear why. Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons has it all: an irresistible young detective, an incredible original score from creator Ashli St. Armant, an(other) epic performance by narrator Bahni Turpin, and Big Easy ambience so real you can smell the beignets. Full of heart, soul, and hijinks, this listen delights from the first note to the last.

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Melody is a young girl who has a very special talent. While she cannot walk or talk due to her cerebral palsy diagnosis, she has an incredible photographic memory. This skill allows her to remember the most minute details about her experiences, which most people would completely forget or overlook. She’s also very smart! Despite this, her classmates in school and the adults in her life often try, unwittingly or not, to reduce her to her disability. But Melody is determined to prove that she’s a brilliant, complex person who won’t be defined by her diagnosis.

Written by five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon Draper, Out of My Mind is an incredible story of growth, learning, and acceptance that sets out to change the assumptions that so many people make about people with disabilities. And if you love this first installment, be sure to listen the sequel, Out of My Heart, releasing in September 2021.

You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

Being a big sister is not easy. From the fights, to the favoritism, to the shared everything, it can be difficult to navigate the lifelong responsibility. But when Jilly’s sister, Emma, is born deaf, she has to reimagine everything she knew about both sisterhood and disability. Trying to learn all she can about how to help her younger sister, Jilly gets in touch with Derek, who is also deaf. But since her new friend Derek is both deaf and Black, Jilly needs to learn how to practice empathy and understand the intersection of Derek’s lived experience…and she stumbles a lot along the way. Now, Jilly must be an ally, a sister, and a friend to people whose life experiences are very different from her own, and she learns a lot about herself along the way.

Lambda Literary Award winner Alex Gino pens this can’t-miss story that touches on many contemporary issues that affect us today, from social justice to intersectionality and allyship. Listeners of all ages will be sure to take some life lessons away from this touching story.

The Whispers

The Whispers

For 11-year-old Riley, the whispers are the key to happiness. These tiny fairies, mentioned by Riley’s mother during story time on many nights, grant wishes to anyone who leaves them tributes. Here’s the problem: Riley has a ton of wishes. As an eighth grader, Riley deals with bullies that he wishes weren’t around to make his life miserable. He also has a crush that he wishes would like him back. And, like a lot of kids his age, he has issues with bed-wetting that he wishes would vanish. Needless to say, he wants to ask the whispers for a lot. Most importantly, he wishes his mother would come back home after she went missing without a trace. Now, he’s forging ahead on his own, determined to find his mom with the help of the whispers.

A timeless story that includes elements of loss, sexuality, and friendship, The Whispers is a tender fantastical tale of self-acceptance, life, and ultimately love. Further enhanced by the expert narration of Audible Hall of Fame performer Robin Miles, The Whispers is a can’t-miss for young and older listeners alike.

Wonder

Wonder

It’s hard to overstate how quickly Wonder become one of the most revered and impactful YA titles in recent memory. In addition to being a New York Times best seller, it was also turned into an award-winning feature film featuring Jacob Tremblay of Room fame, and even inspired a graphic novel. And with its standout and heartstring-tugging story, it’s easy to see why.

Wonder tells the story of fifth grader August Pullman, who was born with a facial difference that creates a plethora of challenges for him. Now, he’s stepping into a traditional school setting for the very first time and, predictably, his classmates aren’t as accepting as he hopes. The audiobook shifts perspectives throughout, from Pullman to his classmates and even his family members, leaving listeners with a unique, multi-cast type experience.

Ultimately a story of empathy and acceptance, Wonder has been called a meditation on kindness by its author, R. J. Palacio. Touching on very real themes such as bullying, disability, and coming-of-age, Wonder is a larger-than-life journey that showcases the power of compassion and friendship.

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