Take reading on the road

Many families spend this time of year in a car or bus driving to the beach, the zoo or your local library. Have you tried listening to audiobooks? They’re the perfect vehicle to keep kids entertained and motivated to read and learn. Here’s why you might choose a downloadable audiobook or CD or a podcast over a print book:

They are fun and super easy

You can listen to audiobooks anywhere and on any device: in the car, while children clean their rooms, or at night around a campfire. Many audiobooks on CD, such as Jim Dale’s Grammy-award winning narration of the Harry Potter series, have rousing sound effects, music, silly voices and multiple narrators that teach kids that reading and listening can be a source of entertainment.

Kids can read without fear of failing

Hearing a book read helps a child see how the words on the page can come alive. It helps a child focus on the sounds of words without interruption or struggling to read what may be difficult words. What’s more, you can tap into a learning style many kids favor because as many as 27% of the K-12 population are auditory learners.

Learn important skills

Audiobooks help improve listening skills and expand vocabulary. Studies show children who are better listeners are also better learners because 85% of what we learn, we learn by listening.

They're motivating

The research shows students can hear and comprehend two grade levels above their reading level, and audiobooks increase motivation by 67% among kids. They also can help children decode words and improve comprehension as much as 76% in some studies.

With your library card, you can check out audiobooks on CD, or download audiobooks directly to your phone or mobile device.

Audiobooks on CD

Library staff can share recommendations of great audiobook titles and their favorite recent listens, or check out these picks:

Downloadable audiobooks

If you’re trying downloadable audiobooks for the first time, we recommend the Libby app. Libby streamlines the way to access audiobooks from OverDrive, also available through our website. Through Libby, you can check out and download audiobooks right in the app. You can also use the CloudLibrary and RBdigital apps to download audiobooks to your device.


A couple of fun free podcasts for kids are available from public radio:

  • Brains On! A podcast for kids & curious adults.
  • Wow in the World Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. Go inside brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

Learn more about summer learning at your library.

This article was written by Stacy H., Maple Grove Library.