Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

5 Audio Books My Tween Says You Should Listen To Right Now

If you follow me on Twitter (@tlt16), you know that the Tween and I are now audio book obsessed.  Even if we are just in the car for a five minute drive she asks me to turn on whatever book we are currently listening to.  We have gotten home and sat in the car for a few extra minutes to finish whatever scene or book we are listening to.  I don’t forget to turn on the book because she won’t let me, “Mom, turn the book on” she cries from the backseat of the car.  Here are 5 of her recent faves.

1.  Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

I won’t talk a lot about this one, because I mentioned it in yesterday’s post about reality TV. The tween wasn’t interested in it though for the inside look at all the behind the scenes happenings of reality TV.  No, she just liked that it was funny, charming, and at times kept you on the edge of your seat.  She is also a huge animal lover and there is plenty of fun wildlife present.

2.  The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks

In The Paradise Trap, Marcus’s mom buys a trailer for them to vacation at the beach.  One day they discover that the trailer has a basement, which if you know anything about trailers is physically impossible.  Inside the basement your wildest dreams – and most fearful nightmares – come true.  This story is an interesting twist on the legend of the Sirens.  It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat as you travel through the maze of a basement and try to find a way out.  It also led to some fun discussions about what our dream vacation and nightmare vacations would look like.  I think it would be a fun book club book and you can do an activity where your tweens create their own dream or nightmare vacation brochures.  You can listen to an excerpt at the Random House Audio page.

Audio Book Fact: Most listeners use audiobooks in the car (whether they are commuting or on driving vacations) but an increasing number of people also report using audiobooks while they are exercising, cooking, gardening — and even at work. (from the Audio Publishers Association)

3.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
Okay, I don’t always make awesome parenting decisions.  I am the mother who took the Tween to see The Hunger Games movie when she was 8.  Anyhow, I was listening to Divergent when she got in the car with me one day and I hadn’t turned it off.  She started protesting so we kept listening.  There is a lot of violence, obviously.  And there is one scene where Tris is attacked and basically sexually assaulted.  I was surprised, because she did really like it.  And of course now she is closer to being a teen then she was when I took her to see The Hunger Games movie (which she did like by the way).  So, the moral of my story is this: definitely read or listen to the book first, but it is a good audio, a good book, and with the movie coming out soon there will be high demand.

Audio Book Fact: Audiobook listeners are avid readers who use audiobooks as a way of enjoying an author’s work when they are not able to read. 94% of audiobook listeners had read a book in the past year vs. 70% of non-audiobook listeners. (from the Audio Publishers Association)

4.  I’d Tell You That I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Because I am the mom to two girls, I am always looking for good representations of females in my books.  Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors because of the characters she writes.  And, her books are charming, fun, and entertaining while being empowering.  ITYTILOVBTIHTKY is book #1 in the Gallagher Girls series.  I think everyone should read these books.  They are about girls in spy school and they do a good job of presenting a wide variety of girls, their interests and personalities, and have some pretty kick-ass role models.  There is a touch of romance, geeky spy science, and really intelligent women.  What’s not to love?  We were introduced to the series by listening to the audio and have bought every book since then for our home library.  Last night the Tween started reading the series again I noticed.

Audio Book Fact: In a recent consumer survey, the Audio Publishers Association learned that 25% of Americans had listened to an audiobook in the last year.

5.  The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This was a really interesting listening experience because we did it backwards.  I started reading the book out loud as our family read along, but somewhere along the way I picked up a new book before we finished this one.  We both really liked this book and wanted to finish it, so we listened to the audio.  The Mysterious Benedict Society is such a clever book about genius children and there are lots of fun mysteries and puzzles to solve inside.  Just listening to it made us feel like we were getting smarter by the day.  And one of my favorite childhood books is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, which this series reminds me a lot of in tone and personality.  You can listen to an excerpt to get a feel for the series at the Random House Audio page.

I recently had a discussion with the Tween, asking her what she liked about audio books.  She said she liked how they drew you into the story and it was kind of like watching TV or a movie, but the picture forms in your head.  Plus, it made car rides more fun.  The only thing she said she liked better about reading a book is that she could do it at “her own pace.”  I will say that I have noticed that she often doesn’t finish reading a book, but she always finishes the audio which means she is getting the whole story.


  1. “Okay, I don't always make awesome parenting decisions. I am the mother who took the Tween to see The Hunger Games movie when she was 8.” Haha, I laughed out loud at that! Best. Mom. Ever.

  2. When they first came out, my daughter and I listened to all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Tim Curry reads almost all of them and you really miss him when he doesn't. Oldies but goodies: to this day I cannot even shelve a book from that series without hearing Curry say “a word which here means…” in my head.

Speak Your Mind