If you’re looking for a way to foster a love for reading and storytelling in your tween, audiobooks may be just the thing. Not only are they great for busy families or long trips, but audiobooks also offer a variety of benefits for learning and development. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top audiobooks for tweens and the benefits they offer.
Why Audiobooks are Great for Tweens
Before we dive into the best audiobooks for tweens, let’s examine why audiobooks are such a great choice for this age group. First and foremost, audiobooks offer an alternative way for tweens to “read” – they can listen to stories while doing other things, like playing games or drawing. This can be especially helpful for tweens who struggle with sitting still or focusing for long periods of time. Additionally, the narration in audiobooks helps to bring stories to life, often with varied character voices and sound effects. This can help tweens understand complex stories, keep them engaged, and even improve their listening skills.
But the benefits of audiobooks go beyond just entertainment. Audiobooks offer a variety of benefits when it comes to learning and development for tweens. For example, listening to audiobooks can help improve vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as develop critical thinking skills as they analyze and interpret the story. Beyond that, audiobooks can help tweens develop a love for books and stories that they can carry with them into adulthood.
Benefits of Audiobooks for Learning and Development
Listening to audiobooks can be a great way for tweens to learn and develop new skills. For example, listening to non-fiction audiobooks can help tweens learn about new topics and expand their knowledge base. Audiobooks can also be a helpful tool for tweens who struggle with reading, as they can follow along with the text while listening to the narration. This can help improve their reading skills and build confidence.
Another benefit of audiobooks is that they can help tweens develop empathy and emotional intelligence. Hearing stories from different perspectives and about different experiences can help tweens understand and relate to others better. This can be especially important during the tween years, when social skills are developing and friendships are becoming more complex.
Encouraging a Love for Reading and Storytelling
Many experts agree that encouraging tweens to read more can help develop good reading habits that can last a lifetime. By introducing your tween to audiobooks, you can help foster a love for reading and storytelling in a way that feels fun and engaging. When a tween can relate to and connect with the stories they are listening to, it can inspire them to seek out new books and stories to enjoy.
One way to encourage a love for reading and storytelling is to listen to audiobooks as a family. This can be a fun and relaxing way to spend time together, and can help make reading a shared experience. Plus, it can be a great way to introduce tweens to new genres and authors that they may not have otherwise discovered.
Audiobooks for Busy Families and Long Trips
Life is busy, and sometimes finding time to read can be a challenge. Audiobooks offer a solution for families on the go – whether on long car trips or just during busy days at home. With audiobooks, you can continue to encourage your tweens’ reading and storytelling habits even when you’re busy or on the move. Plus, audiobooks can help make long trips or car rides more enjoyable and less tedious.
But audiobooks aren’t just for busy families – they can also be a great tool for tweens who struggle with screen time. Instead of spending hours in front of a screen, tweens can listen to audiobooks while doing other activities, like going for a walk or doing a puzzle. This can help reduce screen time and promote a healthy balance of activities.
Overall, audiobooks are a great choice for tweens. They offer a fun and engaging way to read and learn, and can help foster a love for books and stories that can last a lifetime.
Top Audiobook Genres for Tweens
Now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of audiobooks for tweens, let’s dive into some of the top audiobook genres tweens tend to love! From fantasy and adventure to coming-of-age stories and everything in between, there’s a genre for every type of tween reader to enjoy.
Engaging Fantasy and Adventure Stories
Fantasy and adventure stories are always popular with tweens. They offer exciting, immersive worlds that allow tweens to escape into another realm. Popular audiobooks in this genre include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. These stories take listeners on a wild ride through magical worlds filled with danger, mystery, and wonder.
Inspiring Biographies and Non-Fiction
Many tweens enjoy reading about real-life heroes and inspiring figures. Biographies and non-fiction books can offer insight into the lives of real people, from trailblazers like Malala Yousafzai to inspiring athletes like Serena Williams. These stories show tweens what’s possible and inspire them to pursue their dreams.
Gripping Mystery and Suspense Tales
Mystery and suspense stories are always popular with tweens who love a good plot twist or cliffhanger. Popular audiobooks in this genre include the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, which follows a young protagonist as she fights for her life in a dystopian world. Other popular books include the Maze Runner series by James Dashner and the Secret Series by Enid Blyton, which are full of secrets, puzzles, and thrilling action sequences.
Heartwarming Coming-of-Age Stories
Coming-of-age stories can be relatable and inspiring for tweens. These types of stories often center around a protagonist grappling with growing up, relationships, and their place in the world. Standout audiobooks in this genre include Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which follows a young boy with a facial deformity as he navigates a new school, and The Giver by Lois Lowry, which takes place in a seemingly utopian society where one teen discovers the truth behind his world.
Best Audiobook Series for Tweens
In addition to standalone books, there are also plenty of audiobook series that tweens tend to love. These series offer a chance to dive deeper into immersive worlds and complex characters over several books.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
No list of audiobook series would be complete without the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Narrated by the legendary Jim Dale, this series is a must-listen for tweens who love magic and adventure. Across seven books, listeners follow Harry Potter and his friends as they battle dark forces and strive to save the wizarding world from the brink of destruction.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Another popular audiobook series for tweens is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. The series follows a young Demigod named Percy Jackson as he navigates the world of Greek gods and monsters. With a fast-paced plot and plenty of action, this series is a great choice for tweens who love mythology and fantasy.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a classic series that’s been beloved by generations of tweens. The audiobooks, narrated by talented performers like Kenneth Branagh and Michael York, bring the story to life in a magical way. This series follows four siblings who discover a hidden world of talking animals, mythical beasts, and epic battles.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is a popular series among tweens and adults alike. Set in a dystopian world where children are forced to fight to the death in a televised event, this series is full of action, adventure, and political intrigue. The audiobooks, narrated by Carolyn McCormick, offer a gripping and emotional listen that will keep tweens on the edge of their seats.
Standalone Audiobooks Tweens Will Love
In addition to audiobook series, there are also plenty of standalone audiobooks that tweens will love. These books offer complete, standalone stories that will keep tweens engaged and inspired.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a heartwarming and inspiring story about a young boy with a facial deformity who navigates a new school and learns to find compassion in the face of adversity. The audiobook, narrated by Diana Steele, is a touching and emotional listen that will leave your tween feeling inspired.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Another standout standalone audiobook for tweens is The Giver by Lois Lowry. It tells the story of a seemingly utopian society where emotions and memories have been erased. The story follows one young boy as he uncovers the truth about his world and fights to change it. The audiobook, narrated by Ron Rifkin, is a haunting and thought-provoking listen that will stick with your tween long after it’s over.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a classic children’s book that’s been beloved by generations of readers. The audiobook, narrated by Hope Davis, brings the story to life in a magical way. It follows a young girl named Meg as she travels through time and space to save her father and battle the forces of evil.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Coraline by Neil Gaiman is a creepy, atmospheric tale about a young girl who discovers a hidden door in her house that leads to a parallel world. The audiobook, narrated by the author himself, is a chilling and captivating listen that will leave your tween feeling spooked and thrilled.
Audiobooks offer a great way for tweens to enjoy books and stories in a more engaging and immersive way. Whether your tween is a fan of fantasy and adventure, gripping mystery and suspense tales, or heartwarming coming-of-age stories, there’s an audiobook out there for them. By introducing your tween to audiobooks, you can help them develop a lifelong love for reading and storytelling that will serve them well for years to come.
Are audiobooks good for tweens?
Yes! When our brains access information we’ve learned and remembered, studies show that we don’t actually recall whether we read or listened to that information. So, even if listening to a book rather than reading it, young brains will still learn the same information. Better yet, when a young person reads and listens to a given piece of text, even more learning occurs as they activate multiple different parts of the brain.
What about kids with ADHD?
Listening to information (as opposed to reading it), is especially great for kiddos with ADHD, as their brains tend to prefer listening as a way to absorb and process new information.
Where can my tween find free audiobooks?
There are a ton of free and easily accessible audiobooks out there. Give it a quick Google search and you’ll find several, or head over to your local library where your librarians can help you find and navigate the many free resources that are available in your community.