All right, here's your unexpected holiday We Recommend, part of our long-running series, in which we endeavor to recommend just the right book for your particular person/situation/desire/world-view/etc etc etc. Though in this particular case we fail. But don't pay attention to that! Need a recommendation? E-mail us!
I should just start off honestly and say that we're relying on you, our readers, more than ever, because I have NO IDEA what to recommend to this person. But I thought I'd try. Here goes:
My family will be traveling for the holidays this year, and I'd like to get some audio books for my older daughter to listen to on the plane. And I know there are scads and piles and mountains of wondrous books out there. But I want wondrous books that are also read well. Granted, she's 8, and is less picky about this than her parents tend to be. But why not shoot for the moon?
So. She's 8, loves stories of all kinds, but especially adventures (D'Aulaire's myths, Jungle Book, Narnia, Oz), and stories that immerse you in someone else's life (Little House, Tom Sawyer). She's quite smart, very much a philosopher, a total goofball, and also on the sensitive side. My husband has been reading to her at bedtime for going on 4 years, so she's clearly a big fan of hearing stories being read to her. The only ones she has heard as professional audiobooks are Starship Galileo and Ella Enchanted – both of which she loved, the Heinlein perhaps a bit more, or at least she talked about it more. Has anyone experienced the gamut of audio literature and is therefore an expert on the best narrators for the good stories?
So here's where I admit that I have only ever listened to one children's audio book, which was unfortunately a long van ride with the Magic Treehouse series. A very fine and important series for many early readers, this proved altogether excruciating for me to listen to, as it was the (no doubt lovely, sweet and wonderful) author who read it, and she had a tiny little bubble voice that made me want to weep.
However. No doubt there are all sorts of perfectly produced and gripping audio adventure tales out there. And she seems like an eager and curious reader. So hear ye, oh listeners out there, what is the best audio book to make this 8-year-old girl not even notice the horrors of travel? Give up your secrets to the comments! And then go eat some turkey, or leftovers, or something. Have a good Thanksgiving!