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Over the river and through the wood to Grandmother’s house we go!

With the holidays coming up, that could mean lots of travel time for everyone. Whether it’s by car, plane, or train, there will be plenty of time to read a book this holiday season without having to make extra time for it! Have you tried an exciting audiobook lately? YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults lists are chock full of great recommendations for a perfect adventure over the holidays. Forget traveling to grandma’s house or being stuck listening to boring stories from your relatives. Pop in your earbuds and listen to a story to get away from all the holiday hubbub (and those annoying relatives!)

Some of my recent favorite audio listens include Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, read by Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown. You’ll leave planet Earth in this space adventure. When Waverly is kidnapped to another ship, her world is shattered forever by the revelations she discovers. This is not your grandma’s story-telling.

Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, read by actor Alan Cumming, is a great adventure to share with the family. Have a grandfather or grandmother who remembers WWI? This story may just entice them into sharing their own memories of that time period with you.

Have a Jesse Eisenberg fan amongst your friends or family? You may just want to get them Holly Black’s Red Glove for the holidays. It’s narrated by The Social Network’s own Oscar-nominated actor and it will provide an edgy mystery.

The Indigo Notebook, written by Laura Resau and read by Justine Eyre, lets you travel outside the country and visit the beauties of Ecuador. There is adventure aplenty with a smuggling ring and some brilliant narration only enhances this story.

I recently listened to Printz Honor book Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick, performed by Peter Berkrot. Talk about creepy winter stories! With the snow potentially flying in some parts of the country over the holidays, this book will give the holidays a sinister edge.

For a story that actually takes place during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you can’t go wrong with David Levithan and Rachel Cohn’s Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, read by Ryan Gesell and Tara Sands. This madcap holiday escapade includes a notebook filled with dares and the potential romance between two teens. Set in New York City, this book is sure to be a great holiday excursion whether by plane or train or automobile.

This is of course only the very tip of the audio adventure iceberg! There are so many possible audiobooks to listen to over the holidays. It sure beats listening to that baby cry on the plane, or hearing the many commercials the radio offers. Looking for something else to listen to? Check out YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults List and then head to your local library to see what titles you can get your hands on. We may be entering the coldest months of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time on a sandy beach or escaping zombies. This is the time of year to escape the drone of holiday music and tempt your ears with something a little bit different.

Do you have a great suggestion for a fun story to escape into during the many traveling days coming up? Please share in the comments! I know I’m always on the look out for awesome narrators and excellent storytelling, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

— Sarah Wethern, currently reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns).

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Sarah Wethern


  1. Erin Daly Erin Daly

    I just listened to Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (again). It’s read by Jennifer Ehle, better known as Elizabeth Bennet from the BBC Pride & Prejudice miniseries.

    I also really enjoy Paper Towns by John Green, read by Dan John Miller.

    I love that the Leviathan series is read by Alan Cumming. I will have to listen to those soon!

  2. Oy! Where to begin? With Bloody Jack (L.A. Meyer) and His Dark Materials, probably (since there’s a lot of hours to listen to these are probably good for l-o-n-g road trips!). Here’s a few more favorites: The Absolutely True Diary … , The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Dairy Queen, and Anansi Boys for older listeners. The Bartimaeus series, The Last Apprentice series, Tiffany Aching’s stories, and The Graveyard Book for younger teens.

    And the best audiobook that no one’s ever heard of: Mimus by Lili Thal.

    Finally (will be quiet after this) … I’m smack in the middle of Westerfeld’s Goliath right now. Cumming is amazing! Alek has just exposed Deryn for the female that she is!!! (Hope that wasn’t a spoiler.) Happy listening to all …


  3. I loooved Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, narrated by Nick Podehl. That one had me laughing out loud all the way through.

    Also, MacLeod Andrews gives an amazing performance in The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp.

    OH OH *and* I love the Princess Diaries books that are narrated by Anne Hathaway. Even if you’ve read the books already, they are definitely worth a listen (and definitely fun listening for holiday time).

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