I love taking long car trips. One of the reasons I love car travel is that I can listen to audio books. In fact, a recent trip that was to take a few hours quickly became a one-day trip when I could not stop listening to the audio version of Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn. Audio books provide a great way for readers of all ages and abilities to connect with stories, and they have a lot of other great benefits. First and foremost, audio books allow readers to access books they may not be able to read independently. I know of struggling readers who read along with audio books so they can better access the text without feeling overwhelmed. Audio books help all types of readers build critical listening skills and they provide good models for fluent reading. A great narrator with the ability to read in a fluid and expressive way helps children understand the way words sound and how all the words can flow together in an effortless, connected pattern. Audio books are also a great way to enjoy books together, especially if you feel a little bit less than comfortable reading aloud. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy togetherness without you having to do the reading. All in all, audio books are a great way to read (and yes it’s still reading even if you listen to it). To start your audio book adventure, I suggest you check out the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production given by the Young Adult Library Services Association, which highlights some of the best audio books for kids out there. To find these and other great audio books, I suggest you check out your local library. Today, libraries often have services where you can download great audio books for free or you can even check out and listen to physical formats as well. So, maybe on your next car trip (or even for a little reading time at home), start discovering the great joys of a book well read.
By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING
AudioBook: Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. Full Cast Audio, 2006.
Print Book: Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. HarperCollins, 2005.
Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/odyssey
At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children. We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels. Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.