Book reviews: Audiobooks a must for car trips |

Book reviews: Audiobooks a must for car trips

Chris Erickson/For Steamboat Pilot & Today

My family and I have an audio book playing in our cars most of the time. It's a great way to pass the time on a long trip. These are some of our current favorites.

"Land of Stories," by Chris Colfer

"The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread," by Kate DiCamillo

This is the story of twin brother and sister, Conner and Alex. As they struggle with their father's death, they find themselves sucked into a book of fairy tales their grandmother used to read to them. To their surprise, they discover their grandmother is the Fairy Godmother. Conner and Alex now have to find ways to help the characters of this wonderful new world. At some point in the series, you come across all the fairy tale characters from all the classic stories. This is a wonderful series of books. "The Wishing Spell" is the first book. They are all read by the author, Chris Colfer, who is also an actor. He brings all the characters to life by using a different voice for each character.

"The Five Kingdoms," by Brandon Mull

One Halloween night, Cole Randolph and group of his friends go to check out a haunted house. They have no idea what's in store for them. As all of Cole's friends are rounded up by slavers to be taken to the Five Kingdoms, Cole hides behind a black curtain. Now, he must decide whether to go after them or go for help. Not knowing what will happen next, Cole jumps through the portal and vows to bring all the missing children home.

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What an action packed series. Brandon Mull has an enormous adventure side to him, and it comes out in his writing. "The Five Kingdoms" series is great for the whole family. "The Sky Raiders" is the first book. This series is read by Keith Nobbs, who brings all the characters to life. He is an outstanding narrator.

"The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread," by Kate DiCamillo

Despereaux is a mouse who wants to have all things not-mouse. Most of all, he wants adventures. He is also in love the princess, Pea, who lives in the same castle. When the princess goes missing, Despereaux realizes saving her is his opportunity to do something great. Along the way, he must get help from Roscuro, a rat who wants nothing more than to live in the light, and Miggery, a simple servant girl with her own wish. Together, they embark on the biggest adventure of all of their lives.

Kate DiCamillo won the Newberry Award for this book. She has won many other awards for her writing and has been the National Ambassador the Young People's Literature. Her stories all are wonderful and make great listening material.

These books are available at the Bud Werner Memorial Library and at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore; e-books can be found at

Chris Erickson is store manager at Off the Beaten Path.