My boys are 8 and 11. They travel well and spend most of their time reading. Honestly, half the time we don’t even know they’re back there.

But on our way to St. Louis this summer, our oldest son got car sick. We stopped at a gas station to buy him some water and Tums. Then we googled how to prevent symptoms of car sickness.

One of the tips it listed was to avoid reading in the car. Instead, you’re supposed to focus your eyes on the distant horizon. We all groaned. We were staring down five hours in the car. The thought of him not being able to read to pass the time made us all a little sick.

That’s when I remembered and wondered if an audiobook might be the perfect solution. He could listen to a story to keep his mind occupied while he looked at the horizon to keep his stomach happy.

I signed up for a free one-month trial and downloaded our one free book. Then I told him to get his headphones out, but my youngest son complained he wanted to listen too. My husband piped up and said he wouldn’t mind listening as well. So we used the bluetooth in our vehicle to play the book over the speakers.

That trip was the fastest we’ve ever taken. Time flew while we listened to the book. And the best part was we were all listening to the same story so we could talk about it and share in it together.

Later in the month, my husband and son went on a trip together. They listened to the book in the car while they drove and, not wanting to fall behind in the story, my youngest listened to it while he played with his Legos at home. It was a wonderful few hours with no complaints of being bored or him asking to play electronics.

If you’d like to give it a try with your own family, here are some neat audiobooks to get you started:

1. "The House on the Cliff: Hardy Boys 2" by Franklin Dixon and Bill Irwin

2. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

3. "The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1" by Rick Riordan

4. "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L’Engle

5. "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

6. "Charlotte’s Web" by E.B. White

7. "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson

8. "Holes" by Louis Sachar

9. "Hatchet" by Gary Paulson

10. "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls

11. "Magic Tree House Collection Books 1-8" by Mary Pope Osborne

12. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum

I never would have thought audiobooks would hold the attention of my entire family, but desperation led us to try them. Now I’m glad we did!


Jenni DeWitt is married and has two sons, the youngest of whom battled childhood leukemia — and won. Jenni writes weekly for She is the author of "Forty Days" and "Why Won't God Talk to Me?" You can read more about Jenni here.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.