My daughters can talk. I think I’ve said it before, and well since I’ve been known to talk more than my fair share, I can’t really blame them. Sometimes though when we are in the car it is nonstop yap yap yap, which I love and which I can only take so much of. Two years ago when we homeschooled I discovered the joy of the audio book for the car. We listen to them as we travel from one place to the next often staying longer in the car to get to a good stopping point before we disembark. When it is a really good Listen to (that’s what we call them) we bring the CD in the house and put it in the DVD player and listen to it while we hang out in the living room or eat lunch.
It wasn’t intentional but almost all of our books that we love has the main character or one of the main characters as a girl. Yay girl power. Here are our top favorites and little bit about each of them.
Top Young Girl Audiobooks According to us
- The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall- I picked this up on a whim at our library during TV turnoff week. It is so well written that I found myself wanting to get in the car and drive places just to hear it. Finally we just listened to it for 3 hours straight one night to finish it. There are 3 Penderwick books and we listened to them out-of-order . We heard the Penderwicks of Gardam Street (2), then The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale (1), and finally The Penderwicks at Point Moulette (3). The girls and I agree that the second one The Penderwicks of Gardam Street is the best. The story is of 4 sisters and their Dad and their adventures in life. Out of all the Listen tos this one seems like it is for older kids. The mom dies of cancer (even though it’s only talked about briefly I thought it was important in case that is a sensitive subject at the moment), and the oldest sister does like a boy in the books (my daughters loved this part as I tried to say ewww, they just laughed, but at least we could talk about it together, and finally the part that I liked least is that the one sister Sky (who is otherwise awesome) has a horrible habit of saying I’m going to murder you and a couple of things like that (The girls and I talked about it and worked through it). However even with this I must give this my recommendation, especially if your daughter is between 8-12 I think she’ll adore these three books.
- Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funk – This book is tom boy all over. Igraine lives in a family of powerful wizards, but she wants to be a knight. This book really shows her amazing conviction, her smarts, and her stubbornness. It was sweet, funny, and exciting. I also loved her relationship with her brother.
- Anne of Green Gables – I know classic right? I hadn’t read it as a kid, but we’ve listen to it twice already and really all of them in the series are good. What Anne lacks in reservation she more than makes up for in passion for life. Her spark grows and grows as she gets older, but her sass and hot headedness wane. It’s a beautiful story. It is also a wonderful story of adoption where hearts are knit together.
- Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry – Oh my – where was she was I was a kid? She is a leading lady that isn’t know for her beauty or strength but for her amazing storytelling and wit. This should be required reading for every second grade girl!
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Series by Betty MacDonald – These stories are old, but not old-fashioned. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle gets kids, she really understands them. She is loving and kind but shows always cures them of a certain problem usually by giving them what they wanted so bad that they realize they don’t want it. I like some of these short stories better than others, but they are always interesting, and there is nothing scary in them so my kids love it. Plus I love talking with my girls about the cures and behavior. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle totally uses love and logic… I love it.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett – This one we’ve also listened to twice. My girls love it when Colin gets stronger. I think of it like Anne of Green Gables in that it is a story of redemption through love and friendship. It is a great listen to because the kids paint pictures of the moor and the garden in their heads. I love it.
- The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler – I liked this, but it was a little bit older. I think we were definitely ready for it and my youngest loves mermaids so it was fun to see a story about a girl who is also one. Emily’s character is quite ordinary in the beginning but discovers that she is really extraordinary. The discovery doesn’t change the way she feels about herself and she is still a bit insecure (a great way to talk about self-esteem with your girls) but in the end she is brave and true to who she is. I think I liked this as much as the girls.
- The Ramona Series – We’ve listen to some and read others. Beverly Clearly does a great job of growing Ramona up in these books and I encourage you to read them in order to the end. They are not my favorite, because I can’t stand all of her tantrums and naughtiness in the beginning but my girls loved it – so I think it’s a win.
- Ivy and Bean – My girls and I go back and forth about these. I like them a bit because the girls are so fun and creative, but also a fair amount of naughty. I loved the one book we just read that had my girls learning all about global warming and starting to think about how little people can solve big problems, but in the same book I was completely annoyed when the girls played the game “orphan” and dragged each other around by the wrists… not cool! But alas they are the perfect reading material for a second grader with not too many words and an exciting plot.
- Melonhead by Katy Kelly – This is not a girl book, or even a book for girls. It is all boy, but you know me there shouldn’t be things just for boys or just for girls. This is a book about a boy doing such exciting type things like climbing roofs and trees and inventing stuff and some potty humor… but that is exactly what my daughters loved about it. They loved how Melonhead acted, they loved his ideas, and being the engineers that they are they loved his inventions. They didn’t love when he got in trouble… but it was a good way to show that some ideas shouldn’t be executed. It’s also a great chance to laugh about potty humor.
We also want to read these.
A little Princess, Esperanza Rising , Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell ,All-of-a-Kind Family ,Rebecca and the Strangest Garden on Earth, The Catnapping Mystery,The Ordinary Princess ,Violet Mackerel, Anna Hibiscus, Clementine, Marty McGuire, Piper Reed, Naughtiest Girl Collection, Thea Stilton (we’ve read 1 and liked it), Rickshaw Girl , and Sophie Simon Solves Them All