Do your grade-schoolers listen to audio versions of their favorite books? Here at Epic, we highly recommend it! Audiobooks are a great way to bring stories to life and build vocab and literacy skills, while letting them enjoy books above their current reading levels. Whether you’re reading for in-person, virtual or home school (and of course, just for fun!) here are some tips for how to make audiobooks a big part of your kid’s daily reading time, and our list of the best audiobooks for 10-year olds.
How to Get Kids Hooked on Audiobooks
Wondering how and when to use audiobooks? On Epic you can search, favorite and share them just like any other book. Browse the selection by clicking on the “audiobooks” tab.
You can also explore kids audiobooks by downloading an app on your iPhone, Android or tablet. Once your kid is set up on their device, get ’em a good set of headphones so they can listen uninterrupted by outside noise.
Check out these ideas for fitting more listening time into your kid’s day:
Take ‘em for a drive.
Taking a trip? Queue it up for the drive! Car rides are an easy way to get them into a good story free of distraction while keeping the wiggles at bay. You can pick one that appeals to the whole family, from chapter books or a classic story.
Relax before bed time.
Integrate it into a nightly wind-down ritual or offer it as a perk to let your child stay “up” while in their bedroom. Listening to a book at bedtime promotes literacy while also helping kids calm down. Many audiobook apps like Audible have sleep timers, so you can set the book to turn off at the end of a chapter or set period of time.
Pair it with a book.
Combine audiobooks with traditional reading practice: if your kid struggles with reading comprehension or wants to try a more challenging book, try turning on the audio version while they follow along in their hard copy.
Listen while they work.
Turn on an audiobook while your kid is engaged in a relaxing activity like crafting, coloring or playing with building blocks. It’s a great way to build more reading time into their day while their hands are busy.
Where to Find Audiobooks
In addition to Epic, there are several platforms that can satisfy your 10-year old’s appetite for audiobooks. Several of them are free or very low cost. Here are some of our favorites:
- Audible Stories: Right now, while family routines are disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is offering its audiobook library free for kids. It includes titles across eight languages that will help them “continue learning, dreaming and just being kids.”
- LibriVox: LibriVox is filled with free books from the public domain, and it’s a great resource to find older, classic stories for free. It can be a little challenging to navigate, but this article from Project Inspire offers a great list of audiobooks for 10-year olds available on the platform with links to access them.
- Overdrive: Overdrive provides free listening to students through their Sora app, available in the Apple Store or Google Play. All you need is a library card from your local or school library and you’re ready to go.
- Podcasts: Is your 10- year old not quite into audiobooks yet? Listening to the right podcast can have the same benefits as listening to a traditional audiobook. “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids,” hosted by NPR brings kids topics that range from fascinating (What Are Robots doing on Mars?) to inspiring (Hopes and Dreams for 2021 From Kids Around the World). “Smash Boom Best,” a kids’ debate show also provides quality listening content for 10-year olds.
- Epic: And of course, there’s us! We’ve got a vast audio collection that’s always available with a subscription. Check out the entire collection, as well as our Read-To-Me books and animated stories.
What to Pick?
There are so many books! Where to start? Aside from choosing audiobooks that match your young reader’s age and interest level, don’t be afraid to experiment with more advanced audiobooks. Selecting titles that are a little “above level” is a great way to keep them on their toes. Most importantly, pick topics and subject matter that gets your kid excited! Here are some books available on our platform that are loved by countless kids.
Best Audiobooks for 10-year olds on Epic
Here’s just a handful of books available on our platform with Epic Unlimited.
By Donna Galanti
Epic Originals alert! When Sam arrives in Foggy Harbor for the summer, all she can see is a small, boring town. But when she discovers a hidden trapdoor leading to a room full of strange artifacts, she discovers an extraordinary secret beyond the fog: an island of unicorns!
By Tui T. Sutherland
This thrilling series kicks off as four kids discover special animal bonds that give them powers to take on dark forces that threaten the world of Edras. In a flash of light their spirit animals emerge—wolf, leopard, panda and a falcon—ready to come to their aid as they embark on their quests.
By Carolyn Keene
A new take on a children’s classic, this series is both fresh and familiar to many parents. Nancy and her two best friends Bees and George tackle secrets, sabotage, haunted houses, and phantom cruise ships to solve the mystery. These sleuth-inspired stories will interest a wide range of listeners.
By Mike Thaler
In this installment from the outrageously funny “Black Lagoon” series, main character Hubie must face yet another fear: the librarian! During his first trip to the school library, he meets fearsome librarian Mrs. Beamster, a.k.a. the “Laminator.” Rumor has it, if she catches you whispering, you’re laminated! Find out how Hubie wins the day.
Best Classic Audiobooks
You can find these titles on Audible and other platforms listed above.
By Louisa May Alcott
This enchanting, classic story transports listeners to a different time. Although it was written 150 years ago, it’s filled with dynamic characters and themes like individuality and perseverance. Listening to this novel is a great way to introduce your child to some of the words, phases and customs of colonial America. It’s also a great starting point for important conversations with your kids around feminism, gender equality and capitalism.
By J.K. Rowling
In this first book in the famed “Harry Potter” series, Harry discovers that he’s a wizard and finds his place in a world of witchcraft and wizardry. The audio versions of these books narrated by Jim Dale and Stephen Fry are amazingly fun to listen to and really bring the stories to life. Note that while the first few books are perfectly fine for younger listeners, the series does get darker as it progresses. Later books in the series may be more appropriate for 12-year olds.
By Roald Dahl
Matilda is different from her family. In fact, she’s different from everybody. The magic surrounding this brilliant yet relatable character has captivated children for generations. The audio version narrated by Kate Winslet is sure to mesmerize listeners—whether they’re new to the story or already fan. If your kid loves Matilda, check out other audio stories by Roald Dahl like James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
By C.S. Lewis
If your child loved fairy tales when they were younger, fantasy series like “The Chronicles of Narnia” might be a perfect fit for their listening ears. Although it’s the second book in the series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is a great starting point. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, but we recommend the other audiobooks in the series as well.
Best Recent Audiobooks
How to Train your Dragon
By: Cressida Cowell
Vikings, dragons and Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III! “How to Train your Dragon” is the perfect choice for fantasy lovers and reluctant readers. It’s interesting and accessible enough to appeal to kids who have the toughest time getting into audiobooks. Plus, if your child has seen the feature film with David Tennant, it’ll be even easier for them to follow along with the story.
By: Rick Riordan
“Percy Jackson,” by Rick Riordan, blends Greek mythology into a riveting fantasy series that is perfect for kids. A 12 year old boy sets out on a dangerous quest in which he faces all kinds of creatures and obstacles. This exciting series is a great way to introduce kids to history and culture. If your child devours every book and still wants more, they might get lost in other fantasy classics like The “Wizard of Oz” series or “The Hobbit” by J.R. Tolkein.
By Neil Gaiman
“The Graveyard Book” is a young adult fiction novel and Newbery Award-winning book. In this eerie yet uplifting bestseller, an orphaned boy is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Keep in mind that this creative and beautifully written novel does have some scary themes. If you do end up listening to and loving it, you may want to explore other books by Neil Gaiman, including “Norse Mythology.”
That’s our list! These great audiobooks also deserve an honorable mention as great recommendations:
- The “Ramona Quimby” series by Beverly Cleary
- “Redwall” by Brian Jacques
- “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
- “The Series of Unfortunate Events” by Limoney Snicket (narrated by Tim Curry, full cast).
We hope you enjoyed this list of best audiobooks for 10-year olds. Now it’s time to check them out for yourself!