If you didn’t know, today is Read Across America Day. Created in 1997 and taking place on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Read Across America Day is the one day a year specifically set aside to encourage children of all ages to read books.
We don’t have to tell you how important we believe reading is here at Libro.fm, but we do want to take a moment to remind you to read alongside that child in your life. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, mentor or just a person who loves reading and wants to share that love with others, sit down and read with those kids, and pass on your love of books to them. It is one of the longest-lasting and fruitful gifts you can give.
Whether they are 4 or 14, we’ll help you out with a list of audiobooks for those soon-to-be-lifelong readers in your life.
By Dr. Seuss
Why not kick off the list by saying, “Happy birthday” to the man himself? You know the story: Sam-I-Am tries to convince the unwitting main character to get out of his comfort zone and try some funny-colored eggs and ham. Jason Alexander (“George” from Seinfeld) hilariously captures the musicality of Dr. Seuss’s lines in this reading.
By Arnold Lobel
Author and illustrator Arnold Lobel narrates his own stories of Frog and Toad, two friends spending their days with each other. From melting ice cream to loneliness, Frog and Toad tackle life’s hurdles together. If you read these stories as a kid, check out this touching New Yorker piece on Arnold Lobel from 2016.
By Edwidge Danticat
Saya’s mother is detained because she immigrated to the United States from Haiti and doesn’t have documentation. Saya and her father visit her mother every week and her mother gives her cassette tapes where she tells stories based on Haitian folklore. A tearjerker of a book, this story distills the complicated immigration debate into a story about a family’s love for each other.
By Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
The Magic School Bus documents Ms. Frizzle’s field trips, which always seem to take a magical turn when the school bus she drives changes into things like an airplane, a spaceship or a time machine. Despite the magic, the series actually exposes young readers to scientific fields like biology, astronomy and geology. In Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth, the Friz takes her class through the Earth’s crust, mantle, core and out a volcano, in order to collect rocks.
By Madeleine L’Engle
Meg Murray’s father is dabbling with time travel when he mysteriously disappears. A stranger appears at Meg’s door and claims that time travel is real. Thus begins L’Engle’s classic Time Quinet—books that are part science fiction, part fantasy and explore fear and friendship.
By Roald Dahl
Read by Dahl himself, the collection includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr. Fox, among others. Dahl’s off-kilter humor and storytelling is on full display here. These classics are great revisits for adults who grew up with Dahl as well.
By Lemony Snicket
I don’t know why so many people love these ghastly works, but I suppose if you want to subject yourself and your younger companions to this upsetting series, you might as well start here, with A Bad Beginning. Narrator Tim Curry has an ear to make this experience especially excruciating, but if you insist, go ahead and listen to this tale which includes, among other dastardly details, a fire, a villain and, oof, cold porridge.
By Jack Cheng
This one is for the young space lover in your life. 11-year-old Alex Petroski wants to send his golden iPod into outer space, just like his hero, Carl Sagan, sent a golden record aboard the Voyager spacecraft in the 1970s, to show what Earth is like. The book follows Alex’s journey to get his iPod onto a rocket and launch it.
By Jason Reynolds
Ghost is trying to run faster than anyone else on his elite middle school track team. But, as fast as he is, he can’t outrun his past. When ex-Olympic athlete Coach meets Ghost, he sees something in him that other don’t. This book is the first in a four part series called Track. Each book is written from the point of view of an athlete vying to make the junior Olympic team.
By J.K. Rowling
You didn’t think we’d forget Harry Potter, did you? What to say about this book and the series it launched that you don’t already know? If you’re are one of the few on the planet who haven’t experienced it yet, do both yourself and the child in your life a favor and start here with the first book in the series. Just make sure that you leave the next month or two open so you can inhale the next six books.