Series – Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew

nd

Growing up, I read my fair share of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. What’s old is new again in this updated series, this time about an 8-year old Nancy and her best friends, George and Bess.

The Clue Crew series is the latest reincarnation of the famous detective books by Carolyn Keene (actually a collective pseudonym for a number of ghostwriters). It seems geared toward a younger audience. Case in point, my five year old loves them!

Although there are about forty books in the series now, only five have so far been made into audiobooks, which are narrated by Cassandra Morris. We found a few in our library, then purchased the rest which are currently on sale on Audible (sale until November 27, 2017).

Advertisements

Series – The 39 Clues

39

So I’m actually embarrassed by how much I was entertained by this collaborative adventure series (speaking as a grown adult, and not because I enjoyed this as a child like some of the other children’s books I’ve reviewed).

Rated for age 9+ and definitely not for young kids as there’s violence, murder, and mean language. But despite having a completely unrealistic story line and unnecessary merchandising, the series was quite thrilling and fun.

The plot centers on two orphaned siblings, Amy and Dan, who are a part of the Cahill family, the most influential family in the world! *insert eye roll* However this leads to lots of incidental learning about historical figures and different countries.

Amy and Dan must compete with their extended family members to gather the 39 clues in order to solve an ancient family mystery.

The series is written by a number of different authors, such as Rick Riordan, and is narrated by David Pittu, who does a nice job. Check this out at your library if you’re looking for not too serious, popcorn-y entertainment.

 

Series – Akimbo

akimbo

Another series by Alexander McCall Smith that we love.

Just like Precious RamotsweAkimbo is inquisitive and brave. As the son of the head ranger on a game preserve in Africa, he gets up close and personal with lots of different animals.

There are five books in this great series, but we’ve only found audio versions for the first four. Narrated by the author.

Look for them at your library, or on Audible.

Series – Geronimo Stilton

gs

Currently my kid’s new favourite series. She found the popular books at the library, and I immediately checked to see if audio versions were available. Why yes!

Created by Italian author Elisabetta Dami, then translated into English (and many other languages), it’s about a mouse named Geronimo, who hails from New Mouse City on Mouse Island. He’s a journalist at The Rodent’s Gazette, and has adventures all over the world with his sister Thea, cousin Trapp, and nephew Benjamin.

The books have cute illustrations, and it’s a fun series for early readers to enjoy with both book and audio.

Some of the earlier books are narrated by actor Edward Hermann, and the later ones by Bill Lobley.

   

   

  

This is just a start. There are almost seventy books in the series – too many to list! And that’s not including the spin-off series about Thea Stilton and other characters who inhabit Mouse universe, which sadly don’t currently have audio versions.

But there’s more than enough Geronimo books to keep you busy!

Series – Bunnicula

I can’t stop looking up my old favourites to share with my daughter. And this series about everyone’s favourite vampire bunny by Deborah and James Howe is no exception.

Even though it’s meant for slightly older kids (perhaps age 8 to 12), my almost five year old still really enjoyed these books! True, some of the jokes in this funny, slightly spooky series went over her head, but I definitely loved re-listening with her.

While I could find the first collection at my local library, I eventually bought the second collection through Audible. Victor Garber is wonderful as the narrator in the first six books. I’d say the seventh book that doesn’t quite live up to the earlier works, but overall, still worth checking out the series.

Podcast – The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

mars

Got older kids who would enjoy a serialized mystery story? Performed by kids? Check out this award-winning free podcast! It’s about an Indian-American boy named Mars Patel and his misfit band of buddies who go on the hunt for their missing friends. (Stranger Things anyone?)

I can already envision listening to this when my girls are older, maybe as we take a nice long family road trip somewhere. The recommended age is 8 to 12, so we have a few years, but I even enjoyed listening to it by myself!

Series – Precious Ramotswe

Some adults may know Precious Ramotswe as the feisty founder of The NO. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. But even if you’ve never read the famous detective series, your kids will still love these books about Precious’ childhood in Botswana, where she solved her first cases as a young girl in school.

Beautifully read by Adjoa Andoh, the series took us on a trip across the globe, to Africa. I love how books can do this. My daughter asks to listen to this series again all the time!