The 36 Best Teen Audiobooks for Road Trips

Audiobooks not only help pass the time on a long road trip, but they can help keep you alert while you drive.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time during long road trips
  • Teens have plenty of great options in every genre, including memoirs, non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and classic literature
  • Besides a good audiobook, you also need snacks, a physical map, and a solid car insurance policy to make your road trip a success

Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time on a long road trip. Whether you’re driving yourself or stuck in the backseat during a family vacation, a good story can help you get where you need to be. From audiobooks for kids to senior citizens, stories keep everyone entertained.

If you’re not sure where to start for audiobooks, read on for suggestions from some of the most popular genres. Then, learn what other steps you can take to ensure your road trip goes off without a hitch.

Table of Contents

Best Classic Literature for Teens

Classic novels aren’t just for English class. The classics remain popular choices for a reason – and a long road trip is a perfect time to catch up on ones you missed. While there are dozens of great options, here are five to start.

Number 1: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin

Narrated by: Rosamund Pike

Length: 11 hours and 35 minutes

Perhaps the most famous novel by Jane Austin, “Pride and Prejudice” has delighted readers since 1813. A classic tale of romance and manners, “Pride and Prejudice” has been adapted into countless movies, TV shows, and even literary re-imaginings.

“Pride and Prejudice” is narrated by actress Rosamund Pike, a fitting narrator for such a beloved tale.

Number 2: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Narrated by: Sissy Spacek

Length: 12 hours and 17 minutes

Another classic with a famous narrator, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is an iconic American tale published in 1960. This coming-of-age story contains a poignant message about racism and prejudice. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is usually required reading in high school, but it’s worth a listen if you missed it.

Number 3: “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell

Narrated by: Simon Prebble

Length: 11 hours and 22 minutes

“Nineteen Eighty-Four” is one of George Orwell’s most famous stories, and it’s terrified readers since 1949. This dystopian novel warns readers of what happens when the government is given free rein over the lives of its people.

If you like “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” you can also listen to Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” for another look at an all-too-possible future.

Number 4: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Narrated by: Jason Keller

Length: 5 hours and 33 minutes

“The Great Gatsby” is another classic American story that you might have read in English class. Written in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the opulent spirit of the roaring 1920s in a haunting tale of lost love. You may have seen the masterful performance of Jay Gatsby by Leonardo DiCaprio a long road trip allows you to listen to the original.

Number 5: “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

Narrated by: William Golding

Length: 6 hours and 35 minutes

“The Lord of the Flies” is famous to the point that most people know the story without having read it. But, even if you know the premise, it’s worth listening to for the tension and madness the boys go through.

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Contemporary Teen Stories

While hearing the classics is a worthwhile venture, sometimes you need less formality to keep you focused on a drive. Contemporary fiction deals with more than modern problems. From serious topics to light romances, contemporary fiction has something for everyone.

Number 6: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

Narrated by: Kate Rudd, John Green, and Laura Grafton

Length: 7 hours and 11 minutes

If you’re in the mood for an engaging, emotional romance, you can’t find much better than “The Fault in Our Stars.” Listening to “The Fault in Our Stars” is undoubtedly a good way to keep yourself awake while driving, as long as you don’t mind a tear-jerker.

Number 7: “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

Length: 11 hours and 50 minutes

“The Hate U Give” was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and recent events in the U.S. This book is an emotional but truthful look at what millions of American teens face every day. Don’t miss Thomas’ sequel, “On the Come Up,” if you like this book.

Number 8: “The Sun Is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin, Raymond Lee, and Dominic Hoffman

Length: 8 hours and 4 minutes

A fun, whimsical romance, “The Sun Is Also a Star” has captivated readers since 2016. With two strong protagonists dealing with stresses that many young people face, mixed with a dash of fate, “The Sun Is Also a Star” is a fun listen for anyone with a romantic side.

Number 9: American Royals series by Katherine McGee

Narrated by: Brittany Pressley

Total length: 39 hours and 2 minutes

The American Royals series asks the intriguing question: “What if America had a royal family?” The story follows Princess Beatrice, the heir of America’s first king, George Washington.

If you have a long road trip coming up, American Royals offers fun, romance, and all the drama that comes with being a princess.

Number 10: “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone

Narrated by: Dion Graham

Length: 4 hours and 32 minutes

Another book that explores the reality of life for African American youths, “Dear Martin” follows Justyce, a young man on his way to an Ivy League university. As Justyce experiences racial profiling, he begins to write letters to Martin Luther King Jr. Readers can continue the story with Stone’s sequel, “Dear Justyce.”

Explore New Worlds With an Epic Fantasy

Fantasy stories give audiences a break from reality with magic, heroism, and adventure tales. If that sounds like something to keep you interested during a road trip, here are some top choices.

Number 11: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by: Jim Dale

Total length: 131 hours and 25 minutes

Just about everyone on the planet knows about the Harry Potter series, and for good reason. This magical universe has something for everyone: relatable characters, magical adventures, emotional relationships, and themes of good vs. evil.

Harry Potter can get you through multiple road trips with seven books in the series.

Number 12: Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein

Total length: 48 hours and 16 minutes

Percy Jackson’s adventures as the son of the Greek god Poseidon have delighted readers since it was published in 2005. Although it was adapted to the silver screen, fans agree that the books are much better. With over 48 hours of audio time, the five books in the Percy Jackson series can get you from San Diego to Bangor, Maine.

Number 13: “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Narrated by: Rob Inglis

Total length: 54 hours and 6 minutes

“The Lord of the Rings” is often called the godfather of fantasy. J.R.R. Tolkien influenced just about every fantasy writer that came after, from J.K. Rowling to G.R.R. Martin. “The Lord of the Rings” follows Frodo on an epic quest to save Middle-earth.

If you like “The Lord of the Rings,” you have many choices for more Middle-earth content.

Number 14: The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Narrated by: Tatiana Maslany

Total length: 32 hours and 57 minutes

The Hunger Games trilogy is famous for its readability and the movie adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence. Suzanne Collins crafted a cast of heroes to root for and a plot with some serious tension. The Hunger Games trilogy has entranced readers for more than a decade.

Travel to the Future With Sci-Fi

Some of the most iconic books on the market are science fiction, where authors have the freedom to explore new worlds while tackling real-world problems. Here are some of the most engaging sci-fi reads for teens.

Number 15: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

Length: 15 hours and 40 minutes

Although this is the first story on this list narrated by Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek” fame, it won’t be the last. “Ready Player One” was published in 2011 and was a fun-filled romp into an imaginative world exploding with pop culture references. Many have attempted to replicate the success of “Ready Player One,” but few have succeeded.

Number 16: “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, and Gabrielle de Cuir

Length: 11 hours and 57 minutes

Orson Scott Card is a prolific writer and one of the best crafters of science fiction stories on the market. Although he has many, “Ender’s Game” is his most famous. “Ender’s Game” is a perfect choice for teens as it has acted as an introduction to the genre for young readers since 1985.

Number 17: “The Martian” by Andy Weir

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

Length: 10 hours and 59 minutes

Another entry narrated by Wil Wheaton, “The Martian” is a tale that is at times harrowing, tense, and full of hope. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, Weir’s “The Martian” is a first-person tale of survival that can rekindle a love of sci-fi in any listener.

Number 18: “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells

Narrated by: David Harewood

Length: 8 hours and 12 minutes

Science fiction usually dazzles readers with ideas of what technology could become, but sometimes, you need to stick with the classics. For example, “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells had one of American history’s most successful audio readings. A young Orson Welles read the story so convincingly that he caused mass panic in America.

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See a New Perspective With Historical Fiction

Historical fiction allows readers to live a past event rather than simply learn about it in a classroom. Consider these entries if you’re looking to get in touch with the past.

Number 19: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

Narrated by: Allan Corduner

Length: 13 hours and 56 minutes

Before you start “The Book Thief,” be prepared to cry. This story tells the perspective of ordinary German citizens during WWII. Although the novel showcases the horror that both Jews and Germans faced, its true power shows that words can unite or tear apart communities.

Number 20: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Narrated by: Zach Appelman

Length: 16 hours and 2 minutes

Published in 2014, “All the Light We Cannot See” is another exploration of how WWII affected people. This story follows an enlisted German boy and a blind French girl, whose paths eventually cross. Although it has passages focused on technology, the overall humanity of the story keeps bringing readers back.

Number 21: “The Man in the High Castle” by Philip K. Dick

Narrated by: Jeff Cummings

Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes

The final entry on this list concerning WWII, “The Man in the High Castle” asks, “What if Germany and Japan won?” Although this book was published in 1962, it has inspired conversation for decades. With the characters slowly realizing they are in the wrong reality, “The Man in the High Castle” is a great way to spend a road trip.

Number 22: “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Narrated by: Paul Michael

Length: 16 hours and 59 minutes

“The Da Vinci Code” explores what could’ve happened if Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene had a child together. Although it pushes against boundaries for some religious folks, it’s an entertaining mystery that’s driven readers crazy since 2003.

Delve Into a Mystery

When you need help staying awake for a long, boring stretch of road, nothing will keep you focused like an intriguing mystery.

Number 23: The Inheritance Games series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Narrated by: Christie Moreau

Total length: 12 hours and 9 minutes

The Inheritance Games series follows Avery Grambs, a young orphan with plans to work hard and earn herself a good life. Those plans are interrupted when she suddenly inherits millions from a man she doesn’t know. The story follows Avery as she attempts to unravel the mystery while staying alive.

Number 24: “The Family Across the Street” by Nicole Trope

Narrated by: Taryn Ryan

Length: 8 hours and 5 minutes

“The Family Across the Street” reminds readers and listeners that you never know what is happening behind closed doors. As one of the newest entries on this list, 2021’s “The Family Across the Street” will leave you guessing until the end.

Number 25: “The Long Walk” by Stephen King

Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne

Length: 10 hours and 44 minutes

Published under a pseudonym, Stephen King’s dystopian novel about a totalitarian and militaristic America has haunted readers since 1979. As the name suggests, teenaged boys are forced on a long walk for America’s entertainment.

Number 26: “Escape Room” by Maren Stoffels

Narrated by: Vikas Adam, Kristin DiMercurio, Andrew Elden, and others

Length: 3 hours and 52 minutes

“Escape Room” is a short tale packed with tension, suspense, and fear. Capitalizing on the popularity of escape rooms, Stoffels might make you hesitate before you decide to join in on the fun.

Number 27: “Holes” by Louis Sachar

Narrated by: Kerry Beyer

Length: 4 hours and 30 minutes

“Holes” was published in 1998 and has been a staple for young teens ever since. The story focuses on Stanley Yelnats, who was sent to a juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn’t commit. The mystery in this book revolves around the Yelnats’ family curse.

Learn More About the World With Non-Fiction

While a good story is always fun, there’s a lot you can learn from the right book. So if you’re interested in broadening your horizons while you drive, here are a couple of the top recommendations.

Number 28: “How To” by Randal Munroe

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

Length: 6 hours and 15 minutes

While some teachers use the most simplistic examples to get their point across, Munroe takes the opposite approach. From destroying the moon to the radioactivity of your teeth, Munroe shows you what’s possible in science by being absurd to the extreme.

Number 29: “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

Narrated by: Jeff Zinn

Length: 34 hours and 8 minutes

Although this lengthy tale reads exactly like a history textbook, it is full of important perspectives that you probably haven’t heard before. Rather than telling the same old history of America, Zinn presents the story of the United States as told by women, Native Americans, African Americans, and everyone else that didn’t get a say the first time through.

Number 30: “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking

Narrated by: Erik Davies

Length: 4 hours and 21 minutes

Ever wonder about the universe? Stephen Hawking can teach you about black holes, time, and the very boundaries of the universe. Moreover, he impressively does so with language that’s easy to digest.

Number 31: “Surrounded by Idiots” by Thomas Erikson

Narrated by: David John

Length: 10 hours and 29 minutes

“Surrounded by Idiots” teaches us that there’s more to communication than simply talking. This book benefits teens getting ready to start college or careers because it introduces a skill most adults haven’t mastered.

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Get to Know Someone With a Memoir

Finally, a memoir can be a great way to pass the time. Memoirs speak directly to you, especially when listening to the audiobook version. Listening to a biography on a road trip is like having a conversation with a friend.

Number 32: “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

Narrated by: Trevor Noah

Length: 8 hours and 44 minutes

As you might expect of Trevor Noah, “Born a Crime” is jam-packed with humor. However, it’s also a touching story about the relationship between a mother and son and a look at how apartheid-era South Africa affected millions of lives.

Number 33: “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore

Narrated by: Wes Moore

Length: 6 hours and 12 minutes

“The Other Wes Moore” tells an intriguing story. How could two boys of the same age, from similar areas and backgrounds, end up differently? One lives a life of service and success, while the other is in prison for murder. Wes Moore dives into the complexities of the American experience with poverty and race.

Number 34: “River of the Gods” by Candice Millard

Narrated by: Paul Michael

Length: 10 hours and 2 minutes

“River of the Gods” is the story of exploration in Egypt when Richard Burton and John Speke were “discovering” all the land the Pharaohs had to offer. While these two men became famous explorers, there was a third who accompanied them. “River of the Gods” tells the story of Sidi Mubarak Bombay, the forgotten explorer.

Number 35: “Bossypants” by Tina Fey

Narrated by: Tina Fey

Length: 5 hours and 32 minutes

Simply put, if you need a laugh, Tina Fey’s memoir has you covered for five and a half hours.

Number 36: “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai

Narrated by: Archie Panjabi

Length: 9 hours and 55 minutes

Although it’s a heavy subject matter, “I Am Malala” is an inspirational story that might make you more excited to go to school. It tells the story of Malala’s commitment to her education no matter what obstacles stood in her way.

Other Road Trip Necessities

Although a good audiobook is an excellent start for your road trip, you’ll need a few other things. To make your road trip a success, follow these tips:

  • Check your car. Before any long trip, you should know that your engine fluids are full, tires are in good condition, and everything else is in working order.
  • Bring a map. While Google maps usually gets you to where you need to be, you don’t want your phone to fail in the middle of nowhere. You should have a physical map and know how to read it.
  • Stock snacks. Snacks are one of the best parts of a road trip. Make sure to bring healthy choices since junk food can leave you feeling groggy and unfocused.
  • Take breaks. Make sure to take bathroom breaks whenever you feel the need. It’s also essential to stretch and walk for a few minutes to keep your blood flowing.
  • Get the right insurance. Long road trips put you at a higher risk of damaging your car. The best coverage to have on your policy for a road trip includes collision and roadside assistance.

Although you only need whatever your state requires for coverage, you should consider additional coverages that will cover you during a road trip. Of course, these coverages will raise your rates, but the increase will be worth it if anything happens on your trip.

Protect Your Car on Long Road Trips

When you have a long road trip coming up, the right audiobook can make the difference between a fun drive and overwhelming boredom. There are audiobooks for everyone from science fiction and fantasy to non-fiction and everything in between.

Like a good story can protect your sanity while you drive, the right insurance policy covers your car. To find the right coverage at the best price, you should compare quotes with several companies.

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