Books to Read Aloud on a Road Trip

March 1, 2017 Tips & Advice

Road trips can be a lot of fun. Or, they can be a torturous loop of “Are we there yet?” and “I have to go to the bathroom!” Reading a story aloud (as long as Mom or Dad can handle reading without getting car sick) can be a great way to pass the time and kick start your child’s imagination.

Are We There Yet by Dan Santat, captures the sense of boredom kids can face in the backseat of a car. In fact, time slows down so much for the main character – it starts going backward. However, just when he thinks the long car ride cannot get any worse, the adventure begins and pirates, dinosaurs and historical figures appear. Using comic book panels and full page images, this story is meant to be passed around and looked at while reading.

For younger passengers, The Seal Mother by Mordicai Gerstein is a beautifully illustrated story based on a Scottish folktale that takes place on Midsummer’s Eve. A young boy discovers his mother is a Selkie and travels to her world under the sea before returning to land and his fisherman father.

Are We There Yet and The Seal Mother are a short, fun way to get going. Once your trip is underway, consider longer chapter books.


road trip reading list10 Books We Recommend

– The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

– The BFG by Roald Dahl

– The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

– Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

– A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

– Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

– The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

– Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

– Any Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

– The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


The average student learns about 3,000 words per year during their early years. Reading aloud and independently helps build vocabulary outside the classroom. And as many parents and teachers can attest – all it takes is one good book to spark an interest in reading. Raising strong readers has lifelong benefits; helping children improve in school and discover worlds very different from their own.

Several of the books on our list also have movie or TV series versions the kids can check out once you’ve reached your destination.

If your family has the stomach for reading in a moving vehicle, be sure to check out our post about finding readable moments while on-the-go.