Let’s Talk About Audio Books… Again

It’s time for another edition of What We’re Reading Wednesday with the feisty Jessica @ Housewifespice.

I still haven’t finished those meaty books I mentioned last week, but I did want to pop in and share a fantastic book that the girls and I listened to on Audible.

twenty and tenTwenty and Ten is the story of a small mountain school in France during the Nazi occupation.  The students from city schools have been split up and moved to more remote locations, and this one is attended by 20 students and directed by Sister Gabriel, a loving and courageous nun.  The story begins with the children of the school playing Flight into Egypt.  Their game is interrupted by a visitor, who asks the children if they would be willing to hide 10 Jewish children in their school.  The children gladly accept them, but soon realize that it isn’t as easy as they had thought.  There’s less food to eat for everyone, less space, and significantly more danger.  The school is raided by the Nazis while Sister Gabriel is down in the village getting the mail.  The children must be quick, clever, and brave.  The alternative is certain death for the Jewish children.

We read this for our Little Flowers book club, as it exemplifies the virtue of silence (Hello?  Hiding from the Nazis, anyone?).  While this book is probably a great read-aloud, we thoroughly enjoyed it as an audio book.  I mean, I can do accents, but French and German accents?  And Germans speaking French?  That’s just taking it a bit too far for my talents.  The suspense of the book is well conveyed by the narrator, and we found ourselves at the edge of our seats, waiting to see what would happen next.  At an hour and a half, we finished this book in one session.

I had to do a cursory explanation of Hitler and the Nazis, as my kids have only covered ancient history so far, but otherwise the book is pretty self-explanatory.  I thought there was a good balance of danger and excitement without being gruesome or too mature.

The Audible version of Twenty and Ten is just $6, or 1 Audible credit.  Or, if you don’t already have an Audible account, you can get this book plus another for free if you sign up for a free trial.  And you get to keep the books even if you cancel!  Now, to figure out which other book I want during my free trial… Suggestions?

Now: Let’s talk about audio books.  Where do you get yours?  I like Amazon WhisperSync, but you have to buy the Kindle book to get the lower price.  Librivox is free, but the quality of narration varies, and it’s limited to books that are in the public domain.  I don’t know that I want to shell out the dough for Audible monthly fees.  We often get books on CD from the library, which is great for the car, but I’d like to have something that goes from car to house and back again.

Which brings me to my next point: I’m considering getting an iPod for school for next year.  I don’t want any apps, just school content.  I’m thinking I’ll be able to make playlists for the kids’ audio lessons, we’ll have books on tape, etc.  Do you think I’ll want a Kindle too?  Or instead of?  I guess I don’t know what a Kindle can do.  Audio?  Right now I have the Kindle app on my iPad, but I don’t want to hand the kids the iPad during school time.  It’s way too distracting to them.  So, readers, how do you get your audio books?

 Okay, that’s enough questions from me.  I’d love to hear what you think!


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  1. We’re listening to it right now on your recommendation and are really enjoying it!
    Kendra recently posted…France Recap #1 in Which We Go to Canada, Not FranceMy Profile

  2. Oh! “Twenty and Ten” is one my very favorites from my own childhood! Another great WWII book for kids (though a little older set) is John Tunis’ “His Enemy, His Friend.” It’s about friendship, obedience vs. conscience, reconciliation / set in occupied France / a French boy befriends a German officer, their love of soccer brings them together, war tears them apart, and they meet years later at a … But I won’t give it away. So, so good. (Man, I wish recommendations from total strangers didn’t always sound like such a car sales pitch… or a crap shoot.) (Sadly, I’m not aware of any audio versions of this book. Might have to take the route of good old fashioned read-aloud…) Anyway, I’m very interested in following whatever comment you receive regrading an audio device. We are dedicated “audio learners” and audio book listeners, but I haven’t found the perfect thing to corral it all. Between CD’s, stuff in the Amazon cloud, stuff on Audible, and stuff on-line, I can’t figure out how to centralize it. I’ll stop rambling about my problems and wait for someone to solve all of them for me here in the comments!! Thanks for posting this, Micaela!
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  3. For the price, the Kindle Fire is awesome. Yes, you can listen to audio…it’s kind of cool to read along to the audio, too. It can do everything an iPod does. That said, my kids listen to audio books on iPods, and I listen/read on my Kindle.

  4. I think I started telling you this the other day and then got distracted, or the conversation turned or something… I subscribe to Audible as a yearly member. I think it’s only $5 or $6/ year to subscribe. You don’t get anything on a monthly basis, but you have the opportunity to but any of their audio books and take advantage of their sales (which can be AMAZING).

  5. Twenty and Ten is one of my favorite children’s books ever! For another similar WWII story, check out The Little Riders.

    We use the Hoopla app on my IPhone right now for renting free audiobooks, in addition to CDs from the library.

  6. Love the idea of an ipod with school stuff. We use the ipad, but for VERY SPECIFIC things only during school. I do like having our spelling and geo apps, plus audio stuff all in one spot, but the ipad is clearly a tempting distraction. (I just got the Troxel geography CD you recommended, so I’d put that on there as well if I were doing it!)

  7. I’ve never heard of Twenty and Ten or these other WWII books mentioned in the comments! WWII is my favorite historical period.