We recently had a family vacation which means lots of audio books listened to in a fairly short span of time. It has become hard to find new ones at our local library so I have taken to finding an author we like and requesting whatever he or she may have out there. So we have listened to a number of books from just a couple of authors recently.
My oldest son, now 13, has been reading through the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke. I believe there are three books and they are all quite thick. I will confess I have not previewed them. But finding them reminded us that we had listened to and enjoyed some of her other books in the past. These include Igraine the Brave, Dragonrider, and The Thief Lord, all of which I would recommend. Igraine is probably the simplest, sort of a silly story for younger listeners about a girl who wants to be a knight. Dragonrider, as I recall, is longer and is an adventure tale in which the dragons are good guys. The Thief Lord is definitely a longer book (though not perhaps on Inkheart‘s level) about some orphan boys in Venice. It has been a few years since we listened to it and even though my kids can’t have been too old, they all seemed to enjoy it.
More recently then we have sought out other Funke books and ended up getting and listening to The Ghost Knight and Reckless. The former is definitely the easier to follow of the two. A boy is sent away to boarding school only to discover that an evil ghost has a family grudge against him. There are also good ghosts in the story. If you are not bothered by the ghost aspect and the idea that some dead people are still around (I am okay with it because I am sure my kids know it is not real), then it is a nice listen. I found Reckless harder to follow. I think I often have a harder time than the kids because I am distracted by silly things like driving. It is clearly a part 2 of which we have not heard the part 1 which did not help. It is again a kind of adventure tale in which two boys have discovered a hidden world inhabited by lots of creatures and the one brother must save the other before he turns to stone and becomes evil. The kids seemed to enjoy it and always wanted to go on to the next disc though we had been listening for what felt like hours. My own opinion was that it was okay, not great.
I would definitely try other books by Cornelia Funke. She is certainly prolific so that should be no problem. I think I personally have slight preference for her younger kid books. Some of the others seem to be very intricate in the worlds they cerate. As I said, my sons seems to enjoy that but I prefer a more straight-forward story.