Top 20 Talking Books for Children

World Book Day 2017 Talking Books from RNIBTo celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Book Day, we are taking a look at the top 20 most popular books for children in our digital Talking Books library.

No prizes for guessing who came up tops, but other than the famous boy wizard, our list also features classics from Roald Dahl, C.S Lewis and Enid Blyton, as well as modern gems from David Walliams and John Grisham.

Whether you are young in years or young at heart, scroll down to listen to audio clips of these magical books and borrow them to read in your own time. 

Happy reading!

 

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

Despite the fact the first book in the Harry Potter series was published more than 15 years ago, the boy wizard dominates our chart, with the 7 volumes holding the top 7 spots.

Harry Potter believes himself to be an ordinary boy. Or at least as ordinary as living in a cupboard under the stairs of the his aunt and uncle's house can be. All that changes with the arrival of a letter, inviting Harry to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he finally learns the truth about his parents' death, and that nothing in his world will ever be ordinary again.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB11799)

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

When Harry wakes up with his scar burning, he knows this can't be a good sign. Ron's invitation to join his family at the Quidditch World Cup provides a welcome distraction, until a terrible event at the match casts a shadow over everyone.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (media player opens in a new window)

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB12379)

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by JK Rowling

Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter is no longer a child. As he learns that many in the wizarding world do not know the truth about his latest encounter with Lord Voldermort, life in Hogwarts is threatened by the arrival of the strict new professor, Dolores Umbridge, and the sense of impending danger that is unsettling the Ministry of Magic.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB13392) 

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry Potter is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is immersed in the daily round of Potions, Herbology, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, and Quidditch. When evil voices start haunting the halls of the school and sinister messages appear on the wall, nothing can prepare Harry and his friends for what happens next.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB12024)

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

In the seventh and final instalment of Harry Potter's adventures, Harry is burdened with a dark and dangerous task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. Harry must find the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow the inexorable path laid out for him.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB14957)

6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

It is Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With Lord Voldemort's power and followers increasing day by day, and the Ministry of Magic finally admitting he has returned, it is up to Harry and his friends to make sure the Dark Lord does not get his evil way.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB14301)

7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. To make matters worse, in his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves. But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.

Listen to an audio sample of Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB12366)

8. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a very intelligent little girl - before the age of five, she has read Dickens, Steinbeck, Hemingway and Kipling. But her parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood, never seem to notice and treat her more like a scab than a daughter. When she is attacked by Miss Turnbull the headmistress, she discovers she has a psychic power that can save her school, her friend and her teacher, Miss Honey.

Listen to an audio sample of Matilda (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Matilda from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Matilda

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB7715)

9. Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams

Jack’s Grandpa wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves up Spam à la Custard for dinner and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But he can still take to the skies in a speeding Spitfire and save the day. An exquisite portrait of the bond between a small boy and his beloved Grandpa – this book, which is narrated by the author, takes readers on an incredible journey with Spitfires over London and Great Escapes through the city in a high octane adventure full of comedy and heart.

Listen to an audio sample of Grandpa's Great Escape (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Grandpa's Great Escape from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Grandpa's Great Escape

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB22406)

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Mr Wonka's inventions are out of this world. He's thought up every kind of sweet imaginable in his amazing chocolate factory, but no one has ever seen inside, or met Mr Wonka! Charlie Bucket can't believe his luck when he finds a golden ticket and wins the trip of a lifetime around the famous chocolate factory. What exciting and confounding wonders will he discover inside?

Listen to an audio sample of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB14662)

11. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

Each of the five tales in this book reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike - the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling's new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales.

Listen to an audio sample of The Tales of Beedle the Bard (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow The Tales of Beedle the Bard from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow The Tales of Beedle the Bard

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB16171)

12. Awful Auntie by David Walliams

From larger than life Awful Aunt Alberta to her pet owl, Wagner - this is an adventure with a difference. Aunt Alberta is on a mission to cheat the young Lady Stella Saxby out of her inheritance, Saxby Hall. But, with the help of Soot, the Cockney ghost of a chimney sweep alongside her, Stella is determined to fight back. And sometimes, a special friend, however different, is all you need to win through. This book is delightfully narrated by its author, David Walliams.

Listen to an audio sample of Awful Auntie (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Awful Auntie from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Awful Auntie

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB22236)

13. Theodore Boone by John Grisham

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he's only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he's one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk - and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom. But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than he expected. Because he knows so much - maybe too much - he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial.

Listen to an audio sample of Theodore Boone (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Theodore Boone from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Theodore Boone

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB17796)

14. The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Prachett

Sir Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, published after his death in March 2015, features the witch Tiffany Aching. Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength. This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning.

Listen to an audio sample of The Shepherd's Crown (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow The Shepherd's Crown from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow The Shepherd's Crown

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23035)

15. Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

There is a shipwreck off Kirrin Island, but where has the treasure gone? The Famous Five set off in search of clues, but find they are not alone, for someone else has joined the treasure hunt.

Listen to an audio sample of Five on a Treasure Island (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Five on a Treasure Island from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Five on a Treasure Island

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB13524)

16. First term at Malorie Towers by Enid Blyton

Scared and excited, Darrell Rivers has just arrived at Malory Towers. It's fantastic - but huge! How is she going to remember everyone's names, let alone find her way round? And will she ever have a special friend of her own?

Listen to an audio sample of First term at Malorie Towers (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow First term at Malorie Towers from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow First term at Malorie Towers

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB13187)

17. Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton

Who has been on George Island, and what is locked inside the mysterious trunk hidden on Kirrin Island? The Famous Five think they are on the trail of smugglers, until they hear a child scream.

Listen to an audio sample of Five Run Away Together (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow Five Run Away Together from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Five Run Away Together

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB17082)

18. A Bear Called Paddington by Micheal Bond

'A bear on Paddington Station?' said Mrs Brown in amazement. 'Don't be silly – there can't be.' The Browns first met Paddington on a railway station – Paddington station, in fact. He had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat. The Browns soon find that Paddington is a very unusual bear. Ordinary things – like having a bath, travelling underground or going to the seaside become quite extraordinary, if a bear called Paddington is involved.

Listen to an audio sample of A Bear Called Paddington (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow A Bear Called Paddington from RNIB's Overdrive library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow A Bear Called Paddington

A version of this book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB2250)

19. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S Lewis

Having been evacuated from London during The Blitz, siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent to live in a rambling old house in the English countryside. While exploring the house, the children find an old wardrobe, which leads them into the magical land of Narnia. They soon discover this enchanted place is doomed to perpetual darkness, unless the children can unite with Aslan the lion against the evil White Witch, to restore joy and light to the land.

Listen to an audio sample of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow a digital download of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from RNIB's library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB1934)

20. Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

Joey Harker isn't a hero. Joey Harker is the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. This walk between worlds makes Joey prey to armies of magic and science, both determined to harness Joey's power to travel between dimensions. The only thing standing in their way is Joey, or, to be more precise, an army of Joeys, all from different dimensions. Now Joey must make a choice: return to the life he knows or join the battle.

Listen to an audio sample of Interworld (media player opens in a new window)

Borrow a digital download of Interworld from RNIB's library

Sign up to Talking Books to borrow Interworld

This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB22792)

Sign up to our Talking Books service today and get access to these and over 25,000 other Talking Books absolutely free of charge.

Access your Talking Books library