If you are unsure which books being published today are worth your time (or if they’re worth your time at all)… then this brand new episode of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast- all about some of the best books by living authors- is for you.

We’re launching season 10 of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast with an episode dedicated to books that I’m confident can stand up with the classics, and that are every bit as good as your old favorites.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed something rather curious: I hear quite often from those who feel that old books are pretty much always better than new ones.

They talk about the literary giants like C.S. Lewis, E. Nesbit, Elizabeth Enright, and J.R.R. Tolkien as though we will never see another literary genius like them again.

As though one had to be born in a certain era in order to write books as profound and beautiful as theirs.

I’ve got an Opinion with a capital “O” about this, because friends- tomorrow’s classics are being written today.

If you’re ignoring the best modern children’s books (and their authors), then you’re missing out on a lot of wonderful stories.

You’re also missing the opportunity to support and cheer on writers and illustrators who are making beautiful books for our kids right now- who are putting wonderful work into a world that desperately needs it.

Have a seat, sister. I’ve got some books to tell you about!

Click that play button below to hear the podcast:

Books (both old and new) that are mentioned on this episode:

(All links are Amazon affiliate links.)

Episode Living Authors
Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

In the late 1800s, Anna’s father advertises for a wife and mother for Anna and her brother Caleb. Sarah answers the ad describing herself as “plain and tall,” but of course, she is so much more. Great for fans of Little House on the Prairie!

More info →
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Poppy

Poppy

A young mouse embarks on an adventurous tale and finds bravery where she didn't know it existed. Also wonderful as an audio book. (This is second in a series, but I recommend starting here anyway.) Listen to the author, Avi, in his Author Access replay at RAR Premium.

More info →
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The Green Ember

The Green Ember

FROM SARAH:

A Read-Aloud Revival community favorite. Rabbits with Swords! This story will inspire heroic virtue in your children (and who knows... maybe you too!). This is first in a truly wonderful fantasy series. Your kids can meet author S.D. Smith at his Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

More info →
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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

FROM SARAH:

For fans of Lord of the RingsThe Princess Bride, and The Chronicles of Narnia. This fantastical journey is one our family's favorites. Excellent as an audio book, as well (and it's kind of long, so if that intimidates you, opt for audio!) Don't miss my interview with Andrew Peterson for Author Access in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice.

More info →
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100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1)

100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1)

$7.99

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When Henry’s parents are kidnapped, he’s sent to stay with relatives in Kansas. One morning Henry awakes to find his new room full of cupboards -- but not just cupboards -- portals.

More info →
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The Princess and the Goblin

The Princess and the Goblin

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Leopold Classic Library is delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive collection.

More info →
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Five Children and It

Five Children and It

FROM SARAH

Five siblings discover a sand-fairy who will grant one wish a day... so they've got to use those wishes carefully! This classic tale is a delight.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

When Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother go digging in the gravel pit, the last thing they expect to find is a Psammead – an ancient Sand-fairy! Having a Sand-fairy for a pet means having one wish granted each day. But the children don't realize all the trouble wishes can cause ...

More info →
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Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection

Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection

$24.99

Fans of the Disney film may be surprised by this books series, which begins with Mary Poppins. The plot is similar, but nanny Mary is a little less “spoonful-of-sugar” in this classic that’s been a favorite for more than 80 years.

More info →
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Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

India Opal is at the grocery store when she makes a new friend -- a dog she names Winn Dixie (after the store, of course!). Winn Dixie helps Opal navigate Naomi, Florida, and find the inner courage to learn about her mom who left when she was 3.

More info →
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All-of-a-Kind Family

All-of-a-Kind Family

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Set at the turn of the century, All-of-a-Kind family is about 5 kids living with their kids in New York. There’s lots of everyday life in this book, but there’s also a surprise just around the corner …

More info →
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Johnny Tremain

Johnny Tremain

FROM SARAH

A dip into Boston just before the American Revolutionary War, as told from the view of a 14-year-old silversmith. Don't let the length of this one deter you—it's engaging!

FROM THE PUBLISHER

After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty in the days before the American Revolution.

More info →
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The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious

Young Gaylen, the king’s messenger, journeys around the kingdom in search of the true meaning of "delicious." A quick read-aloud that is sure to please!

More info →
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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

$9.95

FROM SARAH:

Jonathan Auxier's fantastical tale of Peter, the blind orphan who lives a life of thievery. Around the time Peter finds himself in possession of three pairs of magical eyes, he realizes he is being sent on a quest to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom. Don't miss the author's interview on the RAR podcast.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher--a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes.

More info →
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Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)

Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)

The March sisters are each distinctive in their own way, but they band together to help their mother while their father is serving in the Civil War. The original version follows the girls as they grow into womanhood. Girls might enjoy identifying with a particular sister -- Meg, Jo, Beth or Amy.

More info →
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Cheaper by the Dozen (Perennial Classics)

Cheaper by the Dozen (Perennial Classics)

$13.99

FROM SARAH

Written by two of the “dozen,” the Gilbreth’s share their childhood memories growing up with 10 other siblings, and an efficiency expert father who thinks everything is easier done en masse, including getting the kids’ tonsils removed.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Translated into more than fifty languages, Cheaper by the Dozen is the unforgettable story of the Gilbreth clan as told by two of its members. In this endearing, amusing memoir, siblings Frank Jr. and Ernestine capture the hilarity and heart of growing up in an oversized family.

More info →
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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

$6.99

Mrs. Frisby must move or certainly her family won’t survive. But her son is ill... will a group of rats really be able to help the little mouse family? A page turner!

More info →
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The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks

FROM SARAH:

One of my tippy-top recommendations... if your kids haven't met the Penderwicks yet, it's time! A summer of misadventure ensues when four sisters meet a very interesting boy (and a couple of rabbits, too!) at a summer cottage in New England. Boys and girls alike enjoy this whole series. Hear Jeanne Birdsall talk about writing this series on her episode of Read-Aloud Revival.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel's sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts.

More info →
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The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston

A swashbuckling tale full of heroes and action, The Black Star of Kingston takes place a century before RAR favorite The Green Ember.

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A Single Shard
The Giver Quartet boxed set

The Giver Quartet boxed set

$39.99

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

More info →
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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Abilene Tucker's father sends her ot hte immigrant town of Manifest in rural Kansas with little explanation, and Abilene feels abandoned and alone. In her room, she discovers a a hidden cigar box full of memories... memories that will change Abilene's experience forever. Gorgeous language, a compelling plot, and characters who will stay with you long after you close the pages.

More info →
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Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on the Tucks' disturbing family secret, nothing is ever the same. But how can a spring that grants eternal life be anything but wonderful?

More info →
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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

**Description from Amazon: Avi's treasured Newbery Honor Book now in expanded After Words edition!Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832.But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips,...

More info →
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Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World

$15.99

**Description from Amazon: What is this World? What kind of place is it?“The round kind. The spinning kind. The moist kind. The inhabited kind. The kind with flamingos (real and artificial). The kind where water in the sky turns into beautifully symmetrical crystal flakes sculpted by artists unable to stop themselves (in bo...

More info →
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Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent

Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent

$19.99

**Description from Amazon: A poetic portrait of faith, futility, and the joy of this mortal life. In this astoundingly unique book, bestselling author N.D. Wilson reminds each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. Every second we create more of our past―more decisions, more breathing, more love and m...

More info →
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Number the Stars

Number the Stars

This short book is unforgettable. Watch the Danish resistance through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen, just as the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark. Your kids can meet author Lois Lowry in her Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.

More info →
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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling

FROM SARAH:

The first in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series will surprise and delight you at every turn. You see, the children of Ashton Place aren't ordinary children. They were found in the forest, and it appears they have been raised by wolves...

The audio book is absolutely exquisite.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Discovered in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. A recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.

More info →
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Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard: A Peter Nimble Adventure

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard: A Peter Nimble Adventure

**Description from Amazon: Read this captivating adventure by Jonathan Auxier, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener. It’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far and wide in search of adventure. Now they have been summoned by P...

More info →
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By C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set: Full-Color Collector’s Edition

By C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set: Full-Color Collector’s Edition

**Description from Amazon: Experience all of The Chronicles of Narnia with full color pictures throughout in this seven-book heavy-weight paperback box set. Readers of all ages-whether they are experiencing Narnia for the first time or returning once again to the magical world-will love seeing the creatures and landscapes of ...

More info →
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Mercy Watson Boxed Set: Adventures of a Porcine Wonder

Mercy Watson Boxed Set: Adventures of a Porcine Wonder

$29.99

Oh, Mercy! Pig out on the first six adventures in the New York Times best-selling series, all tucked together in one enticing box--the perfect gift!Foiling a robber, driving a car, squeezing into a tutu--is there anything the porcine wonder won't do in her single-minded pursuit of treats, buttered ...

More info →
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The Railway Children (Puffin Classics)

The Railway Children (Puffin Classics)

**Description from Amazon: When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master hims...

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake Books (Paperback))

Gone-Away Lake (Gone-Away Lake Books (Paperback))

$7.99

**Description from Amazon: Summer has a magic all its own in Elizabeth Enright's beloved stories about two children and their discovery of a ghostly lakeside resort. These two modern classics are once again available in Odyssey/Harcourt Young Classic editions, but now with handsome new cover art by Mary GrandPré to compl...

More info →
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Ember Falls (The Green Ember Series: Book 2)

Ember Falls (The Green Ember Series: Book 2)

$14.95

**Description from Amazon: The stage is set. It's war. Morbin Blackhawk, slaver and tyrant, threatens to destroy the rabbit resistance forever. Heather and Picket are two young rabbits improbably thrust into pivotal roles. The fragile alliance forged around the young heir seems certain to fail. Can Heather and Picket help res...

More info →
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Navigating Early

Navigating Early

**Description from Amazon: “Just the sort of book that saves lives by igniting a passion for reading.” —James Patterson   “Reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn.” —The Wall Street Journal   A Michael L. Printz Honor Winner   From the author of Newbery Medal winner Moon Over Manifest comes the odyssey-like adventure o...

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Dover Thrift Editions)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Dover Thrift Editions)

**Description from Amazon: Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. Mencken noted that his discovery of this classic American novel was "the most stupendous event of my whole life"; Ernest Hemingway declared that "all modern American literature stems from this one book," while T. S. Eliot called Huck "one of the per...

More info →
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The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

FROM SARAH:

Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge lives a boring life on the Island in the Middle of Everything, but she longs for adventure. And she soon gets it when she overhears a life-altering secret and suddenly finds herself in the middle of an amazing journey. Fantastically funny. Your kids can meet author/illustrator Jennifer Trafton at her Author Access video replay in RAR Premium.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge lives a boring life on the Island in the Middle of Everything, but she longs for adventure. And she soon gets it when she overhears a life-altering secret and suddenly finds herself in the middle of an amazing journey. It turns out that Mount Majestic, the rising and falling mountain in the center of the island, is not really a mountain - it's the belly of a sleeping giant!

More info →
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