• OhMG! News


    July 11, 2014: Apply for a Thurber House residency!

    Thurber House has a Children’s Writer-in-Residence program for middle-grade authors each year and  guidelines and application form for the 2015 residency were just released.

    This unique residency has been in existence since 2001, offering  an opportunity for authors to have time to work on their writing in a fully furnished apartment, in the historic boyhood home of author and humorist, James Thurber. Deadline is October 31, 2014. For details, go to READ MORE

    July 10, 2014:

    Spread MG books in unexpected places 7/19
    Drop a copy of your own book or of another middle-grade favorite in a public place on July 19 -- and some lucky reader will stumble upon it.
    Ginger Lee Malacko is spearheading this Middle Grade Bookbomb (use the hashtag #mgbookbomb in social media) -- much in the spirit of Operation Teen Book Drop.  Read more ...

June 16, 2014:
Fizz, Boom, Read: Summer reading 2014

Hundreds of public libraries across the U.S. are celebrating reading this summer with  the theme Fizz, Boom, Read! Find out more about this year's collaborative summer reading program and check out suggested booklists and activities. Read more ...

April 30, 2014:
Join the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and help change the world

The conversation on diversity in children's books has grown beyond book creators and gate keepers to readers and book buyers. What can you do? Take part in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign May 1 though 3 on Tumblr and Twitter and in whatever creative ways you can help spread the word to take action. Read more ….

April 11, 2014:
Fall 2014 Children's Sneak Peek
A peek at forthcoming middle grade books (as well as picture books and YA books) in a round-up from Publisher's Weekly. First printed in the February 22 issue, but now available online. Time to add to your to-read list. Read more ...

April 9, 2014:
How many Newbery winners have you read?
You could make a traditional list of all the Newbery Medal Award-winning Children's Books you've read, but there's something so satisfying when you check them off and get a final tally on this BuzzFeed quiz. Read more ...

March 28, 2014:
Middle Grade fiction is hot at 2014 Bologna Children's Book Fair

For the second year in a row, publishers are clamoring for middle-grade, reporters Publishers Weekly. "I’ve been coming [to Bologna] for 12 to 15 years, and I’ve never had as many European publishers asking for middle-grade," said Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. Read more ...

February 14, 2014:
Cybils Awards announced
Ultra by David Carroll (Scholastic Canada) wins the Cybil for middle grade fiction; Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Hyperion) wins for Speculative Fiction. Read more.

January 27, 2014: And the Newbery Medal goes to ...
Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for "Flora & Ulysses"; Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King Author award for "P.S. Be Eleven." Newbery Honor awards to authors Vince Vawter, Amy Timberlake, Kevin Henkes and Holly Black. For all the exciting ALA Youth Media Award News ... READ MORE

November 12, 2013:
Vote in the GoodReads semifinal round

Readers' votes have narrowed the middle-grade semifinals down to 20 titles. Log in to your GoodReads account and vote for your favorite middle-grade (and in other categories, of course). Read more ...

November 9, 2013:
Publishers Weekly Top Children's Books of 2013

Middle-grade and young adult titles selected by the editors of Publishers Weekly as their top picks of the year. Let the season of "top ten books" begin! Read more ...

October 14, 2013:
Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids debuts January 2014

Shelf Media Group, publisher of Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine, will launch a new free digital-only publication for middle-grade readers. The debut issue features interviews with such notable authors as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Chris Grabenstein as well as reviews, excerpts, and more. Middle Shelf will be published bi-monthly beginning in January 2014.
Read more ...

September 19, 2013: Writer-in-Residence program at Thurber House

Dream of time and space to focus on your own writing project? Applications now being accepted (11/1/2013 deadline) for The Thurber House Residency in Children's Literature, a month-long retreat in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Read more ...

September 18, 2013: Vermont College of Fine Arts Scholarship opportunity

Barry Goldblatt Literary launches The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program at VCFA. Up to two $5,000 grants will be awarded each year. Read more ....

September 16, 2013:
National Book Awards longlist for youth literature

For the first time, the NBA is presenting lists of 10 books/authors on the longlist in each category. The 2013 young adult literature list includes five middle grade novels and five YA. Read more ...

Sept. 13, 2013: Spring preview
Check out Publishers Weekly roundup of upcoming children's books to be published in spring 2014. Read more...

August 21, 2013:
Want to be a Cybils Award Judge?

Middle grade categories are fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction. Applications due August 31! Read more ...

August 19, 2013:
S&S and BN reach a deal
Readers will soon be able to find books from Simon & Schuster at Barnes & Noble. The bookstore chain was locked in a disagreement with the publisher over how much it was willing to pay for books. Read more ...

August 6, 2013:
NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids
NPR's Backseat Book Club asked listeners to nominate their favorite books for readers ages 9 to 14. More than 2,000 people nominated titles, and a panel of Newbery authors brought the list to 100. Most are middle grade books. Read more ...

July 2, 2013:
Penguin & Random House Merger

The new company, Penguin Random House, will control more than 25 percent of the trade book market in the United States. On Monday, the newly formed company began to take shape, only hours after a middle-of-the-night announcement that the long-planned merger had been completed. Read more ...

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  • Middle-grade Book-to-Movie Picks

    Book Lists, Giveaways

    “The book was better than the movie.”     

    “They totally changed that part!”     

    It’s hard to translate fully realised worlds and characters of entire novels within 90 minutes of screen time, but there are plenty of great middle-grade book-to-movie adaptations worthy of a couple of bowls of popcorn.     

    Here are some of my favorites!      

    Buy @ indiebound.org

     HOLES by Louis Sachar: the book!     

    Stanley Yelnats and his family are cursed with a long history of bad luck. A miscarriage of justice sends Stanley to a strange desert camp for troubled teens where the ‘campers’ spend their days digging holes in the sand. To what end? The mysterious reason behind the holes is a closely guarded secret by the warden and her posse. Hilarity ensues.     

    4/4 Bookmarks!   

    View trailer

     The movie!     

    Sigourney Weaver is awesome as the lipstick wielding Warden Walker. The rest of the cast (from Caveman, Zero, Squid and Armpit) is pitch-perfect. A great book-to-movie adaptation with great scenery, music and as close to the book as you can get.     

    4/4 Bowls of Popcorn!    


    Buy @indiebound.org

     NIM’S ISLAND by Wendy Orr: the book!    

     Nim is an adventurous girl with a great imagination. When her scientist father disappears from their idyllic island home, Nim is left with only a pet iguana, an adventure novel and an e-mail link to her favourite author. A modern day, pint-sized Robinson Crusoe. 

    4/4 Bookmarks!   

    View trailer

     The movie!

     Adventure, a touch of danger and well-trained animals make for a highly watchable movie. Nim’s character, played by Abigail Breslin , outshines Jodi Foster’s role as reclusive author, Alex Rover, but both are still very entertaining.    

    3.5/4 Bowls of Popcorn!     



    Buy @indiebound.org

     THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo: the book!     

    “Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish.”  What’s not to love?    

    4/4 Bookmarks!        

    View trailer

    The movie!    

    Great as an animated adaptation because, well, the main character is a MOUSE but more than that, the animation is gorgeous, moody and evocative.  Dungeon scenes are a bit dark but, conversely, Mig’s storyline is less harsh than in the book.     

    3.5/4 Bowls of Popcorn!     


    Here are a few more suggestions from Mixed Up Files authors and my bibliovideophile friends (please add your picks in the comments!):     

    The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (book/movie)
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (book/movie)
    Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (book/movie)
    How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (book/movie)
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (book/movie)
    Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (book/movie)
    Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key (book/movie)
    Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan (book/movie)
    Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman (book/movie)
    Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (book/movie)
    Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (book/movie)
    The Borrowers by Mary Norton (book/movie)
    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (book/movie)
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (book/movie)
    Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (book/movie)
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (book/movie)
    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (book/movie)
    How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell (book/movie)
    The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks (book/movie)
    Stuart Little by E. B. White (book/movie)
    Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (book/movie)
    Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary (book/movie)
    Fantastic Mr. Fox by Raold Dahl (book/movie)
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (book/movie)

    Remember, leave a comment HERE to be eligible to win a signed copy of What Happened on Fox Street.

    Happy reading and viewing! 
    Hélène Boudreau loves to read middle-grade books, listen to middle-grade books and watch middle-grade book-to-movie adaptations. Her own upper middle-grade book, REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky) will be released Dec.1/2010 in book and audiobook format, though she can’t resist casting the characters in her head. You can visit her at www.heleneboudreau.com



    1. deniz  •  Aug 25, 2010 @7:08 am

      Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH!

    2. Caroline Starr Rose  •  Aug 25, 2010 @7:57 am

      Deniz, so funny you mention NIMH. It was my first book to movie experience, and it wasn’t pleasant. The changes were to much for me. That experience has always made me wary of book movies.

    3. Lois Peterson  •  Aug 25, 2010 @8:17 am

      Glad to see The Borrowers on this list. Haven’t seen the movie, but I can still recall many of the B books from childhood – aeons ago – ans this is a great reminder to track the movie version down at the video store. Great article, Helene.

    4. Tricia Springstubb  •  Aug 25, 2010 @8:33 am

      Wow–I am recommending NIMH as a read-aloud in my next blog entry. Must be something in the air.

    5. Sherrie Petersen  •  Aug 25, 2010 @8:48 am

      My favorite book to movie (though it might not be strictly middle grade) is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They did a brilliant job with that translation.

      Michelle Isenhoff Reply:

      @Sherrie Petersen, I agree, Sherrie. I enjoyed the adaptation of Dawn Treader, as well.

    6. Deb  •  Aug 25, 2010 @9:57 am

      Fantastic list, Helene! A couple to add:

      Series of Unfortunate Events
      Spiderwick Chronicles

      Hmmm, this gives me an idea for my book club, thanks!!

    7. Deb  •  Aug 25, 2010 @10:00 am

      Okay, lol, a few more,

      Because of Winn Dixie

      Anne of Green Gables

      Girl of the Limberlost (not sure if the movie is still about, but a great classic)

    8. angela ackerman  •  Aug 25, 2010 @10:22 am

      All I can say is poor, poor Rick Riordan. They really butchered his fabulous book when they made the movie. I hope people who have only seen the movie will not be put off and will still go out and get the book, because it really is a stunning piece of MG fiction that everyone should experience.

      Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

    9. Jemi Fraser  •  Aug 25, 2010 @1:21 pm

      I was nervous about Holes the movie version but I thought they did a great job :)

    10. Wendy Orr  •  Aug 25, 2010 @11:48 pm

      How nice to be mentioned here with some of my own favourites!

    11. Mike Jung  •  Aug 26, 2010 @12:29 am

      One of my all-time favorite film adaptations is Alfonse Cuaron’s superb version of A LITTLE PRINCESS. That movie, as much as any other, creates a mesmerizing sense of how children can, even under severe duress, summon up and enmesh themselves in a world that springs entirely from imagination and belief in the possibility of wondrous, magical events.

    12. Cathe Olson  •  Aug 26, 2010 @7:37 am

      I just saw the new movie Flipped based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen. It was a great adaption (though I still like the book better).

    13. Heather Kephart  •  Aug 26, 2010 @5:08 pm

      What a great list! I can’t wait until my kids are older so I have an (official!) excuse to immerse myself in these movies.

    14. Michelle Holt  •  Aug 27, 2010 @1:55 pm

      As a big fan of The Tale of Desperaux was so sad to see the story butchered by the movie. The Lightning Thief is another example of great book/bad movie. A Series of Unfortunate Events was good and many of the Roald Dahl books to movies worked. We love Matilda at our house! I didn’t know they made a movie of The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. either-I’ll have to hunt it down.