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    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 ...

    March 28, 2013: Big at Bologna

     This year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the focus has shifted to middle-grade.  “A lot of foreign publishers are cutting back on YA and are looking for middle-grade,” said agent Laura Langlie, according to Publisher's Weekly.  Lighly illustrated or stand-alone contemporary middle-grade fiction is getting the most attention.  Read more...


    March 10, 2013: Marching to New Titles

    Check out these titles releasing in March...


    March 5, 2013: Catch the BEA Buzz

    Titles for BEA's Editor Buzz panels have been announced.  The middle-grade titles selected are:

    A Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

    Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward

    Nick and Tesla's High-Voltages Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

    The Tie Fetch by Amy Herrick

    For more Buzz books in other categories,


    February 20, 2013: Lunching at the MG Roundtable 

    Earlier this month, MG authors Jeanne Birdsall, Rebecca Stead, and N.D. Wilson shared insight about writing for the middle grades at an informal luncheon with librarians held in conjunction with the New York Public Library's Children's Literary Salon "Middle Grade: Surviving the Onslaught."

    Read about their thoughts...


    February 10, 2013: New Books to Love

    Check out these new titles releasing in February...


    January 28, 2013: Ivan Tops List of Winners

    The American Library Association today honored the best of the best from 2012, announcing the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz awards, along with a host of other prestigious youth media awards, at their annual winter meeting in Seattle.

    The Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Honor books were: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin; and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.

    The Coretta Scott King Book Award went to Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

    The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award,which honors an author for his or her long-standing contributions to children’s literature, was presented to Katherine Paterson.

    The Pura Belpre Author Award, which honors a Latino author, went to Benjamin Alire Saenz for his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was also named a Printz Honor book and won the Stonewall Book Award for its portrayal of the GLBT experience.

    For a complete list of winners…


    January 22, 2013: Biography Wins Sydney Taylor

    Louise Borden's His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg, a verse biography of the Swedish humanitarian, has won the Sydney Taylor Award in the middle-grade category. The award is given annually to books of the highest literary merit that highlight the Jewish experience. Aimee Lurie, chair of the awards committee, writes, "Louise Borden's well-researched biography will, without a doubt, inspire children to perform acts of kindness and speak out against oppression."

    For more...


    January 17, 2013: Erdrich Wins Second O'Dell

    Louise Erdrich is recipient of the 2013 Scott O'Dell Award for her historical novel Chickadee, the fourth book in herBirchbark House series. Roger Sutton,Horn Book editor and chair of the awards committee, says of Chickadee,"The book has humor and suspense (and disarmingly simple pencil illustrations by the author), providing a picture of 1860s Anishinabe life that is never didactic or exotic and is briskly detailed with the kind of information young readers enjoy." Erdrich also won the O'Dell Award in 2006 for The Game of Silence, the second book in theBirchbark series. 

    For more...


    January 15, 2013: After the Call

    Past Newbery winners Jack Gantos, Clare Vanderpool, Neil Gaiman, Rebecca Stead, and Laura Amy Schlitz talk about how winning the Newbery changed (or didn't change) their lives in this piece from Publishers Weekly...


    January 2, 2013: On the Big Screen

    One of our Mixed-up Files members may be headed to the movies! Jennifer Nielsen's fantasy adventure novel The False Prince is being adapted for Paramount Pictures by Bryan Cogman, story editor for HBO's Game of Thrones. For more...


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September New Releases

New Releases, Uncategorized

Hooray!! It’s the end of summer! I just know all the Middle Graders out there are thrilled!!

Cheer up, young lady. Just look at all the new books available this month!

MAGIC TREE HOUSE #44: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time (A Stepping Stone Book ™) (Random House Books for Young Readers) – Mary Pope Osborne (Author),  Sal Murdocca (Illustrator), Jack and Annie’s mission from Merlin the Magician? To help the famous writer Charles Dickens! In a magical whirl, the brother and sister are whisked back in time to Victorian England and the foggy streets of London.

THIS ISN’T WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE (Secret Series) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) – Pseudonymous Bosch, The Secret Series continues in this dangerous and daring fourth adventure.

DEAR PEN PAL (Mother Daughter Book Club) (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing) – Heather Vogel Frederick (Author), The third book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick follows the girls for a new year of humor and friendship.

RECKLESS (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) – Cornelia Funkefans, Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive. . . . For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures. Not anymore.

DRAGONBREATH: CURSE OF THE WERE-WIENER (Dial) – Ursula Vernon, Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend Wendell thought the hot dog from the school cafeteria looked a little . . . off. Then things got weird when the hot dog bit Wendell, and weirder still when Wendell started to sprout back hair. Could Wendell be morphing into a . . . (cue ominous music) were-wiener?

THE PORCUPINE YEAR (HarperCollins) – Louise_Erdrich, This sequel to The Birchbark House (Hyperion, 1999) and The Game of Silence (HarperCollins, 2005) continues the story of Omakayas, an Ojibwe girl who in 1852 is now 12 winters old.

VIDIA MEETS HER MATCH (Disney Fairies) (Disney Chapters) (RH/Disney) – Kiki Thorpe (author), R H Disney (Illustrator), This fast-paced story of Vidia and Wisp’s rivalry is the 19th book in our popular Disney Fairies chapter book series, which features Tinker Bell’s adventures in Never Land with her fairy friends.

ZORGAMAZOO (Razorbill) – Robert Paul Weston, This novel, written entirely in Dr. Seuss-style rhyme, introduces Katrina Katrell, a feisty, adventure-loving heroine. When her guardian, Mrs. Krabone, a woman as evil as any of Roald Dahl’s villains, threatens the free-thinking Katrina with a lobotomy, the girl runs away and meets Morty, a hairy, horned, and bumbling creature called a Zorgle.

THE BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD (Puffin; Reprint edition) – Kristin Levine, This spirited, early-20th-century coming-of-age story presents a small-town cast of well-drawn characters, an unlikely friendship, engaging adventures, and poignant realizations.

NERDS: BOOK TWO: M IS FOR MAMA’S BOY (Amulet Books) – Michael Buckley (author), Ethen Beavers (Illustrator), NERDS combines all the excitement of international espionage with all the awkwardness of elementary school, and the results are hilarious.

THE 25 GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYERS OF ALL TIME (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) – Len Berman, Discover the greatest baseball players of all time! Which guys playing right now will they still be talking about in 100 years? A-Rod? Pujols? How about Jeter? Why do the best pitchers receive the Cy Young Award? Was Honus Wagner anything but a face on a $2,800,000 baseball card? Who was this Babe Ruth guy, anyway?

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DRAGON MAGIC (Mirrorstone) – Susan Morris, Do you wish you could fly on wings of your own? Breathe fire? Cast spells in the blink of an eye? These are the secrets only dragon magic can teach you.

CALVIN COCONUT: ZOO BREATH (Wendy Lamb Books) – Graham Salisbury (author), Jacqueline Rogers (Illustrator) Hawaii boy Calvin Coconut convinced his mom to let him adopt a dog. But Mom says Streak smells bad. Especially her breath. To Calvin, Streak’s stink is a good one, but he’s worried. If he doesn’t come up with a way to deal with Streak’s zoo breath soon, Mom might make him give his dog back to the shelter.

DYING TO MEET YOU: 43 OLD CEMETERY ROAD: BOOK ONE (Sandpiper; Reprint edition) – Kate Klise (Author), M. Sarah Klise (Illustrator), When former best-selling children’s author I.B. Grumply moves into a Victorian mansion in Ghastly, IL, to write the latest installment in his “Ghost Tamer” series, he is hindered by more than just his overwhelming case of writer’s block.

CATCHING SANTA (THE KRINGLE CHRONICLES, BOOK 1) (Pants On Fire Press) – Marc Franco, 11-year-old Jakob Jablonski But that life is about to change when a magical and frightening stranger demands the unimaginable, the impossible: that Jakob catch Santa or else.

THE KNEEBONE BOY (Feiwel & Friends) – Ellen Potter, Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal.

THE FAMILIARS (HarperCollins) – Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Escaping from a bounty hunter, a streetwise cat becomes the familiar of a boy magician-in-training. Almost before Aldwyn gets to know his new surroundings, Jack, his sister, and a fellow student are kidnapped and it is up to him; Skylar, a magic-adept bluejay; and Gilbert, a clumsy, red-eyed tree frog, to rescue their “loyals.”

WALLS WITHIN WALLS (Katherine Tegen Books) – Maureen_Sherry (Author), Adam Adam Stower (Illustrator), After their father, a video-game inventor, strikes it rich, the Smithfork kids find they hate their new life. They move from their cozy Brooklyn neighborhood to a swanky apartment on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. They have no friends, a nanny who takes the place of their parents, and a school year looming ahead that promises to be miserable.

MUSEUM OF THIEVES (THE KEEPERS) (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) – Lian Tanner, Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day. When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind.

 THE DEAD BOYS (Putnam Juvenile) – Royce Buckingham, In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.

GHOST HUNT: CHILLING TALES OF THE UNKNOWN (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) – Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, An exciting new middle grade collection of spooky paranormal investigations based on REAL ghost hunts from stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters, the number one reality show on cable television. www.the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com/ and    www.syfy.com/ghosthunters/

FOR HORSE-CRAZY GIRLS ONLY: EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT HORSES (Feiwel & Friends) – Christina Wilsdon (Author), Alecia Underhill (Illustrator), the only comprehensive book about everything a horse-crazy girl needs to know about horses. You’ll learn everything from the different breeds of horses, to how a horse’s body works, to the quirky little things that make the horse the BEST animal ever.

HAMSTER MAGIC (A STEPPING STONE BOOK ™) (Random House Books for Young Readers) – Lynne Jonell (Author), Brandon Dorman  (Illustrator), Lynne Jonell, the popular author of Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, makes her Stepping Stones debut with a high-spirited tale of mixed-up magic and wishes gone wrong.

HOW TO TRAP A ZOMBIE, TRACK A VAMPIRE, AND OTHER HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES FOR MONSTER HUNTERS: A YOUNG WIZARDS HANDBOOK (Mirrorstone) – A.R. Rotruck, Packed with easy projects using everyday materials, this fact-filled activity book shows wannabe wizards how to craft unique creations such as their own wizard robes, play games such as vampire tag, master adventuring skills like mapping a monster-filled dungeon, and follow step-by-step instructions on how to “survive” almost any monster attack.

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN LIVES (Putnam Juvenile) – Matthew Mcelligott, Larry David Tuxbury, Victor Godwin’s orderly life is upended when he discovers that Benjamin Franklin never actually died-he was put into suspended animation and hidden away for more than 200 years in Victor’s basement!

PENNY DREADFUL (Random House Books for Young Readers) – Laurel Snyder (Author), Abigail Halpin (Illustrator), Penelope Grey wishes for something—anything!—interesting to happen, and here’s what she gets:

• Her father quits his job.
• Her family runs out of money.
• Her home becomes a pit of despair.

So Penelope makes another wish, and this time the Greys inherit a ramshackle old house in the middle of nowhere.



  1. Laura Marcella  •  Sep 1, 2010 @1:31 pm

    Thanks for this round-up! Great list!

  2. Susan Quinn  •  Sep 1, 2010 @1:56 pm

    Thanks for the great recs!

  3. Wendy Martin  •  Sep 1, 2010 @3:37 pm

    Great round up. I love the photo!

  4. Karen  •  Sep 1, 2010 @5:18 pm

    Great List. We will be finishing the first Magic Tree House book tomorrow, and my son can’t wait to get to the bookstore for the next installment!

  5. Kyle  •  Sep 2, 2010 @7:24 am

    NERDS BOOK 2. Oh boy talk about happy days with the guys. I will have to get it this weekend.

  6. Patricia Cruzan  •  Sep 2, 2010 @11:09 am

    If I go to the bookstore, too many books might end up in my hands to buy. There are so many interesting books out there. Thank you for posting them. Are we able to print the names and information about them?

  7. Mindy Alyse Weiss  •  Sep 2, 2010 @1:46 pm

    Thanks for putting together this great list, Brian. I love the photo. :)

  8. Kathy  •  Sep 5, 2010 @12:53 am

    What a great list. I found several I want to read!

    Just wanted to let you know that you’ve described two books with the same plot. Now I’m wondering which of them is actually about the rags-to-riches story: WALLS WITHIN WALLS or MUSEUM OF THIEVES (THE KEEPERS), because I want to read it.

  9. brian_ohio  •  Sep 5, 2010 @5:05 pm

    Kathy! Thank you for pointing that out. Cut and paste has let me down again. Bah! But I’ve fixed it.

    Thanks again!


  10. Mary Elizabeth  •  Sep 10, 2010 @9:21 pm

    Oh, as if I needed another excuse to pick up another MG book!! Awesome list – thanks!!