• 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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  • A Good Kind of Mocking

    Book Lists, For Kids, Inspiration, Uncategorized

    If you love middle grade books, join the club! The Mock Newbery Club, that is.

    The real Newbery Medal is awarded annually by The Association for Library Service to Children, to the ‘…author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.’ However, many of us have our own ideas as to which was the year’s best children’s book and would love to have a say!  For this reason, many libraries and bookstores have started Mock Newbery clubs, with their own lists of this year’s favorite books which they feel are Newbery-worthy. Participants read the books and vote at the end of the year. Sometimes their picks match up to the real Newbery picks and sometimes they don’t, but either way, it’s a great way to get students and adults alike excited about some terrific middle grade books.

    If your library or school doesn’t have a Mock Newbery club, consider starting one. Otherwise, you can check out these online lists, read the books and make your own predictions! You may also want to read the official list of criteria the Newbery committee must adhere to before choosing your own ‘winners.’

    (NOTE: Not ALL books on these lists are middle grade – some are YA. The Newbery Award criteria specifies the intended reader shall be ‘persons of ages up to and including fourteen’ which does cross into YA territory;)


    The Wake County (North Carolina) Public Library has a club consisting of 25 6th through 9th graders who ask to join the club early each year. Although members have already been selected for this year’s club, they encourage everyone to read what they are reading and post comments on their blog, the Eva Perry Mock Newbery Book Club.

    The Allen County (Indiana) Public Library has a club for teachers, librarians and interested adults. You may join at any time and are welcome to sign up to vote in their mock Newbery election, December 11th!

    For the “Heavy Medal” blog on Newbery picks click here.

    State of Rhode Island Mock Newbery has a list and blog geared towards librarians

    There’s a library blog called Newbery Visionaries

    And a list for librarians on Early Word.

    Anderson’s Bookshop also hosts a Mock Newbery award for it’s local school children. Though this year’s list does not appear to be up yet, check back here for when it becomes public.

    Lastly, if you’d like to start your own Mock Newbery club, this post should get you started!

    I, for one, have a lot of reading to do!

    Written by Beverly Patt, who is thrilled that her own book, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WWII SCRAPBOOK, is on the Allen County Mock Newbery list and shown here, far right, with fellow authors Fran Cannon Slayton and Ellen Jensen Abbott with 2009 Newbery winner Neil Gaiman!



    1. Laura Marcella  •  Oct 6, 2010 @8:06 am

      This sounds so cool! I’ll have to ask my library about it. Thanks for sharing the info!

    2. Fran Cannon Slayton  •  Oct 6, 2010 @8:20 am

      And if you absolutely can’t get enough Newbery buzz, check out the frequently-posted Mock Newbery Blog “Heavy Medal” at School Library Journal! (Sorry, Bev, this one will add to your reading!)


    3. Mary Dunn  •  Oct 6, 2010 @9:10 am

      Hi, Bev,

      Thanks for your post about the Mock Newbery lists. My plan is to analyze the various lists you mention here and compile my own master list of the overlapping titles from each. I started with Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell. I met her at the International Reading Association meeting here in Chicago last spring and I see her book on Anderson’s list.

      You’ve spurred me on!
      Mary Dunn

    4. Laurie Beth Schneider  •  Oct 6, 2010 @1:10 pm

      Thanks Beverly. I love to follow these discussions, and now I have a few more to follow!

    5. S. Terrell French  •  Oct 6, 2010 @3:42 pm

      These mock Newbery’s are always good ways to find good books for your kids/students! Love the photo!

    6. Bev  •  Oct 6, 2010 @5:14 pm

      Thanks, ladies!
      Mary, I love Frances O’R Dowell’s writing – lucky you to have met her!
      I’ve read a good handful of the ones that occur on all lists but I have a long way to go.
      And, ahem, Fran, HEAVY MEDAL is #3 on my list;)


    7. Rosanne Parry  •  Oct 9, 2010 @2:58 pm

      Great round up of blogs, Bev! I was only familiar with the Heavy Medal and the Allen County public library one.

      I did a bunch of Newbery Club visits last year in my local school district. What I loved about them was seeing a community of readers forming in the grade school. Sometimes avid readers feel like the odd one out in their class but this drew them together with other avid readers and gave them a canon of common stories to talk about.

    8. Pragmatic Mom  •  Oct 10, 2010 @3:21 pm

      Thanks for the info on the Mock Newbery clubs and blogs. What fun! I will check them out and I’m sure I’ll discover some great finds!

    9. Bobbie  •  Oct 14, 2010 @4:40 pm

      This is such a timely posting! Several of us were just talking about this at the library the other day. Two I’m rooting for: Ninth Ward, and Mockingbird.