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    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 New Mixed-Up Member!

    Uncategorized

    We’re saying a sad goodbye to Danette Haworth and giving a warm welcome to Sayantani DasGupta!!!

    If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Member Bios, here they are – along with bits of flair “From the Mixed-Up Files” novel, which was the inspiration for the name of this blog.

    Enjoy reading about the wonderful folks who create this website and blog – and for future reference you can find the Member Bios on the About Us Page.

    Member Bios

    Tracy Abell isn’t as creeped-out by the idea of sleeping in a bed where someone was murdered as she is of hiding out in a museum where the eyes in the paintings follow her.  Um, that’s a lie.  But it is true that when Tracy isn’t trail running or hooping, she’s writing contemporary middle-grade fiction.  For more non-lies, go to Tracy’s Twitter or blog where you can also find museum-quality photos of birds that visit her backyard.

    Bonnie Adamson enjoyed an elegant lunch with her daughter recently at the Metropolitan Museum (near the galleries of the Italian Renaissance) where they had a great time pretending to be society matrons planning their next charity event. Most often, Bonnie is at home in South Carolina, pretending to be a middle-grade writer and picture book illustrator. You can pretend along with her at www.bonnieadamson.net, or on Twitter during #kidlitchat Tuesday nights or #kidlitart on Thursdays.

    Sarah Aronson knows what it feels like to sit on the bench.  But these days, she is riding a wave of good luck.  Her middle-grade novel, BEYOND LUCKY, will be published in 2011 by Dial Books.  When she is not writing, Sarah keeps busy teaching for www.writers.com, cooking, watching her favorite teams, or riding her bike. Check out her website at www.saraharonson.com.

    Jen K Blom was actually locked in her school – but she lived to tell the tale! She lives in Berlin, Germany with her darling new daughter, fantastic husband and two neurotic hairless cats! Jen writes middle grade with plucky characters and animals galore. Her debut title, POSSUM SUMMER, is forthcoming Spring 2011 from Holiday House.  Feel free to drop by www.jenkblom.com, her blog at jaekaebee.blogspot.com, or her twitter at twitter.com/jaekaebee to get the latest and greatest on her haphazard life!

    Amie Borst could never fit enough chocolate in one violin case to last her a whole week, let alone one day.  When she’s not eating chocolate, she’s busy writing with her three daughters.  She lives in northern Virginia soaking up the sun and walking through cemeteries plotting her next idea.  To learn more about Amie, visit her website, http://amie-borst.com.

    Hélène Boudreau’s books include ACADIAN STAR (middle grade), KEEP OUT! (early chapter book), and her upcoming upper middle grade book, REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS as well as 5 non-fiction books about science and social studies. She is a compulsive walker, a chicklet wrangler and a lover of cheese and cheap chocolate and, like Jamie, would definitely eat a Hershey’s almond bar if it were still in its wrapper, lying on the floor.  For more, visit www.heleneboudreau.com.

    Tami Lewis Brown lived on the top floor of a museum for two years and only set off the burglar alarm once. Her picture book biography for middle graders, Soar, Elinor! will be published in October 2010, followed by a middle-grade novel, One Shiny Silver Key in Spring 2011. She lives with her family, two cats, and a dog in one of the oldest houses in Washington, D.C. Visit her at www.TamiLewisBrown.com.

    Sheela Chari uses her violin case to store her violin, but she does dream of sleeping in a tall canopy bed with draping some day. She lives 30 minutes from New York City with her husband and two daughters, where they talk frequently about visiting the Met, but end up reading a book instead. Sheela’s middle-grade novel, VANISHED, will be published by Disney-Hyperion, July 2011. Visit her at www.sheelachari.com.

    Rose Cooper refuses to grow up! In fact, writing for children gives her that perfect excuse (just don’t’ tell that to her husband and three sons). But every once in awhile, if you watch carefully and wait very patiently, you’ll see her tiptoeing into the grownup world.  And when you do, you’ll see that she’s the author and illustrator of an upcoming humor middle-grade series, GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM, A Blogtastic! Novel (2011) and, RUMORS FROM THE BOYS ROOM (2012).  View her artwork and learn all her super secrets (well, not anymore) at www.Rose-Cooper.com.

    Elissa Cruz has her own unique filing system at home.  When she’s not busy rummaging through her piles of paperwork, she’s writing middle-grade books for boys.  She lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, three sons, five dress-up princess gowns, seven toy lightsabers, thirteen bicycles, and more books than she cares to count.  You can learn more about her crazy, mixed-up writing life at www.elissacruz.blogspot.com.

    Sayantani DasGupta first learned about the birds and the bees by checking out all the books (and I mean ALL) in her local library on the topic. It only figured that she grew up to be a kids’ doctor, then a writer, then a professor, and then a kids’ writer. When she’s not juggling careers, or juggling nine pins in New York area traffic, she’s juggling her two children, husband, and her overdue fines from the library. She’s the author of THE DEMON SLAYERS AND OTHER STORIES: BENGALI FOLKTALES and likes to tweet, blog, and otherwise blather.

    Jan Gangsei has never felt compelled to run away as she’s had the great fortune to live in some pretty awesome places — Vermont, Key West, NYC, DC and soon, Barbados. Plus, she’d miss her family too much. But when Jan does need an escape, she retreats to the corner of her brain that harbors her inner 11-year-old and writes stories for kids. She thinks her amazing literary agent, Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse, is the most dedicated, hardworking person on the planet. Jan’s travel agent comes in a close second.

    Jennifer Duddy Gill loves to make up stories for children and if you ask her why, she may not try to explain because, as Mrs. Frankweiler says, the modern world has too many words and explanations for everything already. Jennifer has lived and worked all over the world and currently writes books in Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Visit her blog at: www.jennifer-d-g.livejournal.com.

    Diana Greenwood once ran away and made it ten miles to the next town before she got tired of pedaling. When her dad tossed the bike in his pickup and buckled her seat belt for the ride home, Diana didn’t mention she’d packed snacks but had forgotten underwear. Today she runs away by airplane as often as possible but always returns to Napa, California, where she writes young adult and middle-grade novels with a 20-pound calico on her lap. Diana’s debut novel, INSIGHT, will be published in 2011 by Zondervan (Harper Collins). Visit soon at www.dianagreenwood.com.

    Joanne Prushing Johnson thinks it is true that the search is more profitable than the goal. That’s because while she’s searching for matching soccer socks, her cell phone or a moment’s privacy, she often finds a jersey, her keys or a great idea. Joanne writes funny, boy-friendly books with a twist. She also an occupational therapist and lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, four boys and an oversized golden retriever. To learn more about Joanne, check out http://joanneprushingjohnson.com.

    As the father of 4 daughters, Brian Kell hides out in the bathroom weeping most of the time.  He writes humorous YA and MG books. He’s still trying to break through the plastic-wrap ceiling and get one of his books on the shelves. Find out everything you didn’t want to know and less at http://brian-ohio.livejournal.com.

    Kimberley Griffiths Little’s best ideas come when taking long hot baths, but instead of a sunken black marble tub with gold faucets and a dragon-shaped spigot, she has New Mexico hand-painted tiles in her adobe home along the Rio Grande.  Kimberley has two upcoming middle-grade novels with Scholastic Press: THE HEALING SPELL (2010) and CIRCLE OF SECRETS (2011).  Please visit www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com to download the free guides for teachers and book clubs.

    Wendy Martin is the author and artist of several books including the illustrated chapter book, “An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child.”  She hopes her paintings will one day be discovered in the collection of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler who will sell them to a museum for more than a few hundred dollars.  Wendy currently resides with her husband and daughter in eastern Missouri when she isn’t on the road giving workshops at festivals or visiting schools. She claims the dubious title of Perpetual Project Lady and does her best to keep the house clean and the cats fed.  Wendy M’s website

    Shannon Messenger doesn’t have nearly as much time to sleep as she wishes–but if she did, she’d want to spend it in a giant canopy bed in a museum. Instead she divides her time between writing, blogging, reading, and occasionally spending time with that guy she calls her husband. She writes middle-grade fantasy, and is happy to be represented by Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Lit. You can find her online at her blog or on Twitter. She’s also one of the founders of WriteOnCon, a free online conference for kidlit writers.

    Rosanne Parry knows all about hiding in museums, cheating at cards, and having a bossy big sister. She’s the author of the middle grade novels “Heart of a Shepherd” and “Second Fiddle” (2011). She and her husband live in an a very old house in Portland, Oregon where they raise four children, three chickens and five kinds of fruit. You can visit her tree house office at www.rosanneparry.com.

    Beverly Patt has written two middle-grade books (HAVEN and BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WWII SCRAPBOOK) from underneath her bed. It is very dusty down there but in no danger of being cleaned any time soon.  When not writing or laundering dusty clothes, she can be found playing tennis, making soup or enjoying the company of her hubby and four kids (none of whom have run away, yet).

    Bobbie Pyron never wanted to run away to a museum, but she did want to become a mermaid. Or a frog. Her teen debut novel, The Ring, was published in fall of 2009. Her next book, A Dog’s Way Home, for grades four and up, will be published by HarpterCollins in March of 2011. When she’s not writing or working at the library, she can be found hiking, running and skiing the trails in northern Utah with her husband and three dogs. Visit her at www.bobbiepyron.com.

    Sydney Salter loves running away from home and writing about her adventures. Her novels include My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters, Jungle Crossing, and Swoon At Your Own Risk. She lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, two cats, two dogs, and a pair of quiet tortoises.

    Kurtis Scaletta is the author of MUDVILLE and MAMBA POINT, both published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. His third novel, THE TANGLEWOOD TERROR, will come out in 2011. Among other things, it features two youngsters hiding out in a museum and some long lost art.

    Laurie Schneider ran away to the carnival when she was ten…but came home after an hour. Now she wrangles books, kids, and cats in North Idaho. Her accent is pure WisCONsin, though. Her work-in-progress, a humorous contemporary middle-grade novel, combines two of her loves: classical music and ice hockey. For more: www.lauriebethschneider.com.

    When she’s not hiding out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Karen B. Schwartz spends her time writing contemporary middle-grade stories and raising contemporary middle-grade kids. Her virtual hide-out is: http://karenbschwartz.livejournal.com.

    Wendy Shang makes penny wishes AND quarter wishes.  One of her wishes came true when she found out that her book, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, was going to be published by Scholastic.  She lives near Washington, D.C. with her family and is frequently preoccupied by thoughts of gummi bears (the good ones).  To learn more, visit www.wendyshang.com.

    Though she has never (successfully) run away from home, Laurel Snyder has been thrown out of her share of public fountains.  She is the author of three middle-grade novels, “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains,” “Any Which Wall,” and “Penny Dreadful,” among other things.  She lives in Atlanta, and online at http://laurelsnyder.com.

    If Tricia Springstubb could get locked in somewhere overnight, it would be the zoo!  She’d love to see what the animals do after all the humans go home. Meanwhile, she lives and writes in a plain old house in Cleveland, which she shares with her husband and three cats (who sleep at night, and much of the day).  Her middle grade novel, WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET, will be published by HarperCollins in August, 2010.

    Mindy Alyse Weiss spends so much time writing quirky stories, she usually has a laundry mountain large enough to fill a hundred violin cases.  She lives in Florida, and is constantly inspired by her husband, daughters, Bullmasador puppy, and two stinky but loveable ferrets.  You can find out more about her at http://MindyAlyseWeiss.com.

    3 Comments

    3 Comments

    1. Sayantani DasGupta  •  Nov 13, 2010 @2:20 pm

      Thank you for the warm welcome all! Looking forward to being here!

    2. Caroline Starr Rose  •  Nov 13, 2010 @4:31 pm

      Welcome!

    3. Karen Scott  •  Nov 14, 2010 @8:22 am

      Hooray for a new member!