• 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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  • It’s a “Go Ahead, Make Us A List” Day


    "Go ahead, make us a list." (Flickr photo by Jeremy Keith)

    Since this place is a little Mixed-Up, we decided that today, instead of sharing something about middle-grade books, we wanted to solicit ideas from the smartest people we know: our readers.

    Do you have something that you would like to see here on From the Mixed-Up Files?  Is there a topic you have been waiting for us to discuss?  A book list you’ve been dying to find?  A set of resources you’ve been struggling to locate?

    Well, today is the day for you to tell us!  We’d love to know what you would like to see tackled on this blog.  Let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your wishes sometime in the near future.

    So, go ahead, make us a list.



    1. Kay Theodoratus  •  Nov 15, 2010 @2:41 pm

      Where do the “tween” books fit in age-wise? In other words, my main characters tend to be around 12-14.

    2. Collette  •  Nov 15, 2010 @2:54 pm

      I’ve always really liked the posts along the lines of “Best Mysteries for Middle Grade Readers” or “Best for Turning Boys Into Men”. My 4th grader has a book project due each month involving a different genre. Lists of good books in each genre would be wonderful and really help me guide his search.

      Also, I’d love to see books for girls that my 7 year old daughter (who is a strong reader) can read that have more age appropriate themes. For example, she wanted to read “Dork Diaries” but I felt that the typical Jr. High attitude considering parents and mean girls and those who buy clothes from Target was more than I wanted her to know about at this time. She’s liked the Mallory books and Ramona books and I’d love some other ideas of books and series for her.

    3. Samantha  •  Nov 15, 2010 @5:04 pm

      I second the lists idea…my seventh graders must read historical novels one month, sci fi the next, and so on every year. They sometimes struggle to find a good book, so if you have lists of good books in each genre, I could direct them to read your site!

    4. Cindy  •  Nov 15, 2010 @5:51 pm

      I also like posts listing and describing great books in various genres. My 10 year old daughter is a voracious reader and always looking for new books (as am I!) Her class is doing a year-long project to get kids reading in different genres than they normally do— and some are a challenge. (Plays??? What MG plays? Apparently they can be books that were eventually made into plays, like Wizard of Oz/Wicked, etc. But I’d love some more suggestions.) Other genres include Folk Tales, Poetry, Non-fiction, Biography, Autobiography, and just about all fiction genres including Fantasy, Mysteries, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, etc. All books have to be at least 100 pages long.

      Sports books were the hardest challenge for her because she has zero interest, but I got a nice list of books that count as sports but aren’t too hard care from Verla Kay’s Blue Board. I’d love a fuller post on the same topic here.

    5. Wendy Shang  •  Nov 15, 2010 @5:56 pm

      Yup, that’s the idea! Collette and Samantha, would you please list all the genres your classes will be studying? Don’t be shy! Once you list them, we can start tackling list ideas, in addition to the ones you’ve already given. And I also like the idea of lists for strong readers who don’t want the older tween vibe.

      Kay, the conventional wisdom is that your readers are no older than your characters. Whether your tween characters go would be characterized as middle-grade or young-adult depends a lot on the subject matter in the stories.

    6. WendyS  •  Nov 15, 2010 @10:41 pm

      Cindy – I think you posted while I was writing my comment – thanks for the list!

    7. Rosanne Parry  •  Nov 16, 2010 @9:14 pm

      Collette–you bring up a topic I hear about all the time. What to do with the avid reading young grade schooler? That is definitely worth a whole post on the blog but in the meantime, if you want to stop by my goodreads page I’ve got a book list for tender hearted readers. It’s also on my website under parent resources at http://www.rosanneparry.com

      Cindy–for your non-sports loving girl, you might consider defining dance as a sport and looking for a dance book. If your girl digs science, a human anatomy book might work for looking at the underlying bones and muscles involved in sport. If she’s a numbers gal, try a sports statistics book.

    8. Laurie Schneider  •  Nov 17, 2010 @10:49 am

      Hi Cindy,
      Sports books are a particular love of mine. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street has some hilarious soccer scenes, but isn’t a sports book. Might that count? She might also enjoy Love Puppies and Corner Kicks, about a girl who has to adjust to new friends, a new culture, and a new soccer team when she moves to Scotland for the year.

    9. Amie Kaufman  •  Nov 19, 2010 @2:45 pm

      I’m also on the lists bandwagon, though in my case it’s only for my own benefit! I know that left to my own devices, I’ll tend to stick to a narrowish band of fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, classic style stuff. I’d love a ‘So You’d Like To Try Historical…’ (or mysteries, or anything) post.

      As an aspiring MG writer, I’d also love posts on writing MG in particular–where it’s similar to writing YA/Adult, where it’s different, examples of people who handle MG aspects of writing well (eg voice, pacing).

      Love your blog, thank you for asking!