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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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  • The Great Library Giveaway Spotlights: Week 3

    Giveaways

    We are half-way through our Great Library Giveaway! We’re up to 66 middle-grade titles, but we would love to have more titles to send to the recipient of this giveaway. If you would like donate a title, please do. It doesn’t have to be one you wrote, it just needs to be a traditionally published hardcover title.

    And don’t forget to nominate a library for this giveaway!

    Here are a dozen titles that have already been donated:

    The 39 Clues Book 8: The Emperor’s Code by Gordan Korman

    Description from Indiebound:

    As the race to find the 39 Clues builds to its explosive finish, Amy and Dan must explore an ancient culture and steal a Clue guarded by thousands of the world’s best-trained soldiers. It’s the most dangerous Clue search yet. As their enemies crowd in, Amy and Dan find themselves separated for the first time ever. The choice lies before them – find the next Clue, or find their way back to each other.

    Be the first to find out where the next Clue is! There are three messages hidden on the cover of Book 8: The Emperor’s Code. Go to www.the39clues.com/theemperorscode for a blow up of the cover, enter the secret messages you find, and unlock a page from The Emperor’s Code that reveals the whereabouts of the next Clue.

    As If Being 12 3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough (My Mother Is Running for President) by Donna Gephart

    Description from Indiebound:

    As if being 12 3/4 isn’t bad enough, Vanessa Rothrock’s mother is running for president and it’s ruining her life. Isn’t it enough that her enormous feet trip her up all the time, even on stage during the school spelling bee? Isn’t it enough that Reginald Trumball, love of Vanessa’s pathetic life, read her personal and private list of deficiencies to some boy she doesn’t even know? And that the Boob Fairy hasn’t visited her even once?! Doesn’t Mom realize that Vanessa needs her more than the rest of the country? More importantly, doesn’t she realize that she may be in grave danger? Vanessa’s receiving threatening notes at school–notes that imply some psycho has it out for her mother at the Democratic National Convention. Vanessa might be the only person who can save her. But does she have the courage to do what that requires?

    The Big One-Oh By Dean Pitchford

    Description from Indiebound:

    Charley Maplewood has never been one for parties–that would require friends, which he doesn’t have. But now that he’s turning ten–the big one-oh–he decides to throw a birthday party for himself, complete with a “House of Horrors” theme. Of course things don’t work out as he plans. In trying to make friends, he ends up inviting the class bully Cougar to come, and that’s before he ruins the cake and sets the garage on fire. Will Charley be able to pull it together before the big one-oh . . . becomes the big OH-NO!?

    From start to finish, The Big One-Oh is a laugh-out-loud riot, and any reader will relate to the pressures Charley faces both at school and at home in planning his special day. So dive into The Big One-Oh and join the party today!

    The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming

    Description from Indiebound:

    Hero’s a chapter book of contemporary fables about a rambunctious group of fourth graders and their amazing teacher—the globe-trotting, Mayan-ceremonial-robe-wearing Mr. Jupiter—that is sure to delight students and teachers alike. There’s Calvin Tallywong, who wants to go back to kindergarten. But when he actually gets the chance, he’s forced to do the squirrel dance and wear a school bus name tag. The moral of his story? Be careful what you wish for. Then there’s Amisha Spelwadi, who can spell wildebeest, no problem. When Mr. Jupiter asks the class to spell cat, all Amisha can come up with is kat. The moral: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Kids will laugh out loud as they learn tried-and-true lessons in this funny, fast-paced book.

    Haven by Beverly Patt

    Description from Indiebound:

    Fourteen year old Latonya Dennison needs a home and, as luck would have it, Rudy Morris s home is available. However, because Latonya is black and Rudy s family is white, the foster care system is unwilling to make the placement. When Latonya, Rudy and Rudy s goofball friend, Stark, take matters into their own hands, each discovers a unique definition of family, as well as a few surprises along the road.

    The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

    Description from Indibound:

    On an island of sandy beaches, dense jungles, and slumbering volcanoes, colonists seek to apply archaic laws to a new land, bounty hunters stalk the living for the ashes of their funerary pyres, and a smiling tribe is despised by all as traitorous murderers. It is here, in the midst of ancient tensions and new calamity, that two sisters are caught in a deadly web of deceits.

    Arilou is proclaimed a beautiful prophetess—one of the island’s precious oracles: a Lost. Hathin, her junior, is her nearly invisible attendant. But neither Arilou nor Hathin is exactly what she seems, and they live a lie that is carefully constructed and jealously guarded.

    When the sisters are unknowingly drawn into a sinister, island-wide conspiracy, quiet, unobtrusive Hathin must journey beyond all she has ever known of her world—and of herself—in a desperate attempt to save them both. As the stakes mount and falsehoods unravel, she discovers that the only thing more dangerous than the secret she hides is the truth she must uncover.

    Mallory in the Spotlight by Laurie Friedman

    Description from Amazon:

    The world is a stage for Mallory McDonald! When Mallory tries out for a part in the school play and gets the lead, she is super excited.But not everyone shares her enthusiasm, especially her best friend Mary Ann. In fact, the more excited Mallory gets, the less excited Mary Ann becomes. Mallory can’t understand why Mary Ann is acting so strange. Even though the lights are shining bright, is there something Mallory’s not seeing? Can Mallory find a way to play the roles of leading lady and best friend?

    Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder

    Description from Indiebound:

    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. Off they go, leaving the city and their problems behind them. Their new home is full of artists, tiny lions, unusual feasts, and true friends. Almost immediately, their lives are transformed. Penelope’s mother finds an unexpected job, her father discovers a hidden talent, and Penelope changes her name!

    Penny’s new life feels too magical to be real, too real to be magic. And it may be too good to last . . . unless she can find a way to make magic work just one more time—if it even was magic.

    Any Which Wall author Laurel Snyder introduces a quirky cast of characters as pleasantly strange as they are deeply real. Abigail Halpin adds to the charm with her distinctive line drawings.

    Red Pyramid (Book 1 in the Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan

    Description from BookBrowse:

    Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

    One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

    Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them – Set – has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

    Scones and Sensibility By Lindsay Eland

    Description from Indiebound:

    Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly’s only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents’ bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend–beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly’s best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she’s at it, it wouldn’t hurt to find Clementine, Polly’s teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly’s plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker.

    But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen’s Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?

    This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

    Description from Indiebound:

    Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.

    This is what Evie’s new friend Francesca tells her, and soon enough, Evie’s life has had something more like an earthquake. Francesca thinks life is dull unless you go after everything you want and say everything on your mind all the time–and sometimes that includes giving other people a little behind the scenes help to give them what she thinks they want.

    Evie can’t always tell if she’s horrified or fascinated by everything Francesca convinces her to do, but ultimately, she comes to see friendship–and life–in a whole new light.

    The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

    Description from Indiebound:

    Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that’s not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet’s genius sevenyear- old sister will attend middle school with her– and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she–like her family–is anything butaverage.

    In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique–but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.

    NOTE: Don’t forget to nominate the library of your choice for these amazing titles!  Please don’t leave your nomination here, since it will not count.  Go here instead.  Thanks!

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