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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, read more...

     

    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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Indie Spotlight! Book People

Holiday, Indie Spotlight

Happy Happy Holiday morning, dear Mixed-up files Readers! Have I got a special indie spotlight for you today! I mean, innovative? Doesn’t even start the tip of the iceberg in describing this great bookstore!

Today I have the honor of interviewing Meghan Goel, amazing Young person’s buyer for Book People, based in Austin, Texas!

We’re going to slant this interview especially towards all the absolutely amazing promotions these guys do. I wanted to add the normal, general stuff as well, but we ended up spending over an hour talking about their absolutely AMAZING promotions and books and ideas, and I have to say, if I ever lived anywhere in the US, I’d make sure to visit Book People just for what all they offer! It’s amazing!

But check it out for yourself…

JKB: Meghan, welcome to the Mixed-Up Files! You’re located in one of my favorite states of all, Texas, and one of the coolest cities in it, Austin! How long have you been with Book People? And you’ve been buying the YA/MG/PBs ever since? Match made in heaven, I think!

MG: Thanks! I’ve been here about five years, now. And yes, been the young persons buyer the entire time!

JKB: I’ve snooped through your website, and I think it’s great. It looks like you’ve got a real handle on books and a definite corner on the market in Austin! Can you tell me a bit about how Book People sets itself apart from the competition – both online and off? (Because frankly you’ve got one of the better setups I think I’ve ever seen! Other indies, take note!)

MG: Sure! We’ve got so many great things…I’ll start with author visits. Not only do we have your standard author visit, but we actually cooperate with the school system to bring the authors to the schools – and make real events of it!

JKB: You bring the authors to the schools?

MG: Yes! It’s such a nice merge of author visit and interactive for the kids, the teachers love it – and the students do too! We also do family nights, where the entire gang comes down and participates in an author signing. We get a lot of families doing that.

JKB: I bet! It looks like you have some big players come through your doors, too!

MG: We’ve been very fortunate. *g* We had the smart chicks tour through most recently, and Vordak, and that was a lot of fun! We get a lot of great authors coming through Austin.

JKB: I bet! And I see here you also run literary camps?

MG: Yes. That was the brilliant idea of our outreach director, and kids and parents have been amazingly supportive and excited for them!

JKB: I would have killed to go to a book camp when I was little! I absolutely love that idea!

MG: We’ve got lots more where that came from! There’s our teen book festival, which  had over 1000 teens this year, an amazing turnout! We also work with doing smarter book fairs.

JKB: What’s that?

MG: We have roughly four large book fairs at our four biggest schools throughout the system in the year. We’ll make up lists (like for instance, the summer list had about 700 titles on it) and distribute those. Then the kids’ll order and boom, instant book happiness! We also do smaller book fairs inside the store, so that the family can join in.

JKB: Oh, cool! Family as in parents and everything? What a cool idea, to have a book fair in the store for parents too!

MG: Yes. You have to remember, kids aren’t our only customers. We have to sell to parents, grandparents, we have to keep all the markets in mind at the same time. That’s why physically the school book fairs are a great way to interest our core fans. The parents and other markets we get at our book family nights, author signings, and so on.

JKB: That’s true. I know many authors wonder how to reach the kid through the parents, but sounds like you have both sides at once here! Now, do you also worry about Amazon, or online sellers?

MG: Well, you can’t discount them. But we’re working with google ebooks, and we sell on our site as well, so we’re doing a lot in that arena now. We also have Facebook and Twitter for online outreach, and do specialised promotions only for those areas.

JKB: Like … ?

MG: Like giveaways, tickets, and so on. Our fans have another way to win and we get more online presence. It’s a win win situation!

JKB: So, how do you like to find your books? Tell me about a couple that are flying off the shelves, or a couple of your personal favorites?

MG: Well, one you’d not think would but is is “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda”. The mix of humor and Star Wars, the comedy in it … what a great book! I personally like “Finnegan of the Rock” as well, and do hand sell that a lot. I find that if I love a personal gem, I have a lot more leeway to show it to people in an independent bookstore. We have people ask us what we recommend all the time, and you can’t get that so easily in other formats of book selling!

JKB: Very true! So, working anything up for the holidays?

MG: We do! We make a yearly “Best of 2010″ list for different sections, and we also create a Holiday catalogue and distribute that both online and in print! It really helps our customers find that perfect  book for that perfect someone.

JKB: *In AWE* Oh wow, you guys are on top of things! Thank you SO MUCH for coming to TMUF and agreeing to be our FEATURED HOLIDAY INDIE for December! Here’s my thing, guys: You’ve still got time before Christmas! Go to Book People NOW and buy something, and please support this absolutely fabulous bookstore!

I know I’ve bookmarked their site, and I’m gonna order through them from now on! Spread the holiday cheer, my friends!

And have a great one!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Laurie Beth Schneider  •  Dec 22, 2010 @10:17 pm

    Sign me up for book camp, too! BP sounds like a great place — way more than just books on shelves.

  2. Donna Gephart  •  Dec 28, 2010 @10:04 am

    Thanks Meghan for the great interview. Hubby and I had the pleasure of visiting Book People for the first time when we won a trip to Austin through Whole Foods Markets. What a bookstore! Lucky Austinites. And book camp? What a brilliant idea. Keep up the great work!