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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,


    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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Newbery Award Winners!

Historical Fiction, Industry News, New Releases, Uncategorized

Here at “From the Mixed-Up Files . . . of Middle-grade Authors”, we’d be very remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the award excitement and buzz going on in children’s literature this month!

For years, I’ve eagerly anticipated Award Month at the ALA Mid-Winter conference when librarians from around the country as members of ALSC (American Library Services for Children) get together to celebrate – both in person and virtually. I still remember the first year there was a live feed from the VERY ROOM THE ANNOUNCEMENTS WERE MADE! What excitement! The names of the winning books! Cheers erupting from the crowd! The reports of early morning calls to the shell-shocked winners and their giddy, teary voices; the thrill of those librarians bestowing their love on the winners they chose.

I’ve always loved hearing The Call stories and then reading the acceptance speeches given at the summer ALA conference (June 23-28 in New Orleans) and I have all fingers and toes crossed to attend this June and rub shoulders with famous authors and librarians, especially since my recent books take place in Louisiana.  Hey, I’ll *just happen* to be there filming my book trailer for Circle of Secrets (October, Scholastic)!

But I digress . . .

Since this site is ALL ABOUT MIDDLE-GRADE BOOKS, we give you the list of the Newbery winners for 2011!

John Newbery Medal

About the John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

In 1921 Frederic G.Melcher had the Newbery Medal designed by René Paul Chambellan. The bronze medal has the winner’s name and the date engraved on the back. The American Library Association Executive Board in 1922 delegated to the Children’s Librarians’ Section the responsibility for selecting the book to receive the Newbery Medal.

The inscription on the Newbery Medal still reads “Children’s Librarians’ Section,” although the section has changed its name four times and its membership now includes both school and public library children’s librarians in contrast to the years 1922-58, when the section, under three different names, included only public library children’s librarians. Today the Medal is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA.

How the Newbery Medal Came to Be

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children’s Librarians’ Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children’s librarians, and Melcher’s official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922. In Melcher’s formal agreement with the board, the purpose of the Newbery Medal was stated as follows: “To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children’s reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field.”

The Newbery Award thus became the first children’s book award in the world. Its terms, as well as its long history, continue to make it the best known and most discussed children’s book award in this country.

From the beginning of the awarding of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, committees could, and usually did, cite other books as worthy of attention. Such books were referred to as Newbery or Caldecott “runners-up.” In 1971 the term ”runners-up” was changed to “honor books.” The new terminology was made retroactive so that all former runners-up are now referred to as Newbery or Caldecott Honor Books.

2011 Winner

Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc.

2011 Honor(s)

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Heart of a Samurai
by Margi Preus, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS
One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer L. Holm, published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

For a full list of all the Award winners from ALA=American Library Association, please go here.

And if your favorite book of 2010 did not win, or the book you personally wrote, re-wrote for years, finally launched, but didn’t win, I leave you with a wonderful quote by one of my all-time favorite writers.

E. L. Konigsburg: “Affection for a book is its best award, and books that earn that award arrive from the hearts and minds of writers, not juries.”

We’d love to discuss in the comments, any stories about the winning books as well as your favorite book from 2010!



  1. sheelachari  •  Jan 17, 2011 @7:34 am

    I feel like one of the recently initiated, because until this year, I had not paid so much attention to all the pre-announcement chatter. This year, I really wanted to be in the know, by reading as many of the books that people were talking about, as I could. Interestingly, I see now that buzz doesn’t necessarily have any real correlation with results! I was pleasantly surprised by being surprised!

    Since Brian and I do the new releases every month (we alternate by month), Moon Over Manifest was one of the books I covered in October. I haven’t read it yet, but I wanted to – it was on my radar. Little did I know then that it was going to win the Newbery! It’s kind of cool now to think that one of those books Brian and I are listing in our new releases posts this year will be an award winner in 2012. Maybe Brian and I should get out our crystal balls. ;-)

  2. Shoshana  •  Jan 17, 2011 @7:54 am

    I love Newbery season; it’s just what January needs! My favorite part is when the video of winners receiving The Call gets released – it’s the happiest clip of the year, for my money.

  3. Karen B. Schwartz  •  Jan 17, 2011 @8:46 am

    I haven’t heard of most of the winners. Now I’ve got to read them!

  4. Kimberley Griffiths Little  •  Jan 17, 2011 @11:50 am

    I have an interesting connection to MOON OVER MANIFEST. A good writer friend, Lois Ruby, here in Albuquerque is best buds with the author, Clare Vanderpool and has been in a crit group with her for years. She’s been gushing about Clare’s book for months so I told Lois I’d love an autographed copy. She visited Clare a couple months ago and got a personalized copy for me, but we’ve been playing hit-and-miss phone/email/visit tag trying to get the book to me and the Friday before the Awards day I “finally” picked it up. Three days later it wins the Newbery!

    So now I have an autographed copy of MOON OVER MANIFEST to read!!! Pays to have connections, man!

  5. Margaret Nevinski  •  Jan 17, 2011 @5:22 pm

    Kimberley, what a great story. I loved ONE CRAZY SUMMER, and now I get to read the other winners. This year the ALA awards were announced on my birthday, which made them especially fun for me. Just wish I had been in the audience.

  6. Laurie Schneider  •  Jan 17, 2011 @5:25 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading Moon Over Manifest. I love historical fiction, and Turtle in Paradise was one of my favorite books of the year.

  7. Lois D. Brown  •  Jan 18, 2011 @8:53 am

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been out of the loop this year. Congrats to all the winners.

  8. Kimberley Griffiths Little  •  Jan 18, 2011 @8:07 pm

    I’ve heard really great things about Turtle in Paradise, too, and can’t wait to read it as well as the others.

    And Margaret – what a nice birthday! :-) Maybe you’ll be able to go someday to ALA and hear it in person. Me, too! That would be very exciting.

  9. sarah aronson  •  Jan 19, 2011 @10:45 am

    Like Margaret, I loved Rita’s One Crazy Summer as well as Turtle in Paradise, which I’m going to talk about in a lecture on subplots this May. (So I shrieked when it won.)

    On the 24th, I’m posting a little bit more about the very personal nature of reviews (and awards)…I could go on, but I think I’ll leave it at that!!!