Browsing the blog archives for March, 2011.


  • OhMG! News

    New-Oh-MG-critter



    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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  • From the Mixed-Up Inbox: Hi-Lo Recs

    Learning Differences

    Flickr photo by mike ambs

    Jennifer H. contacted us and asked the following:

    I have a dilemma.  My student, Paula, is a sixth grade student but she is reading on a first grade level.  I know what do to for her (no confusion there!), but don’t know what books to give her to read on her own!  She needs some chapter books that are on her level, but most of what I can find is a little bit immature in terms of theme and characters.  Junie B Jones is too young for Paula– she doesn’t want to read about a kindergarten student! Other books with appropriate heroines are too difficult for Paula to read on her own.  Do you have any suggestions?

    Paula definitely wants to become a reader, she just needs the right book. Thank you for any advice you can offer!

    I asked the Mixed-Up Authors for their suggestions, but I wanted to share their answers with any other parents, teachers, or librarians who might be struggling with the same issue.  Thanks to Jennifer for letting us post her question.

    Our suggestions:

    “The Ellie McDoodle books should be great for her, and Ellie is 11.  The older books in the Mallory series has her at age 10.” –Mindy Alyse Weiss

    “I suggest The Spiderwick Chronicles, Lunch Lady (and other similar graphic novels), and It’s Raining Cupcakes.” –Sheela Chari

    “I was thinking Lunch Lady, too, and Babymouse. Nonfiction in whatever areas interest her….” –Laurie Schneider

    “You know? This might be a good pick for this reader: Brains for Lunch, A Zombie Novel in Haiku by K.A. Holt. It’s funny and the Haiku format is easy to read, not too many words on the page.

    Also, what about novels in verse? Sharon Creech? Love That Dog and Hate That Cat are middle grade but pretty simple text.” –Diana Greenwood

    “Sounds like she might also be a good candidate for a Hi-Lo book–one written at an easier reading level with an older student in mind.” –Joanne Prushing Johnson

    “Orca Soundings puts out books for the hi-lo reader. They are a Canadian publisher, not sure if you can get those in the States…

    “Depending on her sense of humour she might like The Ghost Hunter books by Cornelia Funke (but the reading level might be a little too high).

    “100 Dresses by Eleanor Estes? A little higher than grade one though, but a compelling emotional story that might draw her in.

    “She might like some of the Stepping Stone books that are non-fiction, seems to me there is one about the Trojan Horse, another about Pompeii (the Step Into Reading, level five books would be good too).

    “Beast Quest if she likes fantasy.

    “Frannie K. Stein, she is a younger mc, but is funny silly comic book type in appearance. And there is a the series GO Girl (but mc might be too young?).” –Deb Marshall

    “Recommended by my go-to person for questions like this — middle school librarian Chris Gustafson in Seattle:  The Stone Arch books — they are high interest/low reading level and would appeal to a sixth grader.  The Orca Soundings books recommended by Deb are great for YA and might be good options for this sixth grader if carefully vetted.  They often deal with serious teen issues.”  – Katherine Schlick Noe

    “I guess I would suggest the hybrid graphic novels – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rose Cooper’s Gossip From The Girls Room, Big Nate, Dork Diaries, Dear Dumb Diary, etc…

    “And how about Judy Moody, Clementine and Clarice Bean?” –Amie Borst

    And one last suggestion: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  It’s a higher reading level, but the book eases kids into reading, and half the story is told in pictures.  So don’t let the thickness of the book scare you away.

    Readers, do you have any other suggestions?  If you do, please let us know in the comments below.

    And good luck finding just the right book for Paula, Jennifer!

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    Second Fiddle Winner!

    Learning Differences

    We have a winner for a brand new hardcover of Second Fiddle and a paperback of Heart of a Shepherd!

    And the lucky winner is Penny Murray! Please contact me at rosanneparry@comcast.net with your address so I can send these books your way.

    Thanks to everyone who commented!

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    One Book, One School, One Solution

    Learning Differences

    You’ve heard the reports – low reading scores, high drop-out rates, complaints from the business world that our graduates can’t write complete sentences. Many children begin school without the basic skills to learn to read, already a step behind their peers. The solution to much of this, we know, is a deceptively simple task: getting parents to consistently read to their children. But aside from using Big-Brother-like tactics, how can we help make this dream become a reality?

    One program boasting great results is a program called READ TO THEM.  READ TO THEM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to enable every family in North America to read quality children’s novels out loud, together, at home.” To do this, RTT provides everything a school or district would need (besides the books themselves) to start and run a program of their own.

    For free.

    That’s right people! You heard it here first.

    What the people at RTT have zeroed in on is what every person who’s ever been in a book club already knows – that reading a book together is mind-expanding, exciting, and just plain fun! Case in point: when the long awaited “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” came out, our family had just left on vacation to Florida, two copies in tow. Wherever we went that week – the airport, the beach, the pool – we spotted that familiar orange-and purple tome – on deck chairs, in swim bags and most often, gripped in front of sun-block-covered noses. When these readers – total strangers – looked up and saw my two older children clutching their own copies to their damp chests, there was a shared look of secret camaraderie. Unable to contain their excitement, they’d ask, “How far are you?” and, “Did you get to the part about…” A lively discussion would usually ensue. Now imagine a whole school or an entire district reading the same book – with the added benefit of parental involvement and role modeling. Talk about a win-win situation!

    I first learned of this ‘one book’ idea from Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago, now in it’s tenth year. I decided to offer schools a similar program, offering a free author visit in exchange for using my book as their ‘one book.’ The results have been fabulous! The excitement in the culminating programs – skits, trivia games, Q&A sessions – is palpable and teachers have been thrilled with the high level of involvement of all their students.

    Yes, it’s something we here at the Mixed Up Files already knew.

    And something you probably already knew too.

    One book really can make all the difference.

     

    Beverly Patt’s children would disown her if she claimed, in public, that she read to them well into their junior high years. So she won’t. Really. Her lips are sealed. She is the author of Best Friends Forever: A WWII Scrapbook (Cavendish) and Haven (Blooming Tree Press).

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