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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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  • Celebrating Seuss!

    Authors, Book Lists

    It’s National Read Across America Day! 

    Or, if you have little ones at home, it’s all about Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  

    Since I have children and readers of various ages and abilities, they each went to school with different items in tow.  My youngest daughter went to school in her pajamas, with a bagful of Dr. Seuss favorites and a blanket to snuggle in as she enjoys a read-in with her class.  My middle-schooler, however, went to school dressed in her favorite outfit, and instead of a bag of picture books, she carried a single middle-grade book in her hand.  Such a vast difference in just the three years between them.

    But, there is one big similarity: both of these children will spend a good part of their day reading.  As an avid reader – and a writer – I love that!  In fact, I love it so much, I believe EVERY day should be Read Across America Day!  Wouldn’t that be great? 

    So, in honor of these two occasions that celebrate reading and one great author’s contribution to children’s literature, and to prove that you’re never too old for Dr. Seuss, I’ve compiled a book list……

    This book list is good, I promise you that.  You’ll enjoy them all, like a big sniferty cat.

    Sniferty cats who like to read books, are large friendly giants you can’t overlook.

    But our readers aren’t cats, nor are they sniferty,  they’re people who like things a little bit differn’tly.  

    So I’ve selected these books, made this list just for you, because you are special, you’re the true-iest you!

    There are some that are silly, while others are fun.  But don’t worry, this book list has only begun.

    A couple are serious, others are not, but you’ll like them, I promise, you’ll like them a lot.

    So read on kind readers, skipity doo.  See if this book list, brings joy to you! 

                               “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

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    A boy receives a cupboard as a birthday gift.  One turn of the key turns a figurine  into a person.  Another turn changes him back.  A story about friendship and the responsibility it entails. 

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    “The star belly sneetches had stars upon thars.”

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     I Prefer Not To….That’s Margaret Rose Kane’s response to every activity she’s asked to participate in at the summer camp to which she’s been exiled while her parents are in Peru. So Margaret Rose is delighted when her beloved uncles rescue her from Camp Talequa, with its uptight camp director and cruel cabinmates, and bring her to stay with them at their wonderful house at 19 Schuyler Place.

    But Margaret Rose soon discovers that something is terribly wrong at 19 Schuyler Place. People in their newly gentrified neighborhood want to get rid of the three magnificent towers the uncles have spent forty-five years lovingly constructing of scrap metal and shards of glass and porcelain. Margaret Rose is outraged, and determined to strike a blow for art, for history, and for individuality…and no one is more surprised than Margaret Rose at the allies she finds for her mission. – Indiebound

     

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    “They love me, they love me not.”

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    Nicky has freckles — they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty.

    One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe — for fifty cents. It’s a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens… – Indiebound

     

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    “I speak for the trees.”

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    Who is Ida B. Applewood? She is a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and her story will resonate long after you have put this book down. How does Ida B cope when outside forces—life, really—attempt to derail her and her family and her future? She enters her Black Period, and it is not pretty. But then, with the help of a patient teacher, a loyal cat and dog, her beloved apple trees, and parents who believe in the same things she does (even if they sometimes act as though they don’t), the resilience that is the very essence of Ida B triumph…and Ida B. Applewood takes the hand that is extended and starts to grow up. – Indiebound

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    “Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the things you can think up if only you try.”

     

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    Franny K. Stein is not your average girl — she’s a mad scientist. She prefers poison ivy to daisies and piranha to goldfish, and when Franny jumps rope, she uses her pet snake.

    Being a mad scientist is exciting, but it does have its drawbacks. From fending off giant monstrous fiends to getting a lab assistant to battling her own teenage self, Franny has her hands full! Join her on her first four wacky, weird, creepy adventures and find out why Franny is everyone’s favorite mad scientist. -Indiebound

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    “I do not like green eggs and ham.  I do not like them, Sam I am. ”

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    Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is “The bigger and juicier, the better!” At first Billy’s problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But later it looks as if Billy will win, and the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Billy’s family, after checking with the doctor, takes everything in stride. They even help Billy through his gastronomic ordeal, which twists and turns with each new day, leaving the outcome of the bet continually in doubt. – Indiebound

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    “Today you are you!  That is truer than true!  There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

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    It’s Amanda’s 11th birthday and she is super excited—after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she’s shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven’t shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . . -Indiebound

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    I hope you enjoy celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Read Across America and being with all the little (and not so little) readers in your life!

    Amie Borst loves writing for middle-grade readers.  But she’s not so fond of green eggs and ham. Or fried worms.

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