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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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  • M.G.’s Update: A Hibernation Transformation

    Learning Differences

    Dear Mixed-Up Readers,

    Many times entire families come to the library. The children file in like stair steps and I can see the similarities between the whole crew. The younger children can look at the older ones and see where they are headed. But I have no idea where I came from or what changes I can expect in the future. So I assumed, I was finished growing. I was wrong.

    I’d been having a fantastic time during my hibernation, hiking through the woods with my favorite characters on epic adventures. I’d feasted at Redwall Abbey and explored Narnia. I’d taken a side trip through Hogwarts and roamed 14th century England with Crispin.  My muscles were getting strong and firm and I had a sense of growing stronger on the inside as well. I felt far more grown-up than normal.  So imagine my surprise when I was suddenly and completely overwhelmed with tiredness. I made a little nest in the hollow of a rotten tree, filled it with feathers and leaves and fell into a deep sleep like the hibernation that many woodland creatures experience.

    But when I awakened, my furry round body had changed. It had become a shell and I was trapped inside! At first I was frightened but then I began chipping away at the encasing like a chick breaking out of a fuzzy egg. I chipped and chipped until I broke open a hole large enough to climb through. I pushed my arms through, popped out my head and wiggled the remainder what used to be my extremely furry body from the shell.  But I hadn’t just hibernated! I had experienced a total metamorphosis, much like a butterfly.

    So here I am in my new more grown-up form and I’m excited to show it off. I’m back at the library, still hiding among my favorite books and watching over the kids and families that I’d missed while I was gone. The library mice were so surprised to see the new me, they forgot to bother me for a couple of days, but now they are back to harassing me at every turn. It’s good to be home.

    And now I look a little more closely at the boys and girls that come to my library day after day and I see that they are also changing. They are growing stronger and more grown-up with every day that passes. Some days they act like kids and other days they seem like mini-adults. I understand that mixed-up feeling much better now. I wonder where I came from and what I will become. But while I’m waiting, I’m enjoying my new self and excited to update all the Mixed-Up readers about the changes on the Kid’s Page.  What do you think of the new me?

    Check out my “Spring into Change” booklist for more stories with characters who are dealing with physical tranformations of all varieties.

    For a fantastic and fun look at the Japanese poetry form, haiku,  jump over to our writing page.  My friends at the Mixed-Up Files have the people of Japan on their minds due to the catastrophic events happening in that country.  If you feel inspired, consider sharing a haiku in the comment box and we’ll send our positive thoughts their way.

    Take a peek at the update to our Author Link page. I’m cheating a little because it’s not an author page but once you check it out, you’ll understand why I wanted to include it. Who can resist a little slime?

    Lots of schools do proficiency testing in the spring. For hints on handling test stress, the homework help page has a new article with some tips for coping. For example, did you know that journaling can improve test scores? Click on the link for more  ideas.

    If you are feeling even more creative, there are new spring-themed links on our art and activity pages. Check out this origami link as another way to remember the people of Japan. And in honor of the return of green, we have a link to green crafts—all made from recycled materials.

    I’ll be back to check in when school is out and summertime is almost here. Wonder what other changes will occur by then? Who knows? But whatever happens, keep reading!

    Your friend,

    M.G.

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