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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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Spring has Sprung – March New Releases

Learning Differences

 

If April showers bring May flowers – that must mean March has some great new book releases.

MASTER OF MIRRORS (Magic Repair Shop) – Amanda Marrone (Author), Maggie has discovered a kobold—a creature similar to a house brownie but with an evil bent. Her grandfather trapped a particular kobold thirty years ago to keep it away from Maggie’s father, but the creature has escaped and is out to punish Maggie’s family. Narrowly escaping the creature in her house, Maggie and Hasenpfeffer head to Mr. McGuire’s Magic Repair Shop to repair the spell and end up in a tricky spot thanks to Milo the Magnificent. Milo may still be trapped in the magice mirror, but he’s trying to get out, and in the kobold he may have found someone to help him–even if that includes kidnapping Fiona and Mr. McGuire! Can Maggie foil Milo’s plans, stop the kobold, rescue her friends, and escape the mirror maze? Or will she be stuck inside forever?

YOUR FRIEND IN FASHION, AMY SHAPIRO – Amy Axelrod (Author), The lightbulb of good ideas is burning bright for eleven-year-old Abby Shapiro. As personal fashion designer for Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, Possible Future First Lady of the United States, she ll become famous and earn enough money to buy both a Barbie doll and a bra. Abby decides to get in touch immediately. In her letters to Jackie, she shares her wry, insightful observations along with her drawings and fashion tips. The letters help Abby through a tumultuous year in which her father abandons the family, her gangster uncle falls in love, her beloved aunt suffers a stroke, and her relationship with her mother goes from bad to worse. This book is based in part on the author s childhood and is illustrated with paper dolls she made when she was Abby s age.

SCORPIA RISING: AN ALEX RIDER MISSION (An Alex Rider Novel) – Anthony Horowitz (Author), Scorpia has dogged Alex Rider for most of his life. They killed his parents, they did their best to con Alex into turning traitor, and they just keep coming back with more power. Now the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization is playing with fire in the world’s most combustible land: the Middle East. No one knows Scorpia like Alex. And no one knows how best to get to Alex like Scorpia. Until now.

A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES (Beyonders) – Brandon Mull (Author), The first book in a new series (Beyonders), A World Without Heroes is an addictive blend of fantasy, humor, and heroic quest. Jason is an ordinary 13-year-old involuntarily transported to Lyrian, a world ruled by the evil wizard Maldor. Jason stumbles across a book bound with human skin and learns of a secret word with the power to unmake Maldor–knowledge that puts Jason in grave danger. Galloran, a blind king who once searched for the word himself, introduces Jason to Rachel, another Beyonder (as people from Earth are called) who had appeared in Lyrian at the same time. Jason and Rachel set out to retrieve the word, and the resulting pages are filled with adventure, drama, loyalty and betrayal

DRAGONBREATH: LAIR OF THE BAT MONSTER – Ursula Vernon (Author), Danny Dragonbreath is hoping to see lots of cool bats when he and his best friend, Wendell, visit Danny’s cousin, a bat specialist in Mexico. But he isn’t expecting to get up close and personal with a giant bat monster, who kidnaps Danny and carries him off to her lair! Now nerdy Wendell will finally get a chance to be a hero . . . but only if he can hunt down the bat monster before she permanently adopts Danny as her bat monster baby.

LIAR, LIAR: THE THEORY, PRACTICE AND DESTRUCTIVE PROPERTIES OF DECEPTION – Gary Paulsen (Author), Kevin doesn’t mean to make trouble when he lies. He’s just really good at it, and it makes life so much easier. But as his lies pile up, he finds himself in big—and funny—trouble with his friends, family, and teachers. He’s got to find a way to end his lying streak—forever.

HOTHEAD – Cal Ripken Jr. (Author), Kevin Cowheard (Author), Connor Sullivan is an All-Star third baseman on his Babe Ruth League team, the Orioles. He can hit and field with the best of them, but he’s got one big problem: his temper. When he strikes out or makes an error, he’s a walking Mt. Vesuvius, slamming batting helmets and throwing gloves. His teammates are starting to avoid him, even his best friend Jason. His coach is ready to kick him off the team.

THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE: BOOK II: The Hidden Gallery – Maryrose Wood (Author),  Jon Klassen (Illustrator), the Ashton household is on the move to London, where Lady Ashton hopes she will be the belle of British society, and Penelope looks forward to civilizing the Incorrigibles further with trips to the theater and museums. But the undercurrent of – something wicked this way comes – and the signs of impending trouble for both governess and charges make the air here thick with (dreadful!) possibilities.

13 PLANETS: THE LATEST VIEW OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM – David A. Aquilar (Author) First, Pluto left. Then it came back, along with Ceres and Eris…and now Haumea and MakeMake, too! The recent actions of the International Astronomical Union have put every solar system book out of date. In response, National Geographic joins forces with David Aguilar of the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory to revise our 2008 book—and to update young readers on the high-interest topic of space. Using simple text and spectacular photorealistic computer art by the author, this book profiles all 13 planets in their newly created categories—plus the sun, the Oort Cloud, comets, and other worlds being discovered. Back-of-the-book activities offer hands-on fun for budding astronomers.

SMALL AS AN ELEPHANT – Jennifer Jacobson (Author), Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and “spinning” wildly until it’s over. But Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park, with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself – starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before Social Services catches on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties – and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

THE ADVENTURE AT SIMBA HILL (A Kari and Lucas Mystery) – Susan Runholt, Best friends Kari and Lucas are thrilled to go on safari in Africa. They’re fascinated by the lions, giraffes, and zebras. Even more intriguing to Kari is the cave where her uncle and other archaeologists have discovered artwork from thousands of years ago. But when some of the ancient artifacts are stolen, Kari and Lucas are thrust into an art mystery as compelling as any they’ve faced before-only, surrounded by wild animals, far more dangerous.

FANTASY BASEBALL – Alan Gratz (Author), Alex Metcalf must be dreaming. What else would explain why he’s playing baseball for the Oz Cyclones, with Dorothy as his captain, in the Ever After Baseball Tournament? But Alex isn’t dreaming, he’s just from the real world. And winning the tournament might be his only chance to get back there, because the champions get a wish granted by the Wizard. Too bad Ever After’s most notorious criminal, the Big Bad Wolf, is also after the wishes. Anyone who gets in his way gets eaten. Watch out, Alex!

CALVIN COCONUT: HERO OF HAWAII – Graham Salisbury (Author), Jacqueline Rogers (Illustrator), Hawaii boy Calvin Coconut has come up with the best idea ever for his sister Darci’s birthday party. But a huge tropical storm hits the islands and threatens everything. It rains and rains. And rains. The river next to Calvin’s house rises high. When Calvin’s friend Willy falls into the raging water, Calvin grabs his skiff to save him. As Willy is swept into the bay, Calvin struggles in the wild waves. What happens next shows Calvin what heroes are made of.

DOGTAG SUMMER – Elizabeth Partridge (Author), Twelve-year-old Tracy-or Tuyet-has always felt different. The villagers in Vietnam called her con-lai, or “half-breed,” because her father was an American GI. And she doesn’t fit in with her adoptive family in California, either. But when Tracy and a friend discover a soldier’s dogtag hidden among her father’s things, it sets her past and her present on a collision course. Where should her broken heart come to rest? In a time and place she remembers only in her dreams? Or among the people she now calls family? Partridge’s sensitive portrayal of a girl and her family grappling with the complicated legacy of war is as timely today as the events were decades ago.

CHEESIE MACK IS NOT A GENIUS OR ANYTHING – Steve Cotler (Author), Adam Mccauley (Illustrator), Ronald “Cheesie” Mack is not a genius or anything, but he remembers everything that happened before, during, and after fifth-grade graduation, and he’s written it all down in his own unique and hilarious way—with lots of lists, drawings, and splenderful (that’s splendid plus wonderful!) made-up words.

THE TROUBLE WITH CHICKENS: A J.J. Tully Mystery – Doreen Cronin (Author), Kevin Cornell (Illustrator), Retired search-and-rescue dog J.J. Tully is enjoying the simple life on a farm when his world is turned upside down by an annoying hen, Moosh, and her two equally obnoxious chicks, Dirt and Sugar, who hound him to help locate Poppy and Sweetie. They fear that the missing chicks have been kidnapped and are being held hostage inside the house where ferocious Vince the Funnel-an aptly named canine-lives.

POSSUM SUMMER – Jen Blom (Author), Omar Rayyan (Illustrator), Possum Summer is an uplifting novel about a girl and her father whose fractious relationship is healed by the hard lessons they learn about love and letting go. Eleven-year-old P (short for Princess) longs for a pet, but her father insists that all animals on their Oklahoma farm earn their keep. While he’s away on combat duty, P rescues an orphaned opossum that she names Ike. When her father is injured and her world falls down around her ears, P knows she must find it in herself to betray Ike’s trust and force him to survive in the wild – no matter how much it kills her to do it.

STORM RUNNERS (Storm Runners – Trilogy) – Roland Smith (Author) Chase Masters and his father are “storm runners,” racing across the country in pursuit of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Anywhere bad weather strikes, they are not far behind. Chase is learning more on the road than he ever would just sitting in a classroom. But when the hurricane of the century hits, he will be tested in ways he never could have imagined.

SUDDENLY IN THE DEPTHS OF THE FOREST – Amos Oz (Author), In a gray and gloomy village, all of the animals—from dogs and cats to fish and snails—disappeared years before. No one talks about it and no one knows why, though everyone agrees that the village has been cursed. But when two children see a fish—a tiny one and just for a second—they become determined to unravel the mystery of where the animals have gone. And so they travel into the depths of the forest with that mission in mind, terrified and hopeful about what they may encounter. 

EYEWITNESS CIVIL WAR – John Stanchak (Author), The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures.

AMELIA’S BFF – Marissa Moss (Author, Illustrator), Amelia is so excited that Nadia, her BFF from back in California is coming to visit. She’s sure that Nadia and Carly, her BFF in Oregon are going to really hit it off and they’ll have a great week together. Trouble is Nadia and Carly can’t stand each other and Amelia is trapped in the middle. When your two best friends are warring how do you choose sides? Who’s her real BFF now?

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