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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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  • April New Releases

    Learning Differences
    IMG_5814.jpg

    source: meredith19

    April showers brings May flowers, and a downpour of books! Enjoy this month’s newest selectionsof middle-grade books. Descriptions in most cases are adapted from product descriptoins.

    Contemporary

      A Million Miles from Boston (Wendy Lamb) – Karen Day. School’s out! That means Lucy is off to her favorite place: Pierson Point, Maine, where she spends summers with her family. And as she tries to forget her worries about starting middle school and about Dad’s new girlfriend, Lucy can’t get there soon enough. Pierson Point is where she feels most like herself, and where memories of her mother, who died when Lucy was six, are strong and sacred. But this summer, nothing is the same. Ian, a boy from home in Boston, comes to Pierson Point with his family. Ian is loud, popular, and mean. He and Lucy can’t stand each other. To top it off, Dad wants his girlfriend to become a bigger part of Lucy’s life.

    Big Nate Boredom Buster: Super Scribbles, Cool Comix, and Lots of Laughs (HarperCollins) – Lincoln Peirce. This book will blow your pants off! 100% guaranteed relief from: 1. Cleaning your room 2. Endless car trips.

    Calli Be Gold (Wendy Lamb) – Michele Weber Hurwitz. Eleven-year-old Calli Gold is the quiet third child in a family of loud overachievers. In fact, the family motto is Be Gold. But Calli has flopped at everything she’s tried. Until a new person enters her life. Second grader Noah Zullo might seem strange to some people, but Calli can’t help liking him, and they become partners in their school’s Peer Helper Program. When they create a booth for the Friendship Fair, they fill it with secrets and surprises. And as Calli and Noah work and learn together, they even surprise themselves.

    Cinderella Smith (HarperCollins) – Stephanie Barden. Cinderella Smith has a problem with a capital P. She loses shoes almost as quickly as she puts them on her feet. But now she’s lost the most important shoe of all: her shiny, ruby red tap shoe. Without it she won’t have a chance of being chosen Pumpkin Blossom Fairy for the fall dance recital—and that means no special tutu, no crown, and no solo! The school year is starting out with big problems too. Her new teacher laughs at her name, she’s sitting at the smart-boys table, and her old best friend is ignoring her. Now the new girl, Erin, has asked for her advice on wicked stepsisters. And Cinderella doesn’t have stepsisters—wicked or otherwise! The recital is just around the corner and the stepsisters are on their way. Can Cinderella and Erin solve the capital P problems in time?

      Flying Feet (Zigzag Kids) (Wendy Lamb Books) – Patricia Reilly Giff. When Charlie hears that special buzz in his head, he knows it means one thing: an idea for a new invention. But Charlie’s ideas tend to backfire—such as the flying feet that don’t really fly. If only Charlie could make his inventions work, people might think he’s as special as his older brother, Larry. Then the Zigzag afternoon center organizes a Come as a Character Day, and Charlie gets his chance to shine.

      Lucky Cap (Egmont USA) – Patrick Jennings. The summer before Enzo enters the 6th grade, he gets to spend the summer traveling with his father and the CEO/designer/head of a company, who’s a cross between Steve Jobs and Lance Armstrong. Working out all summer, meeting new people, and growing up makes Enzo come back a different kid – more confident and self-assured. But when all the other kids, especially the girls, start paying attention and treating him differently, he ascribes it all to his cool prototype lucky cap. Flirted with, more popular, invited onto the sports teams – it’s all thanks to his Lucky Cap. And when it disappears, Enzo stops at nothing to get it back, so he won’t lose his new-found status, only to sabotage himself.

    Scab for Treasurer? (Secrets of a Lab Rat…) (Aladdin) – Trudi Trueit. Scab McNally is running for class president against Missy Malone. Nicknamed “Never Missy,” because she always has her hand up first every time the teacher asks a question, and never gets one wrong, Scab sees the perfect chance to outdo her. But instead of creating an agenda of what he’ll do as class president, preparing a speech, and making signs, Scab focuses on launching wild enough stunts to win the popular vote . . . but will Never Missy be the first to beat Scab at his own game?

      True (. . . Sort Of) (Greenwillow) – Katherine Hannigan. True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly’s sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She’s never needed a surpresent more than now. True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody’s ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he’s ever seen. True: Ferris Boyd isn’t like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery). Hannigan is the author of Ida B.

      The Crepemaker’s Bond (Milkweed) – Julie Crabtree. Ariel is the head chef in her family kitchen. Cucumber salads, fettuccine carbonara, fish tacos, and peanut butter pie are just a few of the dishes she crafts when she’s feeling frustrated by the world. And it’s turning into a frustrating year. Ariel, Nicki, and Mattie have been inseparable friends since they were little kids, but now Mattie’s mom has decided to move away. It’s the girls’ last year in middle school, and they can’t fathom being separated. The friends concoct a plan that will keep Mattie in the Bay area — she’ll move in with Ariel and her family. But before you can say “bff,” the party is over. Everything Mattie does gets on Ariel’s nerves, and it’s not long before the girls are avoiding each other. This was supposed to be their best year ever, but some painful lessons are threatening to tear their friendship apart. Can the girls scramble to make things right before the bond crumbles? A sequel to Discovering Pig Magic, which won the 2008 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature.

    Trauma Queen Trauma Queen (Aladdin) – Barbara Dee. Every tween girl knows what it’s like to have a mom who’s embarrassing at times. But for Marigold, it goes way beyond embarrassing. Her single mom is a performance artist, meaning she stages dramatic, wacky performances to express her personal beliefs. As if that’s not bad enough, Marigold’s mom takes on a new job–teaching drama at Marigold’s new school! Now all the kids know instantly just how weird her mom is, and Marigold’s worried she’ll never be able to have a friendship that can survive her mother.

    Zitface (Marshall Cavendish) – Emily Howse. A young actress finds her life turned upside down when she develops severe acne.

     Mystery and Adventure

    Alice-Miranda at School (Delacorte) – Jacqueline Harvey. Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennigton-Jones can’t wait to start boarding school. But when she arrives at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, the adventure begins . . . but not as Alice-Miranda expects. The minute she sets foot on the school’s manicured grounds, she senses that something is wrong: Miss Grimm, the headmistress, is nowhere to be seen, the gardens have no flowers, and a mysterious stranger seems to be hiding out on the premises. But that’s not all. Some girls are mean and spoiled, like Alethea Goldsworthy. Can Alice-Miranda defeat Alethea in one of three difficult tests she must pass to remain at school? Will she discover Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale’s big secret—and make things right? Well, if anyone can, it’s spunky Alice-Miranda!

    The Luck of the Buttons (Candlewick) – Anne Ylvisaker. In Iowa circa 1929, spunky twelve-year-old Tugs Button vows to turn her family s luck around, with the help of a Brownie camera and a small-town mystery.

    Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #7: The Flying Chinese Wonders (HarperCollins) – Jeff Brown. Ouch! Stanley accidentally caused twin acrobats Yin and Yang to take a tumble, right before their Chinese New Year show. Yang’s foot is broken—but luckily, Flat Stanley is flexible enough to take his place. To make up for his mistake, Stanley travels to China to help out—but can he learn all their amazing tricks in time?

    One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street (Amulet) –  Joanne Rocklin. When a mysterious man arrives one day on Orange Street, the children who live on the block try to find out who he is and why he’s there. Little do they know that his story—and the story of a very old orange tree—connects to each of their personal worries in ways they never could have imagined.

    Fantasy

    Daisy Dawson at the Beach (Candlewick) – Steve Voake. Rescuing a dolphin is easier when you can talk to animals! School’s out for Daisy Dawson, and things couldn’t be any better. Imagine a whole summer at the beach, full of sand, sun, and surfing! But when Daisy hears a call for help from the bottom of the sea, she finds a dolphin in deep trouble, caught in old fishing nets. Will Daisy and her friends be able to save the dolphin before it’s too late?

    Fire World (Last Dragon Chronicles) (Orchard Books). Chris D’Lacey. After destroying a trace of dark fire, David, Zanna, and the Pennykettle dragons vanished. In a brand-new world, Co:per:nica, which runs parallel to that of Crescent Lane, firebirds roam the ancient librarium, a museum for books. But when 12-year-old David and Rosanna accidentally injure one of the firebirds, they are suddenly thrust into a remarkable adventure.

    Invisible Inkling (Balzer + Bray) – Emily Jenkins. The thing about Hank’s new friend Inkling is, he’s invisible. No, not imaginary. Inkling is an invisible bandapat, a creature native only to the Peruvian Woods of Mystery. (Or maybe it is the Ukrainian glaciers. Inkling hardly ever gets his stories straight.)  Now Inkling has found his way to Brooklyn and into Hank’s laundry basket on his quest for squash—bandapats’ favorite food. But Hank has bigger problems than helping Inkling fend off maniac doggies and search for yummy pumpkins: Bruno Gillicut is a lunch-stealing dirtbug caveperson and he’s got to be stopped. And who better to help stand up to a bully than an invisible friend?

    Juniper Berry (Walden Pond Press) – M. P. Kozlowsky. Juniper Berry’s parents are the most beloved actor and actress in the world—but Juniper can’t help but feel they haven’t been quite right lately. And she and her friend Giles are determined to find out why. On a cold and rainy night, Juniper follows her parents as they sneak out of the house and enter the woods. What she discovers is an underworld filled with contradictions: one that is terrifying and enticing, lorded over by a creature both sinister and seductive, who can sell you all the world’s secrets bound in a balloon. For the first time, Juniper and Giles have a choice to make. And it will be up to them to confront their own fears in order to save the ones who couldn’t.

    Kat, Incorrigible (Atheneum) – Stephanie Burgis. At twelve years old, any proper young lady should be sitting quietly at home, practicing her embroidery, learning French, and keeping her mouth closed and her opinions to herself. But Kat Stephenson is no ordinary young lady. Kat’s father may be a respectable vicar, but her late mother was a notorious witch, her brother has gambled the whole family into debt, and Kat herself is the newest target of an ancient and secretive magical Order.

    Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play (Disney*Hyperion) – Ridley Pearson. For the five teens who modeled as Disney Hologram Imaging hosts, life is beginning to settle down when an intriguing video arrives to Philby’s computer at school. 

    Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant (HarperCollins) – Mark Jeffrey. Max Quick is a pickpocket, a vagabond, an orphan, and a thief. Even so, nothing about him seems particularly special . . . until one day when time mysteriously stops. Suddenly, nearly everyone in the world is frozen in time—except for Max. Now Max must journey across America to find out why. Along the way, he meets others who aren’t suspended in time, like Casey, a girl who’s never been on her own until now. Together, as they search for the cause of this disaster, Max and his companions encounter ancient mysteries, magic books, and clues to the riddle of stopped time. But relentless and mysterious villains are hot on Max’s heels and will do everything in their power to prevent Max from ending the Time-stop. Racing against a clock that no longer ticks, Max must embrace his past to save his future—and the world—from being altered forever.

    My Unfair Godmother (Walker Books) – Janette Rallison. Tansy Miller has always felt that her divorced father has never had enough time for her. But mistakenly getting caught on the wrong side of the law wasn’t exactly how she wanted to get his attention. Enter Chrysanthemum “Chrissy” Everstar, Tansy’s fairy in shining, er, high heels. Chrissy is only a fair godmother, of course, so Tansy’s three wishes don’t exactly go according to plan. And if bringing Robin Hood to the twenty-first century isn’t bad enough for Tansy, being transported back to the Middle Ages to deal with Rumpelstiltskin certainly is. She’ll need the help of her blended family, her wits, and especially the cute police chief ‘s son to stop the gold-spinning story from spinning wildly out of control. Follow-up novel to My Fair Godmother.

    Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 10: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Philomel) – John Flanagan. Months have passed since Horace departed for the eastern nation of Nihon-Ja on a vital mission. Having received no communication from him, his friends fear the worst. Unwilling to wait a second longer, Alyss, Evanlyn, and Will leave their homeland behind and venture into an exotic land in search of their missing friend. When they finally catch up with him, they find Horace entangled in a military coup. Determined to protect the imperial throne, Will and his band of Araluens must piece together and train a force in order to fend off the master Senji warriors intent on overthrowing the emperor.

    The 39 Clues, Book 11: Vespers Rising (Scholastic) – Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, Jude Watson. The Cahills thought they were the most powerful family the world had ever known. They were wrong. Powerful enemies — the Vespers — have been waiting in the shadows. Now it’s their time to rise and the world will never be the same.

    The Black (Morpheus Road) (Aladdin) - D.J. MacHale. At the end of The Light, Book One of the Morpheus Road trilogy, Marshall learned the truth about what happened to his best friend Cooper. Now in Book Two, the POV switches to Cooper and we get to see his side of the mystery. What does his story have to do with Marshall and the journey along the Morpheus Road? It’s time to learn more.

    The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning) (Knopf) – John Stephens. Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage. Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about. Until now. Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem.  And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

    The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen (Greenwillow) – Joseph Delaney. Thomas Ward has served as the Spook’s apprentice for three years. He has battled boggarts, witches, demons, and even the devil himself. Tom has enemies: The Fiend stalks him, waiting for a moment of weakness. The terrifying Morrigan, goddess of witches, warned him never to step foot on her homeland, Ireland. But now war has consumed their own country, and Tom, his friend Alice, and the Spook must flee to Ireland. The dark rages strongly there. No one can be trusted. Can Tom defeat the creatures that hunt him most fiercely?

    The Unseen World of Poppy Malone #1: A Gaggle of Goblins (Greenwillow) – Suzanne Harper. The first book in a new tween series about Poppy Malone, a nine-and-¾-year-old girl whose parents—famous paranormal investigators—move the family to Austin, Texas, in order to trace suspicious activity in the area.

    Warriors: Omen of the Stars #4: Sign of the Moon (HarperCollins) – Erin Hunter. The dark forces that have driven a rift between the four warrior Clans are growing stronger. Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw now know that unless they can unravel the true meaning behind the prophecy that binds them, the warrior code could be destroyed forever.

    Non-fiction

    The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World (Knopf) – Bryn Barnard. The Muslim world has often been a bridge between East and West, but many of Islam’s crucial innovations are hidden within the folds of history. In this important book, Bryn Barnard uses short, engaging text and gorgeous full-color artwork to bring Islam’s contributions gloriously to life.

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