• From the Mixed-Up Files... > Learning Differences > Author Interview with Erin E. Moulton
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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,


    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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Author Interview with Erin E. Moulton

Learning Differences

Today we would like to welcome one of our Mixed Up Authors, Erin E. Moulton, to the blog to celebrate her debut book FLUTTER: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey. We will also be giving away a copy of FLUTTER and a gift box of maple goodies in honor of our protagonist, Maple T. Rittle.

TO WIN? Leave a comment in the comments section below and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Saturday, May 21st.  You’ll get extra entries for sharing a link on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or if you click the ‘Follow this blog’ button in Networked Blogs on the lower right side of our site.

***Please mention each link in a new comment so the generator will add your extra entries.  Winners must live in the US or Canada.  Good luck!

The Synopsis: Big things are about the happen at Maple’s house. Mama’s going to have a baby, which means now there will be four Rittle sisters instead of just three. But when baby Lily is  born too early and can’t come home from the hospital, Maple knows it’s up to her to save her sister. So she and Dawn, armed with a map and some leftover dinner, head off down a river and up a mountain to find the Wise Woman who can grant miracles. Now it’s not only Lily’s survival that they have to worry about, but also their own. The dangers that Maple and Dawn encounter on their journey makes them realize a thing or two about miracles-and about each other.


How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Flutter came to me in fits and starts.  It wasn’t just that I had an idea of writing a story about kids who go looking for a miracle for their little sister who is born prematurely. The truth is, that was one of the last things I thought of in the process of creating this story.  I was at VC when I was working on this and the story began during my second semester working with Ellen Howard.  Ellen had asked me to focus on something I knew about that was close to me, something that would show what I knew about life.  I was, I think, 22 or 23 at the time, had just completed college and was striking out into the real world.  I knew I missed home and I knew I missed my sisters, my family and the mountain.  So I focused on the thoughts and feelings around that and then the adventurous plot fell into place.

At what age did you decide you wanted to write?

I wrote a lot all through my childhood and my adolescence.  In 2nd grade I wrote a book with my friend Kim.  It was called The Two Orphans.  In 4th grade, I remember my friend Sam and I wrote a long story about all of our classmates getting killed off in the desert.  I had a bad habit of putting my friends in stories and then adding the drama.  My teachers were patient and understanding, but looking back on them, I am somewhat horrified.  In 5th and 6th grade I wrote many stories, and read a lot.  Mr. Alligator was my teacher for those years.  He was one of the best teachers I ever had because he was a huge advocate of imagination and literature. Later on, in high school, I focused more on the teen angst and poetry.  I have lots and lots of embarrassing diary entries from this period of my life and also some great vignettes and short pieces done in Ms. Stahl’s class.  The thing is, I knew I loved writing, but I didn’t think I could make much of a living out of it, so I followed my second passion.  Being a lighting designer for the theater.  Yes, you heard me right.  I abandoned being a writer for a career in the theater.  What? Note to self, don’t swap out one art for another.  Might as well just barrel on through the best you can with the original plan.  Regardless, I suppose it worked out for the best.  I went to Emerson to pursue my degree in theater and during my junior or senior year I decided I needed to take a writing class to get a few extra credits.  Being in those classes and doing workshops with the writing, literature and publishing crew woke me right up.  Shortly after, I applied to VCFA and started writing in earnest.

What kinds of books did you like to read when you were a kid?

All kinds. I loved adventure. I loved day to day stuff. I loved poetry.  I even went through a period in sixth grade where I read a bunch of Chaucer, and later sought out the works in their old English versions. And I also loved Shakespeare.  There was something about the way it sounded.  I didn’t have to understand everything that was going on, the beauty of the words, the way they had rhythm like music, was enough to keep me occupied for hours.  But I also loved books that kids today will recognize, such as, A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner, The Giver by Lois Lowry and  Lyddie by Katherine Paterson.

How many hours a day/week do you write?

I usually average about an hour and a half/day during weekdays and about 8 to 9 hours/day on the weekends.  When I am on deadline it is a lot more!  Also, I work full time, so the weekend hours would be considerably less if I had weekdays to focus on it!

Can you share some of the things your main character loves that aren’t mentioned in the book?

Maple loves lots of things.  She is a very loving character, as are all the Rittles.  Let’s see, she loves warm sunlight, and tea with two teaspoons of sugar.  She likes catching frogs and salamanders and bugs of all sorts.  She also likes to eat raspberries straight off the bush after a light rainfall.  She loves dipping her feet in streams and reading her sister’s diary.  She loves stealing all the chocolates out of the advent calendar and watching a few tv shows snuggled on the couch with her sisters. She also loves a good thunderstorm.

What are you currently working on?

My next novel, currently titled The Lanternlight Dreamers, is in the revision process for publication in 2012 from Philomel/Penguin.  I can’t give away too much, but I will tell you it is about a girl named Indie Lee Chickory, a boy named Owen Stone, a summer of adventure, mistakes, top secret tree forts and theater.

Thanks so much for coming over to the mixed up files today!

Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey, published on May 12th! Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association and when she is not writing she works at Springboard After School with lots of silly kids and a bearded dragon named Puff.  Erin lives in Southern New H ampshire with her husband and puppy where she writes, reads, drinks tea and dreams.  You can visit her online at www.erinemoulton.com or on Facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author)

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