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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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May – New Book Releases

Learning Differences

THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE – Jeanne Birdsall (Author), When summer comes around, it’s off to the beach for Rosalind . . . and off to Maine with Aunt Claire for the rest of the Penderwick girls, as well as their old friend, Jeffrey. That leaves Skye as OAP (oldest available Penderwick)—a terrifying notion for all, but for Skye especially. Things look good as they settle into their cozy cottage, with a rocky shore, enthusiastic seagulls, a just-right corner store, and a charming next-door neighbor. But can Skye hold it together long enough to figure out Rosalind’s directions about not letting Batty explode? Will Jane’s Love Survey come to a tragic conclusion after she meets the alluring Dominic? Is Batty—contrary to all accepted wisdom—the only Penderwick capable of carrying a tune? And will Jeffrey be able to keep peace between the girls . . . these girls who are his second, and most heartfelt, family? It’s a rollicking ride as the Penderwicks continue their unforgettable adventures in a story filled with laughs and joyful tears!

JAKE RANSOM AND THE HOWLING SPHINX – James Rollins (Author), Using his father’s watch as a key, Jake intends to return to Calypsos. Instead he’s thrust into a strange desert land where he’s joined by his friends Marika, Pindor, and Bach’uuk and his sister, Kady. As they try to figure out what to do next, a surprise attack by the beautiful young Princess Nefertiti takes them all captive. Soon even she is battling the Skull King’s minions. For Jake has something the Skull King wants—a prize that will give its owner awesome power, including control of the fearsome Howling Sphinx. In a new pounding adventure, Jake races against time to outfight and outwit Kalverum Rex, knowing that if the Skull King wins, he’ll be unstoppable.

DRAGON KEEPERS #4: The Dragon in the Volcano – Kate Klimo (Author), John Shroades (Illustrator), What do you do when your dragon becomes a ‘tween? Worry! And that’s exactly what Dragon Keepers Jesse and Daisy do when their dragon, Emmy, outgrows their garage and starts disappearing. Luckily, when she really disappears, she also leaves them a trail of socks, which leads them headlong into a . . . volcano? Yep! And it only gets crazier from there! In this fourth title, author Kate Klimo introduces readers to a whole new world—the Fiery Realm, where dragons can be felled by a squirt of water and fire fairies have started mysteriously disappearing. As always, readers get a full dose of action and imagination in this expanding tale of two kids and a dragon, growing up together. A great boy-girl adventure for readers of How to Train Your Dragon!

A TALE OF TWO CASTLES – Gail Carson Levine (Author), Greg Call (Illustrator), Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine weaves a spellbinding tale about a clever heroine, a dragon detective, and a shape-shifting ogre. Newly arrived in the town of Two Castles, Elodie unexpectedly becomes the assistant to a brilliant dragon named Meenore, and together they solve mysteries. Their most important case concerns the town’s shape-shifting ogre, Count Jonty Um: Someone is plotting against him. Elodie must disguise herself to discover the source of the threat amid a cast of characters that includes a greedy king, a giddy princess, and a handsome cat trainer.

DREADNOUGHT (H.I.V.E.) – Mark Walden (Author), A renegade faction of the world’s most powerful villains is intent on destroying G.L.O.V.E. (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises) and showing the world the true face of evil. The Disciples begin by hijacking Diabolus Darkdoom’s Airborne command post, then they kidnap his son and his son’s best friend. Unfortunately for them, Nigel Darkdoom (and Franz) also happen to be Otto’s friends. Heading out to America, Otto, Wing et al embark on a perilous and highly unauthorised rescue operation.

TEN (Winnie Years) – Lauren Myracle (Author),Winnie Perry is turning ten and ten is BIG: it means double digits, more responsibility, and being an almost-middle-schooler. Ten means that Winnie can handle anything, even a three-year-old baby brother and a practically teenage (and acting like it) older sister. And with her best friend, Amanda, by her side, Winnie plans on enjoying every last second of their last year in elementary school.

THE DAGGER QUICK – Brian Eames (Author), A stirring tale of rousing old-fashioned adventure, THE DAGGER QUICK is the story of twelve-year-old Christopher, a boy with a clubfoot seemingly doomed to follow in the boring footsteps of his father as a cooper in 17th century England. That is, until he meets his uncle- William Quick, infamous pirate, and the only man ever crazy enough to steal from the infamous Governor of Jamaica. With his mother kidnapped, his father murdered, and Christopher unjustly blamed for the crime, he has no choice but to set off on a dangerous seafaring adventure with bounty hunters on his trail and his only ally an uncle he hardly knows.

JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW – Nathan Bransford (Author), Jacob Wonderbar is used to detentions, but when a spaceship crashes near his house, he finds himself in a whole new level of trouble. After swapping a corn dog for the ship, he and his two best friends, Sarah Daisy and Dexter, take off on a madcap adventure. They accidentally cause an epic explosion, get kidnapped by a space pirate, and are marooned on planets like Numonia and Paisley, where the air smells like burp breath and revenge-hungry substitute teachers rule. And that’s only the beginning . . . It turns out that there’s an entire colony of space humans, and Jacob’s long-lost father just might be one of them.

JUNONIA – Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator), Returning to the beach cottage—a cottage named Scallop—where she has always celebrated her birthday is a special occasion for Alice Rice. Who will see the first dolphin this time? The first pelican? What will have changed? Stayed the same? And will this be the year she finally finds a junonia shell? Alice’s friends are all returning, too. And she’s certain her parents have the best party planned for her. Alice can’t wait. If Alice is lucky, everything will be absolutely perfect. Will Alice be lucky?

ALIENS ON VACATION – Clete Barrett Smith (Author), Christian Slade (Illustrator), Scrub isn’t happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his crazy grandmother in “Middle-of-Nowhere,” Washington. Arriving at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn’t surprised by its the-60’s-meets-Star-Wars décor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is an off-earth portal and his grandma the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Grandma desperately needs Scrub’s help monitoring the visitors, shopping for cartloads of aluminum-foil for dinner, and taking rambunctious alien kids, that glow-in-the-dark and look like trees, camping. The problem is, the town sheriff, already suspicious about Granny, is a scout leader camping in the same spot. Will Scrub blow Granny’s cover, forcing the B&B to shut down for good, or will the intergalactic police have to intervene?

THE EMERALD CASKET (The Archer Legacy) – Richard Newsome (Author), Jonny Duddle (Illustrator), It has only been a month since Gerald Wilkins be-came the richest kid on earth. One month since he found out his great-aunt Geraldine had left him all her fortune and, with it, a murder mystery, clues to a diamond heist, and a target on his back. One month since Sir Mason Green made off with the contents of the diamond casket, an object of unspeakable power. And you thought your school vacation was eventful.

SPARROW ROAD – Sheila O’Connor (Author), It’s the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year- old Raine O’Rourke’s mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road- a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie. Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road-from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. But it’s an unexpected secret from Raine’s own life that changes her forever.

THE LEMONADE CRIME – Jacqueline Davies (Author), Following the laws of our legal system, Evan and Jessie’s fourth grade class concocts a courtroom on the playground, putting Scott Spencer, alleged thief, on trial. They create a legitimate courtroom—with a judge, witnesses, a jury of their peers—and surprising consequences.

HER EVIL TWIN (Poison Apple) – Mimi McCoy (Author), Is Anna’s new BFF really her evil twin? Nothing is as it seems in this thrilling, bone-chilling new Poison Apple book! Anna’s new friend, Emma, is everything Anna wants to be — fearless, effortlessly fashionable, and always up for doing something new and fun. The girls even look alike, and soon they’re fixing their hair the same way and sharing clothes. But Emma is also kind of a troublemaker. She likes to sneak off school grounds at lunch, and she doesn’t seem to like Anna having any other friends. Emma never seems to get caught, but Anna does. After all, they look just alike. When Emma’s sense of adventure takes a sinister turn, Anna starts to worrry. Is her mirror-image BFF a dangerous evil twin?

STAR WARS ADVENTURES: Boba Fett and the Ship of Fear – Jeremy Barlow (Author), Daxiong (Author), The wreck of the Reverie, a four-hundred-year-old abandoned luxury liner is rumored to house an ancient relic of immense value. When Boba comes into possession of a map revealing the ship’s current whereabouts, he sets his sights on the prize. But he’s not alone two bounty-hunting brothers with a grudge against Fett are now on his trail, hoping to win the treasure for themselves. But neither Boba nor the brothers are prepared for what else is lurking within the creepy corridors of the forsaken Reverie…

NOAH BARLEYWATER RUNS AWAY – John Boyne (Author), Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator), Eight-year-old Noah’s problems seem easier to deal with if he doesn’t think about them. So he runs away, taking an untrodden path through the forest. Before long, he comes across a shop. But this is no ordinary shop: it’s a toyshop, full of the most amazing toys, and brimming with the most wonderful magic. And here Noah meets a very unusual toymaker. The toymaker has a story to tell, and it’s a story of adventure and wonder and broken promises. He takes Noah on a journey. A journey that will change his life.

JUDY MOODY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD (Judy Moody Movie tie-in): Behind the Scenes with Judy Moody and Friends Megan Mcdonald (Author), A way-behind-the-scenes look at a movie set with Judy Moody and friends! Sneak onto the set of the Judy Moody movie with Judy, Stink, Rocky, Frank Pearl, Amy Namey, even Mouse, and some new characters. They go deep underground to discover all sorts of weird, wonderful, and far-out facts about making and being in movies. Get an insider’s view of special effects, costumes, bloopers, what actors do when they’re not on set, and more. Thrill-o-rama!

SMELLS LIKE TREASURE – Suzanne Selfors (Author), When Homer Pudding receives a mysterious note emblazoned with the letters L.O.S.T., he knows the moment he has been waiting for has arrived. It is time to meet the society of Legends, Objects, Secrets, and Treasures, take his Uncle’s place, and become a true adventurer. With his best friend, Dog, at his side, everything seems to be going as planned…until an unexpected opponent challenges Homer’s spot, and they are tasked with a dangerous quest. Only the one who can solve the clues and reach the treasure first will be given membership. Homer is counting on Dog’s hidden ability to smell treasure to help him along the way — but someone is trying to hinder his quest and keep him out of L.O.S.T. And who is plotting to steal Dog? From the sleepy goat fields of Milkydale to fantastical mansions and hidden islands, Dog and Homer are off on another page-turning adventure!

THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL – Kirby Larson (Author), I am Miss Kanagawa. In 1927, my 57 doll-sisters and I were sent from Japan to America as Ambassadors of Friendship. Our work wasn’t all peach blossoms and tea cakes. My story will take you from New York to Oregon, during the Great Depression. Though few in this tale are as fascinating as I, their stories won’t be an unpleasant diversion. You will make the acquaintance of Bunny, bent on revenge; Lois, with her head in the clouds; Willie Mae, who not only awakened my heart, but broke it; and Lucy, a friend so dear, not even war could part us. I have put this tale to paper because from those 58 Friendship Dolls only 45 remain. I know that someone who chooses this book is capable of solving the mystery of the missing sisters. Perhaps that someone is you.

FLUTTER: The Story of Four Sisters and an Incredible Journey – Erin Moulton (Author), 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.

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