• OhMG! News


    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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  • Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Winners! Plus Author Extraordinaire Kate Messner!!

    Learning Differences

    The Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour has hit the road with a bang!

    Six big winners for six fabulous Skype author visits!!

    Without further ado here are the lucky winners and  the author they can expect to roll into their school, troop or book club …

    Sydney Salter will visit GreenBeanTeenQueen’s library

    Bobbie Pyron will visit Destiny Lawyer’s middle schoolers in rural Vermont

    Tom Angleberger will visit Marilyn Gammon’s class

    Kate Messner will visit Pragmatic Mom’s kids’ book clubs

    Beverly Patt will visit Ms. Murray’s class  in Smithville

    And last but not least Hillary Homzie will visit Mr. Curran’s class in Detroit, thanks to HeatherT

    We’ll have another run of Skyping authors on the bus and up for grabs in the fall and over the next several months we’ll introduce you to our fantastic authors and what makes their school visits truly wonderful.

    First up is author and Skyper extraordinaire Kate Messner-

    Hi Kate! We’re thrilled to have you here at the Mixed-Up Files and on the Skype Tour bus. Your middle grade novels have taken the world by storm in the last couple years and you have a brand new book- the first in an all new series- out this week. In a couple sentences please tell us about you and your books.

    I’m a National Board Certified middle school English teacher who loves both reading and writing books for kids. My first nationally published novel, THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z., won the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award. My books have also been Bank Street College of Education “Best Books,” Kids IndieNext list, and Junior Library Guild selections, and named to five state children’s choice award lists.  Right now, I’m excited about MARTY MCGUIRE, the first title in my new chapter book series, illustrated by Brian Floca and published by Scholastic, out this week.

    What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?

    I love writing for middle grade readers because the books I read when I was that age are truly the books that made me who I am. When you’re ten or eleven years old, you’re figuring out how the world works and what your place in that world is going to be, and I think books are such a powerful part of that process.

    What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

    I was a voracious reader, so I had a lot of favorites, but my favorite authors were Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. (Not long ago, a teacher told me that one of my books had reminded her of Beverly Cleary, and I almost burst into tears. She had no idea that she couldn’t have paid me a higher compliment!)

    What makes your school visits special?

    I think I love what I do so much that it’s contagious.  When I visit a school, I bring props and show kids lots of pictures of my writing process, so they see that research is so much more than books and computers. We talk about when you might need to take part in historical reenactments or travel (or even kiss a frog!) to get a scene just right.  And we talk about revision strategies, too – I show kids my messy, marked-up manuscripts and tell them about really specific ways they can use my strategies on their own writing assignments. More than once, a teacher has told me that she’s had to scrap her original plans for the day after one of my visits because the kids were dying to work on stories of their own, and that’s the best praise I can imagine.

    Thanks Kate!!! And thanks to all the other authors on the bus… and everyone who entered to win a Skype visit. We’ll have lots more authors coming down the pike, so keep a look out!

    Tami Lewis Brown will be driving the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour bus… just like Margie Tempest, the twelve-year-old main character/under-aged driver in Tami’s middle-grade novel, THE MAP OF ME, coming out this August from Farrar Straus & Giroux.

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