• 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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  • Honoring Asian/Asian American Themed Middle-Grade Novels

    Learning Differences

    After the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the world’s eyes have been on Japan recently.

    So we at the Mixed-Up Files thought we would show our solidarity with the entire region by and spotlighting ten terrific novels about Asia and Asian America… and one bonus forthcoming novel!

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt that two of these fantastic Asian/Asian American themed MG novels are from within our own ranks! (Hey, we figure shameless self promotion is always OK if it’s to get some great new books to kids!)


    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus (Amulet)


    Although Manjiro, the young fisherman protagonist of Preus’ 2011 Newberry Honor book is 14, and so not technically a middle-grader, we had to start this list with a nod to this splendid adventure on the high seas. In fact, according to Publisher’s Weekly, Japanese television audiences can’t get enough of Preus and her book either!

    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Tofu and T. Rex by Greg Leitich Smith (Little Brown)

    Companion book to the also fabulously titled Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo, this novel is the story of militant vegan Frederika Mulchison-Kowalski, and her travails with her Japanese-Polish-German-American (and carnivorous) cousin Hans Peter, and their grandfather, who happens to own a butcher shop and sausage deli. Oh, and where is the T. Rex of the title? In the basement, of course…

    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Bobby the Brave (sometimes) by Lisa Yee (Arthur A. Levine)



    It was hard to pick just one book by this master of the middle grade voice. Middle graders will laugh out loud at the antics in of Bobby in this book as well as Bobby vs. Girls (accidentally). Yee’s first MG novel was Millicent Min, Girl Genius – and it begins trio of books written from the distinct points of view of three (kind of) friends. The fantastic Millicent is followed by Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time and So Totally Emily Ebers.


    Shop Indie Bookstores

    The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin (Little, Brown, Young)


    Although many are aware of Grace Lin’s 2010 Newberry Honor winning Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, don’t skip over the delightful The Year of the Rat, the sequel to The Year of the Dog. Grace is of course also an illustrator, and has a new book for younger readers, Ling and Ting, which is a 2011 Geisel Honor book.


    Rikshaw Girl by Mitali Bose Perkins (Charlesbridge)

    Although Mitali is well known for her YA novels, including her much awarded Bamboo People, the story of two teen soldiers in the modern day political turmoil of Burma, she also has works for middle graders, including Rikshaw Girl, the story of a young girl who must save her mother’s golden bangle and fix her father’s rikshaw. 


    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

    This new novel by the author of the YA series The Summer I turned Pretty is about Clara Lee, a kimchi-loving, fish-soup-hating, candy-necklace wearing, little girl who dreams of winning the Little Miss Apple Pie contest. Will her luck change in time for her to win?


    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Archer’s Quest by Linda Sue Park (Clarion)

    Twelve year old Kevin, who “couldn’t care less” about his heritage, is shocked when a ruler from ancient Korea shows up in his modern day New York bedroom, complete with bow and arrows. Weaving together the past and the present, Park creates an adventure of Korean history and lore as well as a modern day, faced paced sensibility.







    The Dragon’s  Child: A Story of Angel Island by Laurence Yep with Dr. Kathleen S. Yep (HarperCollins)

    Based on two-time Newberry Honor winner Laurence Yep’s own family history, this historical novel follows ten-year-old Gim Lew Yep from a small village in Southern China to a ship bound for a new future in America.

    Shop Indie Bookstores

    Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look (Schwartz & Wade)

    It’s impossible not to adore Alvin Ho, or continue reading the other fabulous novels in this series. Lenore’s other young MG collection begins with Ruby Lu, Brave and True and is also going strong. Both Alvin and Ruby have new novels slated to come out this year!


    Shop Indie Bookstores

    The Great Wall of Lucy Lu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic)

    This fantastic new novel from our own Mixed Up Files blogger (holla!) is about Lucy Wu, a sixth grade ‘all-American’ basketball player, whose life is turned upside down with the arrival of an elderly relative from China, who not only makes Lucy eat Chinese food instead of pizza and hamburgers, but shares her room! About the walls a young girl must break down in order to discover her family history, identity, and inner strength.







    Vanished by Sheela Chari (Hyperion, forthcoming)

    And here’s another amazing novel – this one forthcoming – from a Mixed Up files blogger! (double holla!) Eleven year old Neela dreams of becoming a musician, but when her instrument – a stringed Indian sitar that was an heirloom from her grandmother – goes missing – she must follow the mystery all the way to India – and into her past!





    Here are some more great resources to discover Asian and Asian American middle grade novels:

    1. Cynthia Leitich Smith’s website

    2. BookDragon: The Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program

    3. Pooja Makhijani’s annotated bibliography of South Asian Children’s Literature

    4. My own website’s list of South Asian Children’s Literature

    If you have other favorite Asian and Asian American inspired MG novels that aren’t above, please add them to the comments! Also, please do share your own resources for discovering wonderful Asian/Asian American MG stories!

    Sayantani DasGupta can rarely find the grocery lists she spends so much time making. But she never loses a good book list! She hopes her own Bengali folktale-themed MG adventure will make such a booklist soon!

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