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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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  • July New Releases

    Learning Differences

    Release the Roman candles!!! It’s time to celebrate our independence… and our independent readers (a.k.a. Middle Grade readers) Let’s begin with some New Releases!!! This includes our own Mixed-Up Files member, Sheela Chari, who has a new title coming out this month. Congratulations, Sheela!

    FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES AUTHORS:

    VANISHED – Sheela Chari (Author), Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular instrument used to be her grandmother’s—made of warm, rich wood, and intricately carved with a mysterious-looking dragon. When this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, Neela is devastated. As she searches for it, strange clues surface: a teakettle ornamented with a familiar-looking dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead musician, and even a legendary curse. The clues point all the way to India, where it seems that Neela’s intrument has a long history of vanishing and reappearing. If she is able to track it down, will she be able to stop it from disappearing again?

     Sheela Chari’s debut novel is a finely tuned story of coincidence and fate, trust and deceit, music and mystery.

    MORE JULY RELEASES:

    MAGIC TREE HOUSE #42: A GOOD NIGHT FOR GHOSTS (A Stepping Stone Book™) – Mary Pope Osborne (Author),  Sal Murdocca (Illustrator), Jack and Annie are on their second mission to find—and inspire—artists to bring happiness to millions. After traveling to New Orleans, Jack and Annie come head to head with some real ghosts, as well as discover the world of jazz when they meet a young Louis Armstrong!

    JOEY PIGZA SWALLOWED THE KEY – Jack Gantos (Author), Joey Pigza has problems. Big problems. He was emotionally abused by his grandmother. He has never met his dad. He can’t get along in his elementary school classroom because of his mood swings and his “dud meds”.

    WHO WAS DR. SUESS? – Janet Paschal (Author), Nancy Harrison (Illustrator), Ted Geisel loved to doodle from the time he was a kid. He had an offbeat, fun-loving personality. He often threw dinner parties where guests wore outrageous hats! And he donned quirky hats when thinking up ideas for books – like his classic The Cat in the Hat. This biography, with black-and-white illustrations throughout, brings an amazingly gifted author/illustrator to life.

    NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS (DRAGONBREATH) – Ursula Vernon (Author), Danny Dragonbreath and his best friend, Wendell, have a carefully constructed trick-or-treating system designed to maximize their Halloween candy haul. But this year, despite Danny’s awesome vampire costume, their plan is flopping. First, Danny’s dad makes them trick-or-treat with Christiana Vanderpool, an annoying know-it-all (and girl) who doesn’t even believe that dragons exist. And then the school bully dares them to go into a spooky old haunted house. Naturally, the house is inhabited by a creepy clown and a candy-crazed ghost of yore. It’s going to take more than fire-breathing to get them out of this mess – they might even have to (horror of horrors!) perform a sacrificial candy offering.

     IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL… FOREVER! – R.L.Stine (Author), On the first day of school, Artie falls out of his bed and hits his head. Hard. He tells his mom he’s dizzy and she says: “You’re just worried about your first day in a new school.” At breakfast, his little brother, Eddie, splashes syrup in his hair, and there’s no time to wash it. Artie has to go to school with syrup-hair. And then, on the way there, he gets splashed by a puddle that makes him look like he wet his pants. It’s not just the first day of school; it’s the worst day of school. On the second day of school, Artie falls out of bed and hits his head. Hard. He tells his mom he’s dizzy and she says: “You’re just worried about your first day in a new school.” Huh? Today is just like the day before. Can Artie find a way to change it, before it’s the first day of school…forever?

    TROUBLEMAKER – Andrew Clements (Author), Mark Elliott (Illustrator), There’s a folder in Principal Kelling’s office that’s as thick as a phonebook and it’s growing daily. It’s filled with the incident reports of every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There’s the minor stuff like running in the hallways and not being where he was suppose to be when he was supposed to be there. But then there are also reports that show Clay’s own brand of troublemaking, like the most recent addition: the art teacher has said that the class should spend the period drawing anything they want and Clay decides to be extra “creative” and draw a spot-on portrait of Principal Kellings…as a donkey.

    FLAT BROKE: THE THEORY, PRACTICE AND DESTRUCTIVE PROPERTIES OF GREED – Gary Paulsen (Author), Kevin struggled to overcome his knack for lying in Liar, Liar, and now he’s back for another round of mayhem and misunderstandings in this financial comedy of errors. In Kevin, Gary Paulsen has created an appealing teen boy character who is just as human and fallible as his readers.

    BONFIRE MASQUERADE (HARDY BOYS: UNDERCOVER BROTHERS: SUPER MYSTERY) – Franklin W. Dixon (Author), Carolyn Keene (Author), Nancy Drew and her friends are going to New Orleans for a vacation — she even promises not to solve any mysteries while she’s down there! But, when she runs into Frank and Joe Hardy, there can’t be a mystery too far away. Nancy and the Hardys begin to investigate a crooked real estate scheme admist the glitz and splendor of New Orleans during party season. Throw in a dead body and intrigue, and there’s no time for a vacation.

    CHARLIE JOE JACKSON’S GUIDE TO NOT READING – Tommy Greenwald (Author), J.P. Coovert J.P.Coovert, Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.This is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book.

    THE RESCUERS – Margery Sharp (Author), Garth Williams (Illustrator), Miss Bianca is a white mouse of great beauty and supreme self-confidence, who, courtesy of her excellent young friend, the ambassador’s son, resides luxuriously in a porcelain pagoda painted with violets, primroses, and lilies of the valley. Miss Bianca would seem to be a pampered creature, and not, you would suppose, the mouse to dispatch on an especially challenging and extraordinarily perilous mission. However, it is precisely Miss Bianca that the Prisoners’ Aid Society picks for the job of rescuing a Norwegian poet imprisoned in the legendarily dreadful Black Castle (we all know, don’t we, that mice are the friends of prisoners, tending to their needs in dungeons and oubliettes everywhere). Miss Bianca, after all, is a poet too, and in any case she is due to travel any day now by diplomatic pouch to Norway. There Miss Bianca will be able to enlist one Nils, known to be the bravest mouse in the land, in a desperate and daring endeavor that will take them, along with their trusty companion Bernard, across turbulent seas and over the paws and under the maws of cats into one of the darkest places known to man or mouse. It will take everything they’ve got and a good deal more to escape with their own lives, not to mention the poet.

     AVA THE SUNSET FAIRY (NIGHT FAIRIES) – Daisy Meadows (Author), The Night Fairies’ magic is missing — and now Fairyland is in the dark! Night is not right! Nothing is more magical than nighttime! The Night Fairies are careful to keep it that way . . . until their special bags of magic dust go missing. Jack Frost and his goblins are surely causing trouble again. Now Fairyland and the human world are in the dark! During Rachel and Kirsty’s first night at Camp Stargaze, they notice that the sunset is . . . green! Can they help Ava the Sunset Fairy set things right? Find the missing bag of magic dust in each book and help save the nighttime magic!

    FRANKIE PICKLE AND THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE – Eric Wight (Author, Illustrator), Frankie’s facing his greatest challenge yet: his MATH QUIZ. He’d rather live in a world without math, but his quiz has other plans. It transports him to Arithmecca, a world filled with horrible number monsters! Armed with only his pencil, Frankie must learn to divide and conquer if he’s going to ace his quiz and defeat THE MATHEMATICAL MENACE.

    CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF (LIBERTY PORTER FIRST DAUGHTER) – Julia DeVillers (Author), Paige Pooler (Illustrator), When your father is the President of the United States, and you’ve taken your own oath to represent the kids of America . . . well, that’s a lot of responsibility for one girl. Luckily, Liberty Porter is up to the job! There’s no problem too big or too small that can’t be solved with a visit to the White House chocolate shop and the help of your own Secret Agent Man! This time Liberty is boarding Air Force One and taking her message to the world. She’s going with her parents to Tbilisi Georgia! But don’t tell Liberty, she can’t keep a secret! And what if Liberty accidentally causes a diplomatic disaster? Could her father’s first overseas trip end up being an international scandal? When Liberty is around, you can only count on one thing: it’s bound to be fun!

    DISNEY FAIRIES GRAPHIC NOVEL #6: A PRESENT FOR TINKERBELL – Augusto Machetto (Author), Carlotta Quattrocolo (Author), Giulia Conti (Author), Emilio Urbano (Illustrator), Elisabetta Melaranci (Illustrator), Andrea Greppi (Illustrator), Gianluca Barone (Illustrator), All the fairies in Pixie Hollow are busy trying to come up with the best present for Tinker Bell, for whom they are throwing a party. Tinker Bell isn’t interested in gifts or a big party; as a Tinker-Talent fairy all she wants is something to fix! Who will give Tinker Bell the best gift of all? The kind of gift Tinker Bell truly desires ends up surprising her fairy friends. Featuring four more stories starring Tinker Bell and the rest of the Fairies of Pixie Hollow.

    ADDIE ON THE INSIDE – James Howe (Author), The Gang of Five is back in this third story from Paintbrush Falls. Addie Carle, the only girl in the group of friends is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes…just a bit obnoxious. But as seventh grade progresses, Addie’s not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough and that doesn’t help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up. Told in elegant, accessible verse, ADDIE ON THE INSIDE gives readers a look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling with the box society wants to put her in. Addie confronts experiences many readers will relate to: the loss of a beloved pet, first heartbreak, teasing…but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one’s self.

    THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET – Shawn Thomas (Author), Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard’s apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind. Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of magic to discover who wanted her uncle dead. Full of magic, odd characters, evil henchmen, and a street where nothing is normal, The Wizard of Dark Street will have you guessing until the very end.

    MR. SAM: HOW SAM WALTON BUILT WALMART AND BECAME AMERICA’S RICHEST MAN – Karen Blumenthal (Author), Sam Walton grew up to become the founder of Wal-Mart, but he was born with practically nothing except a compulsive drive to win – at football, at becoming class president, at beating everyone no matter what the game. His eventual empire started as nothing more than a dingy one-room general store. He created Wal-Mart – and his massive wealth – one building at a time, one town at a time. This is not a history of his company, but the biography of an uncomplicated man who just wanted to beat the guy down the street. More than forty black-and-white photos illustrate the text.

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