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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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August New Releases

Book Lists, New Releases

source: The Morgue Files

It’s August – the last month to get your summer reading done! If you’ve already perused Bobbie Pyron’s awesome One World, Many Stories reading list, you might like to consult this month’s list for some more great summer reads.

Before we get started, let’s highlight 3 being released this month by our very own Mixed-Up members. Congratulations to Tami, Jennifer, and Tricia!

MIXED-UP RELEASES

The Map of Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) – Tami Lewis Brown. The note Momma left on the fridge says only: “I HAVE TO GO.” But go where? Twelve-year-old Margie is convinced that Momma’s gone to the Rooster Romp at the International Poultry Hall of Fame, in search of additions to her precious flock of chicken memorabilia. And it’s up to Margie to bring her home. So she commandeers her daddy’s Faithful Ford, kidnaps her nine-year-old sister, Peep, and takes to the open road. As she navigates the back roads of Kentucky with smarty-pants Peep criticizing her every move, Margie also travels along the highways and byways of her heart, mapping a course to help understand Momma—and herself.

Elliot and the Pixie Plot: The Underworld Chronicles (Jabberwocky) – Jennifer Neilsen. Elliot, King of the Brownies, isn’t usually a stubborn kid, but he didn’t see a lot of room to bargain on the issue of Goblins eating his subjects. Which is how he wound up alone in the Underworld, with no map either home or ahead to Demon Territory. Between trying to steal a hair for the Pixie Princess and a sock for the Fairies from a demon, being King of the Brownies is no easy job!

Mo Wren, Lost and FoundMo Wren, Lost and Found (Balzer + Bray) – Tricia Springstubb. This is the story of what happened after Fox Street. Mo Wren knew that eventually she, her dad, and her sister, Wild Child Dottie, would have to move from beloved Fox Street. She just never expected it to happen so soon. At the Wrens’ new place, things are very different. The name of the street—East 213th—has absolutely zero magic. And there’s no Mrs. Petrone to cut her hair, no Pi Baggott to teach her how to skateboard, no Green Kingdom to explore. She’s having trouble fitting in at her new school and spending a lot of time using the corner bus shelter for her Thinking Spot. Worst of all, Mo discovers that the ramshackle restaurant Mr. Wren bought is cursed. Only Dottie, with her new friends and pet lizard, Handsome, is doing the dance of joy. For the first time in her life, Mo feels lost and out of place. It’s going to take a boy who tells whoppers, a Laundromat with a mysterious owner, a freak blizzard, and some courage to help her find her way home for good.

OTHER RELEASES

MYSTERY/ADVENTURE

Eight KeysEight Keys(Wendy Lamb) – Suzanne LaFleur. Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise’s parents died when she was too young to remember them. There’s always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor. When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the bar . . .


The Black Heart Crypt: A Haunted Mystery
(Random House) – Chris Grabenstein. Halloween is nearing, the one day of the year when the ghostly plane is close enough to the human plane to allow mischief and mayhem. But the ghosts who have their eye on Zack aren’t thinking mischief, they are thinking murder. Fourth book in the series in Haunted Mysteries series.

The Family Hitchcock (Katherine Tegen) – Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett. Finances are tight for the Hitchcock family this year, which means no summer vacation! But siblings Maddy and Benji are secretly delighted to escape the annual torturous ritual of family bonding. Then Dad announces big news: a cost-effective weeklong house swap in Paris, trading places with a French family named the Vadims. But instead of a relaxing European vacation, it quickly becomes clear that something is very off about this house swap. The facts about the Vadims don’t quite add up. Then threatening characters start showing up, demanding a mysterious object. Soon the Hitchcocks are caught in a whirl of intrigue and running for their lives through the streets and over the rooftops of Paris, without even knowing why.

Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School (EgmontUSA) – Vordak T. Incomprehensible. Greetings, goobers! After my latest experiment worked a little too well—transforming my rather fetching figure into something significantly smaller—I’ve been forced to return to those halls of horror better known as . . . school. But going back to junior high may be my greatest opportunity for mayhem in many a month! Fortunately for you, I have recorded every mischievous moment within these carefully crafted covers so that you may bask in my brilliance as I plot to RULE THE SCHOOL . . . and, eventually, THE WORLD! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

The White City (The Clockwork Dark, Book 3) (Random House) – John Claude Bemis. Third and final book, the heroes come together at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago for a final confrontation with a businessman and tycoon who is in fact an ageless evil known as the Gog. With his Dark Machine, he intends to bend the world to his ruthless vision of progress and efficiency. It’s man versus machine all over again, fighting for the soul of humanity in front of Ferris’s Wheel.

 

Stickman Odyssey(Philomel) – Christopher Ford. When Zozimos is banished by an evil witch (his stepmother!) from the kingdom of Sticatha-the kingdom he was next in line to rule-he trains at battle (if you call chasing after butterflies training), travels across stormy seas (thanks for that, Poseidon), slays golems and monsters (with a lot of help), charms beautiful women (not really), and somehow (despite his own ineptitude) survives quest after quest. By the love of Zeus, though, none of it brings him any closer to home!

The Lunatic’s Curse (Feiwel & Friends) – F.E. Higgins. The town of Opum Oppidulum is home to the freezing Lake Beluarum and its rumored monster. On an island at the center of the lake is an asylum; no one has ever escaped it. So how will Rex, whose father, Ambrose Grammaticus, has been imprisoned there under false pretenses, prove that Ambrose is not insane? And if Rex can free his father, will his evil stepmother drive them both to madness? Higgins’ fans will devour this deliciously scary tale, a “polyquel” to her previous books, all of which can be read singly or together. But not in the dark . . .


Samurai Kids #3: Shaolin Tiger
(Candlewick) – Sandy Fussell. The White Tiger Temple is under threat. To help the Shaolin monks, Sensei KiYaga and the whole gang of samurai kids— from Niya Moto, the boy with one leg to Taji, the boy who is blind— embark on a perilous journey across the Sea of Japan to China. But soon they discover that getting there is only half the battle. A great danger awaits them: a former student of Sensei named Qing-Shen, China’s Warrior, now the most skilled soldier in the Middle Kingdom. But Qing-Shen is also a man with a vendetta against his onetime teacher. Could there be anyone more dangerous? The samurai kids must train in the ways of the Shaolin monks before facing him. But will they be able to protect the temple and their beloved Sensei? Third in the series.

FANTASY

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (Amulet) – Jonathan Auxier. The tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.

Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I (Balzer + Bray) – Colin Meloy. Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird. You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it. And this is where the crows take her brother. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. Carson Ellis illustrating.

The Bridge to Never Land (Starcatchers) (Disney Hyperion) – Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson. Aidan and Sarah cooper have no idea what they’re getting into one afternoon when they discover a mysterious coded document in a secret compartment of an antique English desk their father recently bought at an auction. Something about the document seems familiar to Sarah, and that night she realizes what it is: the document seems to be referring to some books she has read—the Starcatchers series, about the origin of Peter Pan. But how could that be? The document seems far older than the books. And of course, the books are just stories. Curious, Sarah and Aidan begin to decipher the mysterious document. At first it’s a game—unraveling the mystery piece by piece, each piece leading them to a new, deeper puzzle. But soon the game turns strange—and scary. Pursued by a being that can take any form and will stop at nothing to get what it wants from them, Aidan and Sarah embark on a desperate, thrilling quest for help—a quest that leads them to some unforgettable people in some unlikely places, including one that’s not supposed to exist at all.

The Undrowned Child (Delacorte) – Michelle Lovric. Teodora has always longed to visit Venice, and at last she has her chance. But strange and sinister things are afoot in the beautiful floating city. Teo is quickly subsumed into a secret world in which salty-tongued mermaids run subversive printing presses, ghosts good and bad patrol the streets, statues speak, rats read, and librarians fluidly turn into cats. And where a book, The Key to the Secret City, leads Teo straight into the heart of the danger that threatens to destroy the city to which she feels she belongs. An ancient proverb seems to unite Teo with a Venetian boy, Renzo, and with the Traitor who has returned from the dark past to wreak revenge. . . . But who is the Undrowned Child destined to save Venice?

The Unknown Spy (Ring of Five)The Unknown Spy (Ring of Five) (Wendy Lamb) – Eoin McNamee. Danny Caulfield’s quiet Christmas break from Wilsons, the school for spies, is shattered by gunshots and a heartrending discovery about his parents. That same night, he’s summoned to Wilsons’ to prepare for a mission: under an assumed identity, Danny must find a way to protect the Treaty Stone that keeps peace between the Upper and Lower worlds. Meanwhile, the evil Ring of Five pursues Danny, for he is the “true Fifth”—only Danny can unite the members of the Ring and awaken their full powers as master spies.

Meeting (Magic Next Door, #2)Meeting (Magic Next Door #2) (Viking) – Nina Kiriki Hoffman. When Maya Andersen and her family moved to Spores Ferry, Oregon, they didn’t know there’d be magic right next door. Their new neighbors in the Janus House Apartments all have unusual powers, and the basement is a Grand Central Station to other worlds. Maya and her alien companion, Rimi, are learning how to live together and how to keep their secret-which becomes a lot harder as they help the Janus Housers track down the Krithi, the race who snatched Rimi from her home planet in an attempt to rule the universe.


The Girl Behind the Glass
(Random House) – Jane Kelley. Eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna agree about everything—especially that they don’t want to move to the creepy old house on Hemlock Road. But as soon as they move into the house, the twins start disagreeing for the first time in their lives. In fact, it’s almost as though something or someone is trying to drive them apart. While Anna settles in, Hannah can’t ignore the strange things that keep happening on Hemlock Road. Why does she sense things that no one else in the family does? Like when the hemlock branch outside waves shush, shush. Or at night, if she listens hard enough, it’s almost as though someone is trying to talk to her. Someone no one else can hear. Someone angry enough to want revenge. Hannah, are you listening? Is the house haunted? Is Hannah crazy? Or does something in the house want her as a best friend—forever?

CONTEMPORARY

Carrying Mason (Zonderkidz) – Joyce Magnin. What does it mean to lay down your life? Luna has learned an awful lot in her thirteen years—how to skin a rabbit, how to gut a fish, here to pick the perfect wildflowers—but it’s not enough. When her best friend, Mason, dies, she decides to honor his memory by moving in with his mentally disabled mother, Ruby Day. While cooking and cleaning for Ruby Day isn’t always easy, everything seems to be going relatively fine—until trouble arrives in the form of Ruby Day’s aunt, who will stop at nothing to make sure her niece is put away in a mental institution. Luna is only thirteen. How can she stand up to Ruby Day’s aunt? What would Mason want her to do? And why is saying good-bye so difficult?

Ghetto Cowboy (Candlewick) – Greg Neri. When Cole’s mom dumps him in the mean streets of Philadelphia to live with the dad he’s never met, the last thing Cole expects to see is a horse, let alone a stable full of them. He may not know much about cowboys, but what he knows for sure is that cowboys aren’t black, and they don’t live in the inner city. But in his dad’s ’hood, horses are a way of life, and soon Cole’s days of skipping school and getting in trouble in Detroit have been replaced by shoveling muck and trying not to get stomped on. At first, all Cole can think about is how to ditch these ghetto cowboys and get home. But when the City threatens to shut down the stables— and take away the horse Cole has come to think of as his own— he knows that it’s time to step up and fight back. Inspired by the little-known urban riders of Philly and Brooklyn, this compelling tale of latter -day cowboy justice champions a world where your friends always have your back, especially when the chips are down.

R My Name Is Rachel (Wendy Lamb) – Patricia Reilly Giff. Rachel, Cassie, and Joey live in the city with their Pop, until Pop’s search for work lands the family on a run down farm. Dreamy Rachel loves to read, and doesn’t know much about the country. Times are hard there, too—the school and library are closed. When Pop gets work near Canada, he has to leave the children on the farm alone. For two months! But Rachel’s the oldest, and she’ll make sure they’re all right. Somehow.

 


Stir It Up: A Novel
(Scholastic) – Ramin Ganeshram. Thirteen-year-old Anjali’s life is rich with the smell of curry from her parents’ roti shop and an absolute passion for food. More than anything, Anjali wants to be a chef who competes on a kids’ cooking reality TV show. But Anjali must keep her wish a secret from her family, who thinks Anjali’s passions are beneath her. Thank goodness for Deema, Anjali’s grandmother, whose insight and love can push past even the oldest family beliefs. Woven with recipes that cook up emotions and actual culinary recipes that make food.

Catboy (Orca) – Eric Walters. Taylor and his mother have moved from a small northern town to the heart of Toronto. The differences are dramatic as Taylor becomes part of a classroom of kids as diverse as the city itself. While taking a shortcut across a junkyard with his new best friend, Simon, Taylor becomes aware of a colony of wild cats that make the junkyard their home. Assisted by his classmates, teacher and the security guard, Mr. Singh, Taylor takes a special interest in caring for the cats. Suddenly there is an announcement—the junkyard is being redeveloped to become condominiums. Can Taylor and his friends save the cats of the colony from certain death?

NON-FICTION

Captain John Smith’s Big and Beautiful Bay (Schiffer) – Rebecca C. Jones. When Captain John Smith and his crew set out from Jamestown to explore a body of water known as the Chesapeake in 1608, they didn’t know what to expect. Would their small, crowded boat sink? Would someone attack them? Would they die in a terrible storm? Or would they find another ocean and discover the gold that would make them rich? Based on Captain Smith s diaries, this true story describes how the men fought hurricane-force winds, searched for gold, faced hostile (and friendly) natives, and suffered gnawing hunger and terrible sickness. After a total of fourteen weeks on the bay, they returned to Jamestown with the sure knowledge that the Chesapeake was bigger and richer than anyone had imagined and so was the land around it. Charming illustrations provide a touch of humor and more information about the history and wildlife of the big and beautiful Chesapeake Bay. Grades 1-5.

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