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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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  • MO WREN Speaks (and gives away the newest book about her, too)

    Book Lists, Giveaways

    Mo Wren doesn’t really approve of blabbing—she prefers to keep her many thoughts to herself, thank you. But as her author (ahem!) I was able to persuade her to stop by for a brief interview in honor of today’s publication of MO WREN, LOST AND FOUND, which just got a nice shiny star from Booklist. It’s the sequel to the award-winning WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET (which comes out in paper today!)

     

    Me: Yo, Mo. Wow, you’re taller than last time I saw you. And I like your hair long. So, as we agreed, I’ll try to keep this short and sweet and not ask anything too, you know, personal.

    Mo: Actually, could I ask you a question?

    Me: O-okay.

    Mo: Why’d you write a second book about us?

    Me: You know why! After I finishedFOX STREET, you and that wild child sister of yours kept hanging around my head. I’d be out for a walk and start wondering how you were doing, and whether your dad ever managed to get that sports bar, and if you and Mercedes were still friends. Not to mention, I had all those readers asking me, “So? Does Mo have to move or not?”

    Mo: Don’t forget– you’re the one who left my family in the middle of all those changes. That sure wasn’t my idea.

    Me: Let’s not get into an argument in front of all these other people. A writer has to be hard-hearted—it’s in our job description. How about if you say a little about what life is like afterFox Street?

    Mo: Different! Way different. When we moved off Fox Street, I was pretty sure my heart would break, and I was right, at least at first. The new neighborhood is nothing like our old one. It’s crowded and noisy and nothing stays the same for a single minute. Remember how you described the change? “Being a dead end, where Fox Street began and where it stopped were perfectly clear. Once Upon a Time and The End. But if East 213th was a story, it’d say, To be continued…with those three dots that meant anything might happen.”

    Me: Oh yeah. I kind of like those lines.

    Mo: And lots of things do happen. For starters, Dottie turns into a traitor, and brings home a new family member. Dad buys Corky’s, which turns out to be cursed. And I don’t have any friends except hyper-crazy Shawn and the lady who runs the Laundromat. (smiles) Carmella. Thanks for introducing me to Carmella.

    Me: I had the feeling you two would like each other.

    Mo: But you know, I had the feeling this book wasn’t easy for you to write.

    Me: Right as usual, Mo Wren. I thought doing a sequel would be a piece of cake, since I know you all so well. But I discovered that in between the two books, you, Dottie and Mercedes did some growing and changing, and not only that. Your new neighborhood was as much a mystery to me as it was to you. Figuring out who lived there, who’d be your new friends (or enemies), and how Corky’s got that curse and whether you all could un-curse it, well. Remember that early version where you were friends with the strange girl who walked dogs? And that other version where Dad almost got a girlfriend?

    Mo: That was all very unpleasant.

    Me: Every time I write a book, it feels as if I’m learning the process all over again. I grind my teeth and get insomnia and consider applying for a job as the person who delivers flowers to people’s houses (wouldn’t that be the perfect job?). Tons of revision—it’s the only way I manage to find the true heart of my story. Which, I hasten to say, is always worth it.

    Mo: I like the way it all turned out. Now I know that everything I do, good or bad, comes back around in some way. And that when it comes to curses, the worst ones are the ones people put on their own selves. I’m going to remember that.

    Me: You know, a reviewer suggested I should write a third book about you guys. What do you think?

    Mo: Thanks, but the Wrens are in a good place right now. Maybe it’s time you messed around with some other people.

    Me: I’m actually working on two new books. One’s a sort of mystery about a boy a little older than you, who lives on an island inLake Erie. And the other one’s for younger readers, about a very, very helpful girl named Cody and her big brother Wyatt, master of the Houdini headlock.

    Mo: Dottie might like that one. She’s a really good reader by now. But she’s still crazy. You know how she used to collect beer bottles? Now it’s ketchup and mustard packets.

    Me: (sighs) I really miss you guys.

    Mo: (smiles that modest, big-hearted Mo smile) We’ll always be here.

    Me: Give everybody my love, okay?

    Mo: I will. Bye.

    Me: Bye, Mo.

    Thanks to Mo for stopping by. If you’d like to read more about her, you can visit us both at www.triciaspringstubb.com To win a signed hardcover copy of MO WREN LOST AND FOUND and a paperback of WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET, both published by HarperCollins, Balzer & Bray, please leave your comment below.

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