• 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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  • How Many Authors Fit On A Skype Tour Bus? Welcome and Win Tricia Springstubb, Bruce Hale, and Kathryn Erskine!

    Learning Differences

    Nope. That’s not us.

    Yep! That’s more like it.

    The Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus is ready to pull into your school, library, home… or where ever you are! To enter comment here by next Monday, October 3. Winners will be announced on October 4.

    Who might be headed for a visit with your troop? We have a busload of authors including me Tami Lewis Brown (The Map Of Me),Erin Moulton (Flutter),Kathy Erskine (Mockingbird), Tricia Springstubb (What Happened On Fox Street), Sarah Aronson (Beyond Lucky),Uma Krishnaswami (The Grand Plan To Fix Everything),Jennifer Nielsen (Elliot and the Pixie Plot) and Bruce Hale  (Chet Gecko Mysteries)! Can you believe it? So many authors and plenty more time to tell all your friends and neighbors to enter for you and your classroom, library, troop, or group.

    Today three authors are visiting to talk about their books and their Skype visits.

    First up? National Book Award winning author Kathryn Erskine.

    Hi Kathy! Please tell us about you and your books.

    My latest book is The Absolute Value of Mike. I tend to write about tough issues but there’s always humor, too, because that’s what life is like.  I enjoy reading books where I learn interesting stuff painlessly — so that’s what I like to write for others, too. 

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

    Middle graders are curious and open-minded which makes for a great group of readers!

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

    The SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS series by Arthur Ransome because they were wonderful adventure stories about kids who got to camping and sailing and have adventures without any parents around!

    I loved SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS, too.  And Ransome’s books have very cool maps as end papers, I might add. What makes your school visits special?

     I LOVE answering students’ questions — and asking them some questions, too — and they love seeing my dog.  :o)

    A Skype visit with a dog! How cool!! You can read more about Kathy in Wendy Shang’s interview right here at From The Mixed-Up Files.

    Oh look! Here’s Tricia Springstubb! Before you climb on the bus, Tricia, tell us a little about your books, especially your newest middle grade novel, Mo Wren, Lost And Found.

    I’m a promiscuous writer—I’ve published fiction for kids of all ages, as well as for adults.  The language and complexity of my writing varies, but family is always at the center.  Family forms us, yet we have to wriggle free of it to truly become ourselves.  My stories explore that contradiction over and over.

    What do you like about middle grade readers?

    Readers this age just rock.  They demand great plot and character, but also appreciate nuance and beautiful sentences.  Their eyes are wide and their hearts are big!  A writer couldn’t ask for a better audience. 

    Did you have any favorite books when you were that age?

    When I was a middle grader, I loved, among many other books, Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames—those great girl heroines!  I read totally indiscriminately and insatiably. I wish I could still read that way.What makes your author visits special?After working forever as a teacher, librarian, and school volunteer, I’m now a full-time writer for the first time in my life.  This is an amazing privilege, but has one drawback—I’m not around kids enough!  I love school visits to keep in touch with my peeps!  

    Tricia is a loyal (and very hardworking!) member of the Mixed-Up Files. You can read more about her and her darling protagonist Mo Wren here.

     Wow… here’s Bruce Hale, the author of about a zillion Chet Gecko books, too! Welcome Bruce! 


    What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?
    I love the sense of possibility — it feels like you could take those readers nearly anywhere, as long as you keep them entertained.  Mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, graphic novels — all genres are open for exploring.
    What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

    I first got hooked on reading in 3rd grade, via Tarzan of the Apes.  That was my favorite series, but eventually I branched out to books like THE HOBBIT and WRINKLE IN TIME.

    You can read more about Bruce, his wacky sense of humor, and his wonderful books here.

    All right readers! Are you ready to jump on the bus? We’re saving you a seat and all you have to do is leave a comment right HERE!

    Tami Lewis Brown wants to park the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus in your driveway. Enter HERE to win an author visit for your eager readers.


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