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  • OhMG! News


    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,


    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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Interview with Author and Illustrator Rose Cooper

Authors, Giveaways, Graphic Novel, Interviews

I’m so excited to have the fabulous and uber cool, Rose Cooper, with us today at the Mixed Up Files!  Rose is my writing BFF and we’re prone to absolute silliness.  But we’ll try to keep it to a minimum today cause it’s all seriousness here at the Mixed Up Files. ;)

Me:  So Rose, tell us a little bit about your bad self.

Rose: I am represented by Rosemary Stimola and I’m the author and illustrator of the Blogtastic! Novel series.  It took me six long years of tears rejections, before I finally wrote a story that gained interest from agents and ultimately got me signed. Eight weeks later my book found a home with Random House.  

Me: Sounds like me. The six long years part. Except it’s only been two. Like I said, exactly like me.  Anywhoooo, how did you come up with the idea for Blogtastic?

Rose: I was sitting in Starbucks studying for my Business Law class. I was near the girls room and I thought, “wouldn’t that be funny to have a book about a bathroom blog?” and Bam! the idea was born. Of course, the titled changed from Bathroom Blog to Gossip from the Girls Room so it would be more appealing to readers.

Me: I dunno, the bathroom humor fanatic in me kinda likes Bathroom Blog. *shrugs* *ignores farting noises from the dog* So….Rose….tell me, do you spy on people in the ladies bathroom often?

Rose: Only when I’m super bored. Or looking for material for my next book.

Me: *Winks* Gotcha. Suuuuure.

What about the boys room?

Rose: I know i’m supposed to say no to that, so no. Absolutely not. That would be totally wrong. And I definitely don’t send my son into the boys room to spy either. That would also be very wrong.

Me: Right. I mean wrong. Yes, spying is very wrong.  *nods* I have to ask….does your main character, Sofia, find any interesting uses for toilet paper?  *ignores middle-grade memories of Halloween…bad Amie, bad!*

Rose: In GOSSIP, Sofia had to use the toilet paper as a nose plug when she was hiding out in the stink haunted stall. She uses what’s available to her when the situation calls for it. She’s like the MacGuyver of bathrooms. 

Me: There’s a stink haunted stall in my house. I could use some MacGuyver moves here when I have to clean it. Something’s gotta work better than a clothespin and toilet brush.  So all our readers are dying to know….why do you write for middle-grade readers?

Rose: I relate to kids best at this age, probably because my son is in middle grade and also partly because I refuse to let go of my childhood. 

Me: Repeat with me: I will not grow up. I will not grow up.  Phew! I feel better! What do you think is the BEST PART about writing for middle grade?

Rose: There are so many great things, it’s hard to pick just one. But I would have to say getting emails from kids who read the book. When I hear how they are inspired to write or illustrate their own book, or how much they enjoyed reading it, it makes me feel as if this is the reason I became an author.  

Me: That’s gotta be such a rewarding feeling. You’ll get to experience that all over again pretty soon, won’t you?

Rose: I will! My second book, Rumors from the Boys Room, will be released Oct.11, 2011 (holy cow!) and you will see many familiar faces, as well as new ones. Sofia Becker swears to only blog about things that she hears from a totally trustworthy source—herself! Her locker just happens to be in her direct line of vision of the boy’s room (if she peeks around the corner), so this gives her many opportunities to spy on the boys. Of course there’s no way she could possibly get that information mixed up, right? Thrown into the mix is a FES (foreign exchange student), a Popular Pretty who has the ability to use her hair as a weapon (or jump rope), and a dirty psycho kitty.

Me: Hair as a weapon, eh? *Twirls head, gets whiplash, realizes that was stupid*

As author and illustrator you have a lot of responsibility….tell us about the process.

Rose: After I do revisions on the actual manuscript, I then work with a designer at Random House. I send her all the images and she puts the book together. Then I revise the manuscript some more. Then revise the illustrations. I am essentially always on a deadline, whether it’s with the book or the illustrations. It’s twice the work, but completely worth it.

Me: That sounds like a lot of work. In fact, I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it.

I already know some prehtty kewl stuff about the third book (nanny, nanny pooh, pooh!) Wanna share some secrets with the readers today?

Rose: The third book in the Blogtastic! series will be Secrets from the Sleeping Bag, due out summer 2012. Sofia goes away to summer camp and is without any technology (gasp!). Not only does she make new friends, but she finds herself in the middle of prank wars, marshmallow fights, bigfoot sightings, and activities gone horribly wrong.  Oh yeah, and she totally fears for her life when she encounters wild animals. Hint: not skunks.

Me:  Did you notice how I said “secrets” before? Yeah, uh huh, told you I knew some prehtty kewl stuff.  Well Rose….we really appreciate you visiting with us at the Mixed Up Files today. It’s been real. It’s been fun. And it’s been real fun. Before we go out for lunch and eat chocolates and bon bons, is there anything else you want to share?

Rose: I’m going to be a Ninja for Halloween.


Rose has graciously agreed to give away two books – Gossip from the Girls Room and her soon-to-be-released Rumors from the Boys Room – to one Mixed Up Files reader! Cause she’s awesome like that. And I bribed her.

Leave your comment below to be entered.  No Mia St Claire’s allowed.

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