• 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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  • From the New Releases Files — some numbers

    Book Lists

    source: The Morgue Files

    Today is Labor Day. Which means many of you took a day off from work or school – or maybe, school starts tomorrow!  Either way, today might be a good day for thinking about…books. Yes?

    As one of the two-member super-team who puts together our list of new releases every month, I’m always excited to know what’s coming out and when.  Great books come out nearly every month.  Sometimes with fanfare, sometimes as quietly as a mouse.  Out of curiosity I went back over our last year or so of new releases at the Mixed-Up Files to see if there might be a pattern. In which month did the most number books come out? The least? What were the most popular genres, and what were some of the trends?

    So today, for your Labor-Day reading pleasure, here are some of my findings. Bear in mind, this is non-scientific, based on a little over a year of reported titles at MUF (which may not reflect the complete list of titles that released over the past twelve months. We try our best but hey, we’re human).  Still, we can take a look at some general observations.

    The most number of book releases were in October and April of this year, and surprisingly August, 2010. These are months that saw Newbery winners like Moon Over Manifest (October), and well-publicized books like The Emerald Atlas (April) and Ook and Gluk (August).

    May 2011 turned out to be a month of award-winning  writers: Jeanne Birdsall came out with her much anticipated The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, a sequel to the National Book Award winner, The Penderwicks. May also included Newbery Honor winner Gail Carson Levine’s A Tale of Two Castles, Newbery Honor and Caldecott recipient Kevin Henkes’ Junonia, and Newbery Honor winner, Kirby Larson’s The Friendship Doll.

    Series were big. In any given month, they comprised anywhere from a fourth to a half of the releases. Over the past twelve months, there have been more than 120 series-related books.  Some series that launched since last summer include Samarai Kids, The Familiars, Kat, Incorrigible, and The Emerald Atlas.

    Fantasy were equally big, and represented anywhere from a third to a half of the total releases per month. Fantasies were strongest in October, November, and April, which were also months with the largest volumes. Books like Philippa Fisher and the Fairy’s Promise, Juniper Berry, andThe Emerald Atlas,  all released during these months.

    Interestingly, straight mysteries (with no elements of fantasy/magic/paranormal) were less frequent, but last September saw the release of Walls Within Walls, Museum of Thieves, and this September, Wonderstruck – the new illustrated novel from Brian Selznick.

    The slowest month of the year was December. Last December saw about half the number of average releases over the rest of the year.

    Multicultural books were still a rare breed. Over the past 12 months, there have been about 12 titles, 4 of them in August, 3 in February, while several months saw none at all. Some titles that came out included: The Star Maker, The Detention Club, and Stir It Up: A Novel.

    Contemporary titles were most popular in October, November, February, March, and April, and included Because of Mr. Terupt, The Fourth Stall, We Could Be Brothers, and Small as an Elephant.

    For those who like numbers (totals are taken from 6/10 – 9/10):

    393 – Total number of books listed on MUF

    August 2010 – Month with the highest number of releases

    December 2010 – Month with the lowest number of releases

    147 – Total fantasy books

    80 – Total contemporary

    57  - Total mystery/adventure

    12 – Total multicultural

    122 – Total series

    What does this all mean? Well, books can come out at different times for different reasons. There is no one formula that works for every book.  As a reader, you can expect more fantasy in the summer months, more literary and contemporary in the fall and spring, and some of the new debut authors, multicultural books, or beginning series in August or early spring. As a writer, you can’t read too much into the season your book is slated for, but you can know that when a book comes out is usually a combination of planning and happy (or not) circumstance.

    I will be curious to see how these numbers change a year from now.  There’s this funny thing about trends and numbers. They change.

    But in the meanwhile,  happy reading. And if you don’t know already, a slew of books are waiting for you this month. Here - go look.

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