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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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  • Sarah Aronson- Skype Touring Author

    Learning Differences

    Yesterday you heard we’re giving away another round of fantastic Skype author visits.

    Today, as the bus heads out across the vaste inter-webs, we’re visiting with Sarah Aronson, the author of BEYOND LUCKY and one of our prize-winning Skype authors!

    Welcome Sarah!

    Tell us about you and your books.

    I started writing in 2000—after someone dared me to try. At the time, I didn’t know much about books for kids—just what my kids liked and what I enjoyed reading to them. But nothing about the craft of writing. I got involved in SCBWI and earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. Now I am a full time writer. When I’m not writing or drinking coffee or practicing yoga in the hot room, I teach writing for writers.com. I also co-organize the Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College, now in its ninth year. My writing mantras are “Try Everything” and “Celebrate every step.” I do both.

    I have been very lucky to publish two novels: the YA novel, Head Case and the middle grade novel, Beyond Lucky. Beyond Lucky is about heroes, luck, a superstitious goalie and a girl who makes the team. It’s about friendship and doing the right thing.

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

    I love making up characters and putting them in tough situations. I also enjoy thinking about issues that matter to me and my readers. Middle grade readers are great readers. They care about story, and so do I.

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

    That’s a tough one. I was what we would now call a reluctant reader. In fact, for a long time, my mom had to pay me to read. When I think about my life as a writer now, I can reference two important middle grade reading experiences:

    The first one: When I was ten, my family moved to England. Every night, my mother read one chapter of David Copperfield to us. Hearing the language of Dickens was amazing. His writing is so cinematic. I became so involved in that book that I finally began to read.

    The second: I had a teacher named Dan Sigley who staged Romeo and Juliet with my sixth grade class. I got to read Friar Lawrence. He was the first teacher to challenge me to understand and convey important dialogue. He treated me like I was a thinker.

     Tell us about what you and BEYOND LUCKY are doing for charity.

    In honor of the publication of my novel for young readers, BEYOND LUCKY, I am hosting a fundraiser/party and online auction to support Grassroot Soccer.

    You can find the auction on my website: www.saraharonson.com. There are books and gifts and critiques on the board!

    Why Grassroot Soccer? In the book, the main character, Ari Fish wants to be the starting goalie of the local select soccer team. He also faces more than one moral dilemma. AND he is studying for his bar mitzvah. He wants to do the right thing.

    So do I.

    Grassroot Soccer is a non-profit organization that uses the power of soccer to prevent the spread of AIDS and save lives among those with the highest rates of new infections – youth in Africa. By the next World Cup in 2014, Grassroot Soccer will have educated one million young people about AIDS, and inspired them to live healthier, more productive lives, thereby strengthening communities across Africa.

    I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this book.

    Me either! Hooray Sarah!

    Click this picture to go to Sarah’s Silent Auction Site-

    Thanks Sarah! Would you like to have Sarah or one of the other Mixed-Up Middle Grade authors to visit your classroom, library, book club or troup (or any other group of book loving kids?) Enter by leaving a comment here. Good luck!!!

    When Tami Lewis Brown isn’t driving the Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour bus she’s busy writing books like THE MAP OF ME.

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