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    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, read more...

     

    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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September New Releases

Book Lists, New Releases

‘Walks through sharpening air and clamant colour …
from typewriter to Library’ … A man walks past autumn leaves reading a book.
Photograph: Clemens Bilan/ AFP/ Getty

 September New Book Releases:

YOU HAVE TO STOP THIS (SECRET) – Pseudonymous Bosch (Author), A class trip to the local natural history museum turns dangerous, or perhaps deadly–and I don’t mean in the bored-to-death way–when Cass accidentally breaks a finger off a priceless mummy. Forced to atone for this “crime” of vandalism, Cass and her friends Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji go to work for the mummy exhibit’s curator, only to be blamed when tragedy strikes. To clear their names–and, they hope, to discover the Secret–the trio must travel deep into a land of majestic pyramids, dusty tombs, mysterious hieroglyphs, and the walking dead. Egypt? Or somewhere much stranger . . .

WONDERSTRUCK – Brian Selznick (Author, Illustrator), Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

AMULET #4: THE LAST COUNCIL – Kazu Kibuishi (Author), Emily and her friends think they’ll find the help they need in Cielis, but something isn’t right. Streets that were once busy are deserted, and the townspeople who are left live in crippling fear. Emily is escorted to the Academy where she’s expected to compete for a spot on the Guardian Council, the most powerful Stonekeepers. But as the number of competitors gets smaller and smaller, a terrible secret is slowly uncovered–a secret that, if left buried, means certain destruction of everything Emily fights for.

 

THE MAN IN THE MOON (Guardians of Childhood) – William Joyce (Author, Illustrator), Up there in the sky. Don’t you see him? No, not the moon. The Man in the Moon. He wasn’t always a man. Nor was he always on the moon. He was once a child. Like you. Until a battle, a shooting star, and a lost balloon sent him on a quest. Meet the very first guardian of childhood. MiM, the Man in the Moon.

THE FAMILIARS #2: Secrets of the Crown – Adam Jay Epstein (Author), Andrew Jacobson (Author), When human magic disappears suddenly from Vastia, it falls on the familiars, Aldwyn the telekinetic cat, Skylar the know-it-all blue, jay, and Gilbert the gullible tree frog–to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can reverse the curse. They learn that the only way to do this is by following in the purple paw prints of Aldwyn’s father, who’d gone missing while searching for the Crown years earlier. This magical spirit trail extends into the Beyond, where our heroes encounter new enemies and danger, while Aldwyn learns about his mysterious past.

THE SECRET ZOO: Riddles and Danger – Bryan Chick  (Author), Noah, Megan, Richie, and Ella are the Action Scouts; friends whose tree house overlooks the Clarksville City Zoo. When they discover a magical world hidden within the zoo, they are swept away on an adventure in which penguins can fly, a mysterious figure lurks in the shadows, and the scouts are enlisted to help Mr. Darby, who is in charge of the Secret Zoo. But will the scouts be able to fight against the dangerous sasquatches who have escaped the zoo and threaten their town? There’s only one way to find out if the four friends training as Crossers can help save the Secret Zoo.

 

LUNCH LADY AND THE FIELD TRIP FIASCO – Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Author), Lunch Lady and the Breakfast Bunch are on a school field trip to a famous art museum. But while Lunch Lady is busy taking in all the culture, the kids have caught onto something strange—some of the artwork looks suspiciously fake! Now Dee, Hector, and Terrence are determined to get to the bottom of this conspiracy, but Lunch Lady is too awed to catch on. Will she snap out of it and come to the rescue? Or will the Breakfast Bunch have to handle this operation alone?

DREAMLAND – Alyson Noël (Author), Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.

THE FLINT HEART – Katherine Paterson (Author), John Paterson (Author), John Rocco (Illustrator), An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe’s magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart? This humorous, hearty, utterly delightful fairy tale is the sort for an entire family to savor together or an adventurous youngster to devour.

HORSE DIARIES #7: Risky Chance – Alison Hart (Author), Ruth Sanderson (Illustrator), For all lovers of horses and history, it’s the next book in the popular Horse Diaries series. Born in California at the start of the Great Depression, Risky Chance is a gray thoroughbred who was born to race. Life at the track and being spoiled by his jockey’s young daughter, Marie, is all Chance could ask for. He loves nothing more than running fast and winning. But after an accident, Chance discovers a side of horse racing that has little to do with glory.

Like Black Beauty, this moving novel is told in first person from the horse’s own point of view and includes an appendix full of photos and facts about thoroughbreds, horse racing, and the Great Depression.

GERONIMO STILTON: THE KINGDOM OF FANTASY #3: The Amazing Voyage – Geronimo Stilton (Author), Holey cheese! Join Geronimo as he returns to the Kingdom of Fantasy for a third amazing adventure! In this 320-page, full-color hardcover adventure, Geronimo returns to the Kingdom of Fantasy when he learns that the Kingdom has fallen under an endless, freezing winter and the Queen of the Fairies is in danger. Once there, Geronimo explores fantastical new lands and travels on a magical talking ship. Can Geronimo extinguish a threatening volcano in time to restore peace and springtime to the Kingdom of Fantasy? He is put to the test on this extraordinary quest!

NG KIDS ULTIMATE WEIRD BUT TRUE: 1,000 Wild & Wacky Facts and Photos (National Geographic) – National Geographic (Author), Did you know that a great white shark can weigh as much as 15 gorillas, that you drink the same water as the dinosaurs did, or that there’s a car that drives underwater? This supersized, hardcover addition to the blockbuster Weird But True series, Ultimate Weird But True is packed 1,000 amazing facts and eye-popping  photos that prove truth really is stranger than fiction. With a colorful, metallic cover, a kid-friendly design, and a wacky sense of humor, this stunning book will give kids a winning combination of smarts and fun.

NERDS: BOOK THREE: The Cheerleaders of Doom – Michael Buckley (Author), Ethen Beavers (Illustrator), Matilda “Wheezer” Choi, the asthmatic who can fly and kick butt courtesy of her nanobyte-enhanced inhalers, loves pro wrestling and hates anything “girlie.” Maybe that’s because she grew up with six brothers—or maybe it’s because her home life has become a battle zone in the conflict between her parents. Unfortunately for Wheezer, when a former member of NERDS turned villain gets extensive plastic surgery in order to become a cheerleader, Matilda must swallow her pride to successfully infiltrate the squad. The newest supervillain, Gerdie Baker, assisted by the criminal mastermind Simon, has created a device that opens portals to other worlds, which she and the other cheerleaders have been pillaging. But the alternate realities are starting to get awfully close together, so it’s up to Wheezer and the NERDS to stop the cheerleaders before the worlds collide.

CITY OF LIES (Keepers) – Lian Tanner (Author), Goldie Roth is a trained thief and a skilled liar. Along with her friend Toadspit, she’s supposed to be one of the Keepers of the mysterious Museum of Dunt. But although she desperately wants to be a Keeper, she will not leave her sick parents to do so. But when Toadspit’s sister Bonnie is stolen, he and Goldie are forced to follow the child-stealers to the neighboring city of Spoke. Along the way, Toadspit too is captured, and Goldie is caught up in the Festival of Lies, where every word she says means something else and no one can be trusted. There, Goldie discovers some dangerous secrets—secrets that the child-stealers will kill to protect. She will need all her skills as a thief and a liar if she is to survive and save her friends.

ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO DEAD BODIES, FUNERALS, AND OTHER FATAL CIRCUMSTANCES - Lenore Look (Author), LeUyen Pham (Illustrator), Everyone’s favorite neurotic second grader is back, in the most touching Alvin Ho book to date. In this fourth book in the Alvin Ho series, Alvin is facing something truly scary: the idea that someone he loves might die. When Alvin’s GungGung loses his best friend, Alvin (gulp) volunteers to go with him to the funeral. Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham touch on a more serious subject in this Alvin book, but it’s still filled with the same humor and laugh-out-loud antics fans have come to expect from the series. 

DEAD END IN NORVELT – Jack Gantos (Author), Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is “grounded for life” by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack’s way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

13 GIFTS – Wendy Mass Wendy Mass (Author), When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it’s a good time to start over; she’ll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn’t know is that this charmed town has
something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It’s not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!

STAR WARS ADVENTURES: Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands – Chris Cerasi (Author), Jennifer Meyer (Author), Journey back nearly two hundred years before the events in A New Hope as Chewbacca relates a story from his youth on Kashyyyk! Determined to prove themselves eligible for the rites of adulthood, Chewie and his young friends venture into the perilous Shadowlands in search of adventure. But they find far more than they bargained for when they stumble upon slavers plotting a raid on the Wookiee village. The accidental encounter becomes one of Chewie’s most formative experiences – one he wishes hadn’t happened at all!

JEFFERSON’S SONS – Kimberly Bradley (Author), The untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s slave children. Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston are Thomas Jefferson’s children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, and while they do get special treatment – better work, better shoes, even violin lessons – they are still slaves, and are never to mention who their father is. The lighter-skinned children have been promised a chance to escape into white society, but what does this mean for the children who look more like their mother? As each child grows up, their questions about slavery and freedom become tougher, calling into question the real meaning of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Told in three parts from the points of view of three of Jefferson’s slaves – Beverly, Madison, and a third boy close to the Hemings family – these engaging and poignant voices shed light on what life was like as one of Jefferson’s invisible offspring.

STORM RUNNERS BOOK 2: The Surge – Roland Smith (Author), Master of middle-grade adventure Roland Smith returns with a
second installment in this fast-paced action series. Chase and his friends Nicole and Rashawn have just survived Hurricane Emily, the storm of the century, but their troubles are just beginning. Though they’ve made it to the safety of Nicole’s family’s farm — the winter home of the Rossi Brothers Circus — the flood waters are rising and they need to reach higher ground. The circus’s lions have escaped their cages, and a mean and unpredicable leopard is also on the loose. And then, of course, there’s the problem of the wildlife preserve next door! Have Chase and his friends lived through a terrifying night only to face a new danger?

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN MEETS THE FRIGHT BROTHERS – Larry David Tuxbury (Author), matthew mcelligott (Author, Illustrator), Last month, Benjamin Franklin came back from the dead and moved into Victor Godwin’s downstairs apartment. Since then, life has gotten even weirder. Vampires are stalking Philadelphia, a strange pair of bike shop owners are after Ben, and a shadowy figure known only as the Emperor may be plotting it all. Together, Ben, Victor and Scott face some baffling questions. Why was Ben really awakened? Who is the Emperor? And are
vampires really stalking downtown Philadelphia? The fate of the city – and perhaps the word – hangs in the balance! Uncover the secrets of Benjamin Franklinstein, and more of history’s greatest inventors, at benjaminfranklinstein.com.

 

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