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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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  • Skype Tour Bus Is Raring To Go– Win and Welcome Uma Krishnaswami and um me Tami Lewis Brown

    Learning Differences

    The Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour bus is full of gas, motor running, ready to take off. Post a comment HERE by October 3 for your class, group, or troup’s chance to win a Skype visit from a Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Author!

    Today we bring you two of those authors– Uma Krishnaswami and um…. me Tami Lewis Brown.

    Last night Uma and I had a phenomenal time meeting kids, parents, and middle-grade book lovers at the Takoma Park Library in Takoma Park, Maryland. Thank so much librarian Karen MacPherson for inviting us. And HUGE thanks to Politics and Prose Bookstore for co-sponsoring the event and handling book sales. (And one of our best middle-grade writing buddies, Katy Kelly, the author of the Lucy Rose and Melon Head series was there, too. Yay Katy! We love your books and kids love them too!)

    Would you like me or Uma to drop by your library, class or bookclub via Skype? It’s easy. Just enter by leaving a comment HERE.

    This isn’t the first time Uma has dropped in on From The Mixed-Up Files. Read Sheela Chari’s interview of Uma here. But since we were in a library… talking about books…I asked Uma more questions about her favorite books and about visiting with readers.

    Uma, what book did you love as an eight to twelve year old?

    Just one? Surely you jest. I’ll cheat and name a series, the Adventure books by British children’s writer Enid Blyton (The Castle of Adventure, the Mountain of Adventure, and so on). I grew up in India and Blyton was big in the former British colonies! Here’s a post about her books by a fellow expat, Sandip Roy: http://www.firstpost.com/living/memories-of-enid-blyton-past-a-birthday-ode-58796.html

    I love Blyton, too, but I’d never heard of her until I was an adult.

    Tell us about your newest book, The Grand Plan To Fix Everything-

    Eleven-year old Dini loves movies—watching them, reading about them, trying to write her own—especially Bollywood movies. But when her mother tells her some big news, it does not at all jive with the script of her life she has in mind. Her family is moving to India…and, not even to Bombay, which is the center of the Bollywood universe and home to Dini’s all-time most favorite star, Dolly.

    I’ve read The Grand Plan and I can tell you right now Dini is one special kid… and yes she does fix just about everything, along with monkeys and chocolate. The Grand Plan to Fix Everything is a fabulous blend of realistic, modern, domestic and exotic. I loved it… and you will too. Watch Uma’s trailer and see for yourself–

     

    As an eager reader pointed out last night, The Grand Plan and my new book The Map Of Me have some things in common. Number one is spunky girl protagonists who do what they need to do to get things done… even if that requires extraordinary measures sometimes.

    The Map Of Me is the story of two sisters, one stolen car, and a whole flock of chickens. Who says twelve year olds can’t drive?

    Realistic? Let me just say this…we had a ten year old at our presentation last night who claimed she already has her driver’s license… regardless Margie Tempest knows where to find the key to Daddy’s Faithful Ford and when duty calls she’s ready to save the day.

    Get a flavor of The Map Of Me by watching my trailer.

    Both Uma and I love author visits and we’ve both prepared activity kits to get readers more involved.

    You can download the kit for The Grand Plan To Fix Everything here- Activity Kit for The Grand Plan

    And you can download my kit for The Map Of Me here- Activity Kit for The Map Of Me.

    Both are PDF downloads. If you don’t have Adobe Reader download a free copy here.

    What’s that? The bus is ready? Hop on, Uma! It’s almost time to head out.

    Don’t forget to enter to win a visit from a fantastic middle-grade author… and come back here on Thursday to meet more authors who’d love to visit your school, library, troop, or group!

    Tami Lewis Brown is driving the Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype tour bus… between author visits, writing, and trying to do the laundry.

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