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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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November Books

Book Lists, New Releases

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (Amulet Books) – Jeff Kinney. Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?

Secrets of the Magic Ring (AmazonEncore) – Karen McQuestion. The eagerly anticipated sequel to Celia and the Fairies!
When nine-year-old Paul explores the hole dug for his backyard swimming pool, he discovers a box containing a ring–a ring that turns out to be magical. Moments later, a mysterious boy shows up demanding the ring; luckily, Paul’s trusty dog, Clem, scares him away. To keep the ring safe, Paul hides it in his pillow case, where, to his horror, it’s discovered by his mother, who loans it to his Aunt Vicky. Things get even stranger when Vicky, a nonswimmer, falls into the now finished pool and discovers that her greatest secret wish has been granted–she can swim! As the ring gets passed around and wishes are made, a wild series of talents and circumstances threaten to turn their lives upside down forever. But Jasmine, a fairy of the woods, has an idea–and if everyone cooperates, she just might be able to put an end to the shenanigans and return
their lives to normal. Wildly original and full of vibrant, chaotic imagination, Secrets of the Magic Ring is proof of the old adage
“Be careful what you wish for.”

Ivy and Bean No News Is Good News – Book 8 (Chronicle Books) – Annie Barrows. Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars, to be exact. Never mind what for. Okay, it s for low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size. Don t ask why. How are Ivy and Bean going to make ten dollars? Hey, maybe they should write a newspaper about Pancake Court and sell it! Great idea! And easy, too. All they have to do is snoop around the neighborhood. Wow…It s very interesting what they can find out. It s even more interesting when the neighbors read about it in the newspaper.

How to Train Your Dragon Book 8 (Little Brown Books for Young Readers) – Cressida Cowell. Stranded on the exceptionally dangerous, and possibly haunted, Beach of the Broken Heart, Hiccup must face Ug the Uglithug and complete the Impossible Task–or die trying. Along the way, he’ll have to battle Berserks, dodge Scarers, and save Fishlegs from being fed to the Beast, all while being hunted down by an old enemy with a dark secret about the mysterious Lost Throne. With Toothless by his side, and time to stage his rescue running out, what’s a Hero to do?

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery (Puffin) – Nancy Springer. Enola’s landlady, Mrs. Tupper, is the closest thing Enola has to family these days, besides her occasional run-ins with her brother Sherlock. Even though Mrs. Tupper is nearly deaf and can barely cook, she’s an endearing presence as Enola longs for her absent mother. So imagine her horror when Enola comes home to find Mrs. Tupper kidnapped! Who would take her, and why? And what does Florence Nightingale have to do with it? From the master of mystery Nancy Springer, here’s another absorbing adventure for our award-winning, unstoppable heroine, Enola Holmes.

The Cats in the Doll Shop (Viking Juvenile) – Yona Zeldis McDonough. When Anna spots a cat in the yard behind her parents’ doll shop, she is excited. Then she realizes the cat is about to have kittens-even better! And Anna has something else to look forward to: her cousin Tania is coming from Russia to stay with Anna’s family. Anna already has two sisters, but she and Tania are the exact same age-eleven-and she imagines they will get along perfectly. But Tania doesn’t respond to Anna’s friendly overtures, and her sisters don’t seem to like Tania at all. Luckily, Anna finds a creative way to use her love of dolls and cats to bring everyone together.

Daisy Dawson and the Big Freeze (Candlewick) – Steve Voake. It’s snowing! And Daisy Dawson couldn’t be happier enjoying the winter weather with all of her animal friends. There are even newborn lambs to meet, including Woolverton, whose curiosity about the world beyond the farmer’s field soon gets him into trouble. When Daisy hears that Woolverton is lost in the woods, she bundles up and, with the farm dog Boom at her side, sets out to find him. In her third adventure, Daisy finds out that no matter how far she travels, she’ll always find her way home. Steve Voake’s gentle tale and Jessica Meserve’s winning illustrations make this a perfect story for a snug winter’s day.

Gooney Bird on the Map (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children) – Lois Lowry. Mrs. Pidgeon’s second grade class has a lot to celebrate in February: presidents’ birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and school vacation. Of course, the students are talking about their awesome vacation plans every chance they get. It can be hard to focus on subtraction problems when you’re heading to Hawaii or Florida in seventeen minus seven days! But most of the class (twelve minus three of them, in fact) will be staying home during vacation.Can Gooney Bird Greene keep spirits up while everyone is feeling down? Gooney Bird has a great idea that sends her classmates and her on a snowy spin through U.S. history and geography!

The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture (Scholastic Press) – Brian Selznick. Brian Selznick takes readers on an intimate tour of the movie-making process as his Caldecott Award-winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret is turned into a 3-D major motion picture by Academy Award-winning director, Martin Scorsese, written by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, John Logan. Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs from the movie, and filled with fun, informative interviews of the cast and crew, comparisons of artwork from the book alongside people, props, costumes, and sets from the movie, plus fascinating information about automatons, and an essay on the birth of movies written by Martin Scorsese, The Hugo Movie Companion beautifully extends the experience of the book and the movie, and is a must-have for fans of all ages.

Poison Apple #8: At First Bite (Scholastic Paperbacks) – Ruth Ames. Ashlee Lambert, the queen bee from THIS TOTALLY BITES, has had a tough time ever since she became a full-fledged vampire. But now that she’s moving from New York City to sunny Los Angeles, she’s excited to make a fresh new start. But Ashlee never counted on a clique of popular mean girls or awful sunburns. Keeping her huge secret is suddenly harder than ever. And when something — or someone — starts attacking people at her school, Ashlee realizes she’s not the only vampire in town. It’s up to Ashlee to figure out who’s behind the attacks before her cover is blown forever!

Scholastic Book of World Records 2012 (Scholastic Paperbacks) – Jenifer Corr Morse. A LOT can change in a year, and the bestselling SCHOLASTIC BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS has been updated to include all the most recent events with a fresh new cover and interior design! Whether kids want to know what the world’s fastest shark is, which country eats the most fast food, who has the most career hits in the MLB, or which state has the largest teddy bear, the SCHOLASTIC BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS 2012 has all of the answers and much, much more! Over the past ten years, kids, parents, and teachers have come to love this kid-friendly book. Each of the 300 records on pop culture, sports, science, and more has its own page that includes a full-color photograph and a detailed description of the record.

Mousenet (Hyperion) – Prudence Breitrose. When ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer, mice are overjoyed, and they want one for every mouse hole. The Big Cheese, leader of the Mouse Nation, has orders: follow that girl—even if it means high-tailing it to Megan’s new home on the other side of the country. While Megan struggles as the new girl, the mice watch, waiting for their chance. But when they tell Megan the biggest secret in the history of the world—mice have evolved, and they need her help—she isn’t sure anyone will believe her. With all of Mouse Nation behind her, Megan could become the most powerful girl alive, but just how will she create a Thumptop for every mouse? Brought to life with whimsical illustrations, Prudence Breitrose’s debut novel is full of charm and adventure and will captivate today’s computer-savvy middle-graders.

Mason Dixon – Fourth-Grade Disasters (Knopf Books for Young Readers) – Claudia Mills. Here’s the second entry in veteran author
Claudia Mills’ charming middle-grade series, which finds the lovably sardonic title character starting the fourth grade, which he’s dreading: everyone in fourth grade is expected to join the school choir. And sing. In front of everyone. Mason can’t think of many things he enjoys less than singing. But performing in front of other people might come close; Mason devises a foolproof plan that will keep him out of the spotlight on concert night. Of course, in the world of Mason Dixon, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only disaster.

Wolven Book 2 – The Twilight Circus (The Chicken House) – Di Toft. Werewolves, vampires, furry little monsters: It’s a three-ring circus of spooky! After dodging mutant werewolves and mad scientists all summer, Nat and Woody have joined the Twilight Circus of Illusion, hoping it might bring them closer to Nat’s fugitive dad or, just maybe, any surviving members of Woody’s long-lost Wolven clan. But instead they end up in a stinking pile of peril! A pair of strange secret agents is sniffing out their every step, while underneath the big top the boys meet a brand-new batty batch of evil: a black widow vampire and her horrifying hive! Will they escape her sticky web so that they can search for the noble Wolven? And now that Nat has Wolven blood, too, how — when?! — is HE about to change? The second book in Di Toft’s fast-paced, funny series about
a boy and his pet werewolf!

I Before E – Except After C: Young Readers Edition (Reader’s Digest Juvenile) – Susan Randol. Just like adults, kids need easy ways to recall stuff-especially now, when they don’t even have to remember a phone number because their cell phones remember it for them. And just like the bestselling i before e (except after c) for adults, this book is jammed with easy-to-use tricks for remembering lots of stuff-especially stuff they need to know for school. Through entertaining (and often silly) examples, kids will learn to remember everything they need to know about: The Earth-including fun facts about geography, geology, and the weather- and the sky -revolving around planets, stars, atmosphere, and so on, Reading and writing-covering everything from the smallest punctuation mark to the prickliest words to spell to the trickiest grammar to the grandest figure of speech, the mysteries of history-from Way Before You Were Born (ancient history) to the most recent American history facts every kid needs to memorize.

Sucked Under – Monstrum House (Hardie Grant Books) – Z. Fraillon. It’s exam time at Monstrum House, and the top students in Jasper’s
year will be rewarded. They’ll get to hunt a monster that lives at the bottom of the lake and likes to drown people for fun—so, maybe it’s just as well that Jasper hasn’t studied. Life’s never easy when you’re a student at the Monstrum house.

The Witch’s Revenge (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) – D.A. Nelson. Two months after she saved the Eye of Lornish, a large white stone that prevents the magical kingdom of Mor from being discovered, Morag is adjusting to life in the secret northern kingdom. But dark dreams trouble her, and a series of unsolved robberies proves that even with the protection of her friends—Shona the dragon, Bertie the dodo, and Aldiss the rat—Morag is still not safe.

The Winter Pony (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) – Iain Lawrence. In the forests of Siberia, in the first years of the 20th century, a white pony runs free with his herd. But his life changes forever when he’s captured by men. Years of hard work and cruelty wear him out. When he’s chosen to be one of 20 ponies to accompany the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott on his quest to become the first to reach the South Pole, he doesn’t know what to expect. But the men of Scott’s expedition show him kindness, something he’s never known before. They also give him a name—James Pigg. As Scott’s team hunkers down in Antarctica, James Pigg finds himself caught up in one of the greatest races of all time. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen has suddenly announced that he too means to be first to the Pole. But only one team can triumph, and not everyone can survive—not even the animals.

Circus Galacticus (Harcourt Children’s Books) – Deva Fagan. Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect. But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it. SoonTrix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough.

Chico’s Challenge: The Story of an American Quarter Horse (Feiwel and Friends) – Jessie Haas. Set in Wyoming, Chico’s Challenge follows a young buckskin quarter horse who is trade to Sierra, a teen who works her father’s ranch and dreams of becoming a
cutting horse champion. Chico seems to have the makings of a great cow horse, but…he has never seen a cow in his life! Can he and Sierra, both novices, learn to work together as a team?

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