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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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December New Releases

Learning Differences, New Releases
What’s in the box? A monthful of new middle grade releases! Wishing you happy reading right through the holidays!

MIXED-UP RELEASES

Something to Hold (Clarion) – Katherine Schlick Noe. Can a white girl feel at home on an Indian reservation? Based on the author’s childhood experience in the early 1960s, this debut novel centers on Kitty, whose father is a government forester at Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon. Kitty is one of only two white kids in her class, and the Indian kids are keeping their distance. With time, Kitty becomes increasingly aware of the tensions and prejudices between Indians and whites, and of the past injustice and pain still very much alive on the reservation. Time also brings friendships and opportunities to make a difference. Map, author’s note, glossary, and pronunciation guide.

OTHER RELEASES

MYSTERY/ADVENTURE

Blood Sun (Danger Zone) (Delacorte) – David Gilman. Deep in the London underground, a train shudders across an unseen body. Days later, on the bleakness of Dartmoor, Max Gordon learns of a fellow student’s death in the capital. Danny Maguire was carrying an envelope with Max’s name on it—containing the secret of Max’s mother’s death. The clues take Max into the endangered rainforest of Central America where, hunted down by a ruthless killer, he must also escape the jaws of deadly crocodiles and flesh-eating piranhas. The truth Max is desperately trying to uncover lies deep within the dangerous forest’s heart . . . if only he can stay alive to reach it. The third & final novel in David Gilman’s adventure series.

Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln at Last! (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) (Random House) – Mary Pope Osborne. Jack and Annie are trying to get a special feather that will help save Merlin’s baby penguin, Penny. When the magic tree house whisks them back to Washington, D.C., in 1861, Jack can’t wait to meet Abraham Lincoln himself! But the new president is too busy to see them, as he is desperately trying to save a nation in crisis. When Jack and Annie ask for some magical help, they go back even further in time to a mysterious woods. Are these the same woods where Abraham Lincoln takes his daily horse ride? If so, can an orphan named Sam help them find Abe? Or will Jack and Annie have to help Sam instead? It’s a race against time as Jack and Annie try to do the right thing. Plus, they still have to aid a president and a troubled nation, as well as get the object that will save Penny the penguin!

Shark Wars #2: The Battle of Riptide (Razorbill) – E J Altbacker. Ever since Gray, Barkley, and their friends defeated Goblin, an infamous great white, at Tuna Run, life in the Big Blue has become murkier than ever for this young shiver of sharks. Food is scarce. Enemies lurk in every shadow. And Gray still doesn’t know what has become of his family – of his mother, Sandy, and the rest of his Coral Reef shiver. Everywhere they swim, currents seem to whisper of a growing threat . . . of a shark who will stop at nothing until he has seized control of the entire ocean. Now Gray must train with Takiza Jaelynn Betta vam Delacrest Waveland ka Boom Boom, a wise and mysterious fighting fish who has promised to teach his young apprentice the ways of the ocean and the secret of what it means to be a great warrior. That is, if Gray can learn to believe in himself, find the courage to trust his heart, and grow big enough to fight back!

FANTASY

Beswitched (Delacorte) – Kate Saunders. A magic spell has spun Flora into the past. She’s mysteriously swapped lives with a schoolgirl in 1935! No iPod? No cell phone? No hair products? How will she survive? Now Flora’s a new girl at St. Winifred’s, where she has to speak French at breakfast, wear hideous baggy bloomers, and sleep in a freezing dormitory. But lots of adventures in the past are amazing even if they are not forever. How will she find her way back to the 21st century?

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2: A King’s Ransom (Scholastic) – Jude Watson. Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives . . . and the enemy may be even closer than they think. When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they’d stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century. Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history’s dirtiest secrets. It’s the race of their lives . . . and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.

Witch & Wizard: The Fire (Little, Brown) – James Patterson, Jill Dembowski. Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings’ magic hasn’t been enough to stop the One’s evil rampage, and now he’s executed the only family they had left. Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world-before he can truly become all-powerful? In this stunning third installment of the epic Witch & Wizard series, the stakes have never been higher–and the consequences will change everything.

Wolves of the Beyond #4: Frost Wolf (Scholastic) – Kathryn Lasky. Kathryn Lasky’s newest series. Faolan has always been an outsider. Exiled as a pup, then shunned by his fellow wolves for his unusual connection to the bears, Faolan has struggled to earn a place in the pack. But a terrible danger is looming on the horizon, and Faolan is the only one who knows how to fight it. Will he be able to claim his rightful place as leader? Unless Faolan can inspire the pack to stand together, it could be the end of the wolves of the beyond.

Zombie Tag (Roaring Brook Press) – Hannah Moskowitz. Wil is desperate for his older brother to come back from the dead. But the thing about zombies is . . they don’t exactly make the best siblings. Thirteen-year-old Wil Lowenstein copes with his brother’s death by focusing on Zombie Tag, a mafia/
capture the flag hybrid game where he and his friends fight off brain-eating zombies with their mothers’ spatulas. What Wil doesn’t tell anybody is that if he could bring his dead brother back as a zombie, he would in a heartbeat. But when Wil finds a way to summon all the dead within five miles, he’s surprised to discover that his back-from-the-dead brother is emotionless and distant.

CONTEMPORARY/HISTORICAL

The Great Rabbit Rescue (Great Critter Capers) (Beach Lane) – Katie Davies. Joe has gone to live with his dad, leaving behind his beloved pet rabbit. Anna and Suzanne try to look after it for him, but when the rabbit becomes ill, they’re convinced it’s because it’s missing Joe. Now Joe is sick too. The girls are certain that Joe and the rabbit will die unless they are reunited soon…But can Anna and Tom and Suzanne pull off The Great Rabbit Rescue in time? equel The Great Hamster Massacre.

The New Kid (Knopf) – Mavis Jukes. Newbery Honor Award—winning author Mavis Jukes is back with a lovable new character named Carson. His father moves him to a new town in Northern California, where he’ll be the new kid in class—friendless and alone, except for his beloved stuffed moose (named Moose, of course). As Carson settles into his new surroundings, a series of delightful mishaps start to occur: the class pet, a rat named Mr. Nibblenose, gets lost to surprising results; the culprit of a mysterious lunch theft might actually be something that’s not human at all; and when his beloved Moose goes missing, Carson makes his first new non-stuffed animal friend. Told with childlike charm and wit, The New Kid is perfect for newly independent readers.

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