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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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ALA YOUTH MEDIA AWARDS in 3…2….1

Learning Differences

It’s mid January, which means that the ALA Youth Media Awards are coming in 3…2….1!  On January 23rd, 2012 at 7:45 CT there will be a live webcast at http://www.webcastinc.com/client/ala-webcast/ to announce 18 awards. Right now, the judges are tucked away in dark rooms.  They’ve, likely, searched the rooms for bugs and tucked towels under the doors.  They’re receiving prepackaged meals through a small hole in the wall. Security allows no one in. Important decisions must be made and no one may enter or leave until it is done! And if you do somehow make it through, Roger Sutton will be deployed to give you am amnesia-inducing pill/injection. This is true fact.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite what happens, but one thing is for certain.  Secrecy abounds. And when the awards are announced, some authors’ careers will be pushed into overdrive, and librarians, teachers and parents will have a new list of the very best in children’s and YA literature. It’s something the entire literary community looks forward to.

The ALA Youth Media Awards that are being announced on the 23rd consist of the following.  (Click through to see more about the awards and past winners.)

Alex Awards include 10 titles written for adults that have appeal to young adults. The Andrew Carnegie Medal honors excellence in children’s video production. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards honor African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books that focus on the African American experience. Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement honors an African American author, illustrator or author/author illustrator for a body of his or her work. Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrators body of work that has made a lasting contribution to U.S. literature over a period of years.  Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author and his or her specific work for a lasting contribution to YA literature. May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture goes to a lecturer(historian, children’s writer, critic) of any country on a paper of considerable significance to children’s literature. The Michael L. Printz Award honors excellence in YA lit. The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is presented to a publisher for the most outstanding book originally published in a country other than the United States in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the U.S. The Odyssey Award honors the producer of the best audiobook for children and young adults in English. The Pura Belpré Awards honors a latino/latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays the Latino cultural experience. Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the illustrator of the year’s most distinguished picture book of the year, Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is given to honor an author, illustrator or photographer for the best informational book of the previous year. The Schneider Family Book Award is given for a work that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for children and YA’s. The Stonewall Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award honors works of merit relating to the GLBT experience. The Theodore Seuss Geisel Award honors author or illustrator who produced an outstanding book for early readers. The William C. Morris Award honors a first time book for a debut author for teens. And the  YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction for young adults.

One of the most highly anticipated awards is the well-renowned John Newbery medal, which will go to the author of the year’s most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. They land in the middle grade age range and all are worth reading! Previous Medal winners include: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool(2011), When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead(2010), The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2009), Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (2008), The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron(2007), Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins(2006), Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata(2005), The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo(2004), Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi(2003), A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(2002), A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck(2001), Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. From the Mixed-Up Filed of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg won the medal in 1968! To see the entire list of Newbery Medal and honor books from 1922-Present click here.

 

So, what extraordinary children’s books have you read this past year, and who do you think the Newbery Medal will go to?

 

Erin E. Moulton is the author of Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and One Incredible Journey(Philomel 2011), and Tracing Stars, forthcoming from Philomel/Penguin in 2012. Erin is co-founder of the Kinship Writers Association and is currently the YA librarian at the Derry Public Library.  www.erinemoulton.com

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