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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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January New Book Releases

Learning Differences

Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) (Random House Books for Young Readers) Mary Pope Osborne (Author), Sal Murdocca (Illustrator). The bestselling, fan-favorite chapter-book series sends Jack and Annie to Ireland—the land of leprechauns!

Jack and Annie are whisked back to long-ago Ireland. Their mission? To inspire a girl named Augusta to share her creativity with the world. But when they meet Augusta, Jack and Annie don’t see how they can inspire her at all—she is the least imaginative person they’ve ever met! Luckily, Jack and Annie have a special whistle that they can use to show Augusta a magical world. But their plan backfires! Can Jack and Annie rescue their new friend? Or will Augusta be lost forever?

Initiation (Canterwood Crest) (Aladdin) - Jessica Burkhart (Author). It’s time: The new girls are taking the spotlight at Canterwood Crest!Lauren has moved around enough to have the “new girl” code down:

1. Lay low.

2. But not too low.

3. Don’t amubush the in crowd.

But Canterwood isn’t just any school. And Lauren is about to face an initiation unlike any she’s ever encountered. Bon chance, Lauren–you’re going to need it!

The Zombie Chasers #3: Sludgement Day (HarperCollins) – John Kloepfer (Author), Steve Wolfhard (Illustrator). The maul of America! It’s been two days since a zombie virus turned Zack Clarke’s parents, neighbors, and most of the country into brain-munching fiends. Zack and his crew of Zombie Chasers—Rice, Madison, Ozzie, and Zoe—are ready to end this nightmare once and for all!

With the antidote in hand, the gang sets off on a wild cross-country road trip to defeat the evil genius behind the zombie apocalypse. After battling undead Elvis in Memphis, ghoulish tourists at a rest stop, and a crew of zweenyboppers at the Mall of America, the Zombie Chasers are still only halfway there! Will Sludgment Day be the dawn of the dead?

The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius (HarperCollins) – Dan Gutman (Author). Today is Coke and Pepsi McDonald’s thirteenth birthday. Someone’s out to make sure they never make it to thirteen and a half.

Racing across America,
the twins will nearly be
boiled alive
in a huge basket of french fries,
frozen to death
by soft-serve ice cream,
stampeded
in a wild stadium riot,
kidnapped
from a high-speed
roller coaster, and
worst of all
their parents think
they’re totally joking!

Will they survive? Will they defeat Archie Clone? Will they be dropped out of a helicopter onto the tip of the Washington Monument? Will they ever say “genius”?

Revenge of the Horned Bunnies, Book 6 (Dragonbreath) (Dial) Ursula Vernon (Author). Ride ‘em, cowboy! Danny’s off to summer camp! Danny Dragonbreath is counting down the days to his awesome western summer camp . . . until he gets the terrible news that his annoying younger cousin Spencer is going too. Good-bye, Danny the Cowboy; Hello, Danny the Babysitter. But when Spencer befriends a mythical jackalope (or horned bunny) and then uncovers a diabolical jackalope-napping ring, things start looking up again. After all, if you need a math problem solved, you call a nerd. But if you need a villainous ring of horned-bunnynappers broken up, you call Danny Dragonbreath. The sixth book in this laugh-until-smoke-comes-out-of- your-nose series is perfect for Wimpy Kid fans everywhere.

Bad Kitty for President (Roaring Brook Press) – Nick Bruel (Author). The votes are in–it’s a Bad Kitty landslide! It’s time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? The candidate chosen by the kitties on the right side of the street or the candidate chosed by the kitties on the left side of the street? When election time rolls around, one candidate (guess who?) will discover that she never bothered to register to vote and the entire election will be decided by a surprise, last minute absentee ballot sent by Old Kitty.

Horse Diaries #8: Black Cloud (Random House Books for Young Readers) – Patricia Hermes (Author), Astrid Sheckles (Illustrator). Born in Northern Nevada in 1950, Black Cloud is a black-and-white mustang colt. He loves roaming free with the rest of his herd, playing with the other foals, and learning the ways of wild horses. But when humans intrude on this wandering life, Black Cloud’s worled is changed forever. 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 mustangs and the history of the laws protecting them.

Lego Ninjago: Official Guide (Scholastic, Inc.) Masters of Spinjitzu: a new force to save the world! This handbook is a comprehensive and detailed guide to all the characters and statistics in the first Ninjago story arc: giving readers all the basic info they’ll need to follow the narrative and play the game! Includes exclusive information fans won’t be able to get anywhere else–and a buildable LEGO minifigure!

Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul (Scholastic, Inc.) – Ryder Windham (Author). The most anticipated Star Wars biography yet! One of the most feared villains of all time. One of the most iconic characters of the Star Wars saga. One incredible story. Features new, never-before-told secrets about Darth Maul!

Who Was Babe Ruth? (Grosset and Dunlap) – Joan Holub (Author), Ted Hammond (Author), Nancy Harrison (Illustrator). Just in time for baseball season! Babe Ruth came from a poor Baltimore family and, as a kid, he was a handful. It was at a reform school that Babe discovered his talent for baseball, and by the age of nineteen, he was on his way to becoming a sports legend. Babe was often out of shape and even more often out on the town, but he had a big heart and an even bigger swing! Kids will learn all about the Home Run King in this rags-to- riches sports biography. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, a true sports legend is brought to life.

The Whites of Their Eyes (Keepers of the School) (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) Andrew Clements (Author), Adam Stower (Illustrator). Andrew Clements delivers the latest in his adventure-filled school series. This could be the last great Memorial Day weekend on Barclay Bay, and Ben knows it. This time next year, he might not be able to stand in the yard of the Oakes School and watch the harbor shake off winter—boats buzzing just beyond the bulkhead and families spreading picnics in the fields. If the school gets torn down and replaced by an amusement park, the town will never be the same. But that’s only if the school gets torn down. Ben and Jill are determined to keep that from happening. And the evil janitor Lyman has taken note. He’s following their every move—and undoing their progress along the way. Good thing Ben and Jill have a secret weapon. (Who knew that annoying Robert Gerritt would be such a spy wiz?) But Lyman has a secret weapon as well: a vicious guard dog. These kids are smart, but can they outsmart Lyman—and his beast—as the clock tick, tick, ticks toward total demolition?

A Boy Called Dickens (Schwartz and Wade) – Deborah Hopkinson (Author), John Hendrix (Illustrator). For years Dickens kept the story of his own childhood a secret. Yet it is a story worth telling. For it helps us remember how much we all might lose when a child’s dreams don’t come true . . . As a child, Dickens was forced to live on his own and work long hours in a rat-infested blacking factory. Readers will be drawn into the winding streets of London, where they will learn how Dickens got the inspiration for many of his characters. The 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth is February 7, 2012, and this tale of his little-known boyhood is the perfect way to introduce kids to the great author. Here is historical fiction at its ingenious best.

Who Cut the Cheese? (Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder) (Aladdin) – Jo Nesbo (Author) Mike Lowery (Illustrator) This time the adventure includes aliens, disappearing socks, an American Idol style talent show, and a plot to takeover the world . . . nothing that some well-timed farts can’t help fix.

Vanishing Acts – Maggie Brooklyn Mystery(Bloomsbury USA Children’s) – Leslie Margolis (Author).When a movie starring tween heartthrob Seth Ryan starts filming in Park Slope, everyone gets movie mania-including Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair. Though her plans to become a movie extra don’t quite work out, Maggie manages to capture Seth’s attention and he seeks her out at the Pizza Den to talk. But just when Maggie’s life is feeling like a romantic comedy, Seth disappears! Everyone thinks he’s been kidnapped, but Maggie knows better. . . .

This young Nancy Drew is back, along with her twin brother and dog-walking business, in a second mystery that shines a spotlight on her super-sleuth skills. Leslie Margolis’s pitch-perfect tween voice will leave fans begging for more of this loveable heroine.

Glory Be (Scholastic Press) – Augusta Scattergood (Author). A Mississippi town in 1964 gets riled when tempers flare at the segregated public pool.

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

May B.(Schwartz and Wade) – Caroline Starr Rose (Author).

I’ve known it since last night:
It’s been too long to expect them to return.
Something’s happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

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