• OhMG! News


    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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  • Why Author Taylor Morris Writes About Failed Middle School Friendships

    Learning Differences

    I’m thrilled to welcome prolific Taylor Morris, author of the five-book (so far–wow) Gorgeous series, and titles such as Total Knockout: Tale of an Ex-Class President and Class Favorite to the Mixed Up Files. To learn more about Taylor go to www.taylormorris.com. In this interview, Taylor speaks about her latest single title, BFF Breakup.

    1) What compelled you to write a book about best friends who have split?

    I realized, sadly, that adults aren’t immune to splitting with a best friend. For a long time I would have guessed that it was something that only happened in school, to tweens and teenagers, as if we adults are so mature that we could never fight, then greatly (greatly) dislike someone we used to call our best friend. So for any kids who read this, I’m sorry to report that you may not be free of these things once you leave school.

    2) Do you feel as if there are any significant issues that you would face in middle school when you lost your best friend?

    Being alone. Watching friends take sides. Then, through all that, still having to go to class with them, find someone to sit with at lunch, make weekend plans. As an adult we can more easily avoid certain people (unless we work with them) but when you’re in school you’re stuck seeing them every week day and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Aside from homeschooling, which I don’t know much about but sounds kind of boring.

    3) Do you think that middle school is a time when best friends are more likely to break up? If so why?

    I don’t necessarily thing they’re more likely to break up. I think in middle school you’re learning to stand your ground more, figuring out who you are and what you’re about and maybe for the first time you’re willing to even stand up to your own best friend. But fights with friends can really happen at any age. Haven’t you seen the Real Housewives franchise? Proof right there that there is no age limit on BFF breakups.

    4) Did you learn anything about friendship as you were writing your novel?

    One big thing I learned is that you’re responsible for how you treat other people, regardless of what’s happening in your life. If you’re having a bad day or going through something traumatic (like Madeline does) that doesn’t give you license to treat your friends poorly. Even if your life is rotten, you can’t be rotten to the people who most want to help you and expect them to take it. And if you do, you should know enough to apologize.

    5) Is there anything that you would like to add about best friends and the pain of moving away from each other?

    It never gets easier. Most of us, we love our best friends like we love our siblings. At times we do everything together, share our worst secrets with each other, our wildest, most outrageous dreams, things we would only write in our diaries. When something happens to make that one person your enemy, or someone you can’t trust, it’s devastating. They know everything about you and now they hate you, or suddenly you can’t trust them? That’s hard at any age. But if you’re always honest in your relationships—all of them, with boys, girls, parents—then you’re less likely to have an epic blowout fight. If you do have to face a breakup—if things just can’t be repaired and all trust is lost—at least remember what was good about that person. It’s unlikely they’re straight-up evil, even if you want to believe they are. Something drew you to them in the first place, so try not to vilify them. Most importantly, don’t go smack-talking about them afterward. It doesn’t do any good, makes a bad situation worse, and no one wins by doing it. Try to keep your trap shut.

    Hillary Homzie still remembers what it was like to be called someone’s second best friend. Ouch. She likes to read and write about other people’s friendship problems. To learn more about Hillary and her books go to www.hillaryhomzie.com.

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