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    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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  • Show Me the Money!

    Learning Differences

    Those of us with reluctant readers live for that moment when a book makes a child sparkle. I mean one that holds their interest, makes them laugh or ask questions , and beg for more. For my own child, that moment came with cash. Cold. Hard. Cash.

    It began with Gary Paulsen’s fabulous Lawnmower Boy, a summer vacation tale of a boy who inherits his grandfather’s riding mower and half-works, half-stumbles his way into a whole lotta money. Long after the point when he would normally ask to stop reading, my son giggled and rubbed his hands together a la Scrooge McDuck. We had a winner.

    This got me thinking about books about moneymakers and fortune-seekers – which of course, led to this list. What I love about this list is that it crosses all sorts of genres – we run the gamut from darkly comic to historical fiction. But these are only a few – please share your favorite money-related book in the comments below!

    Rare Beasts (Edgar and Ellen) by Charles Ogden: Edgar and Ellen are ghoulishly troublesome twins who decide to make money by kidnapping their neighbors’ pets and refashioning (and reselling) them as exotic animals. Trouble follows when the neighborhood children turn from teary-eyed to vengeful!

    The Get Rich Quick Club by Dan Gutman: The master of the short slapstick novel does it again with a group of friends who solemnly vow they will make a million dollars by the end of the summer. How far will they go to achieve this goal? What about a UFO scam that works so well that one character suggests they have “overestimated the intelligence of the human race”?

    The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman: Ever since Gil Goodson’s father has been accused of embezzlement, his family has been shunned by the entire town. Gil gets the chance to win the money that will allow them to move away when he enters the Gollywhopper Games, a series of puzzles and challenges at the famed toy factory. Will he win the prize, and maybe even more? This is a great read-along to Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    The Great Brain series, by John D. Fitzgerald: In 19th century Utah, Thomas D. Fitzgerald, aka “The Great Brain” to his little brother, schemes to make money off his friends when he’s not bamboozling the grown-ups. What keeps him from getting run out on a rail though, is his occasional kind heart, which compels him to use his great intelligence for the greater good.

    How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell: Would you eat 15 worms in 15 days for $50? That is the bet that Billy enters, and he decides to take it on with gusto. When he appears to be a little too enthusiastic about the task, the other guys come up with their own schemes to keep Billy from winning. Who will win this most disgusting of bets?

    After reading one of these books, it might be fun to explore one or more of these ideas with your reader:

    Could someone pay you to do something that you would not normally do, i.e., eat a fried worm or let someone copy your homework?

    How far would you go to make money?

    What are things that you cannot put a price tag on?

    If you had a million dollars, what would you do with the money? What if you could not spend it on yourself?

    And speaking of money…here’s the a great deal for classrooms, book clubs, scout troops and booklovers of all stripes – a free Skype visit with fab author Jen K. Blom, author of POSSUM SUMMER!! All you have to do is click on this link and enter a comment: http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/2012/02/skype-tour-sweethearts-wendy-shang-jen-blom/. Did I mention it was FREE?!

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