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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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  • March New Releases

    Learning Differences

    Big Nate Goes for Broke (HarperCollins) – Lincoln Peirce(Author, Illustrator). Mighty Jefferson Middle School always wins. Then Nate decides it’s time to go from zeroes to heroes! Will Nate crack under the pressure of the “Ultimate Snowdown”? Or lead P.S. 38 to its biggest victory ever?

    Cal Ripken, Jr’s All-Stars: Super-sized Slugger (Hyperion) – Cal Ripken Jr. (Author), Kevin Cowherd (Author) Cody Parker is the new kid in school. He’s overweight, scared and hates his new life in Dullsville, Maryland, aka Baltimore, where he’s a target–okay, a big target–for brutal teasing. But he loves baseball. And despite his size, he plays third base like a dream. Too bad he’s competing for the starting job on the Orioles of the Dulaney Babe Ruth League against budding hoodlum Dante Rizzo, who vows to squeeze Cody’s head like a grape if he beats him out. Life gets even more complicated when Cody’s school, York Middle, is beset by a rash of mysterious thefts, a crime wave that threatens to sideline Cody–and ruin a golden season for the Orioles. Will Cody ever succeed in getting people to see him for who he really is?

    I Survived #5: I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 (Scholastic Paperbacks) – Lauren Tarshis (Author) The terrifying details of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake jump off the page!

    Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco — not only does he get to make some money to help his family, he’s free to explore the amazing, hilly city as it changes and grows with the new century. Horse-drawn carriages share the streets with shiny new automobiles, new businesses and families move in every day from everywhere, and anything seems possible.

    But early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo’s world is shaken — literally — and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

    The I SURVIVED series continues with another thrilling story of a boy caught in one of history’s most terrifying disasters!

    The Dead of Night – The 39 Clues: Cahills vs Vespers, Book 3  (Scholastic, Inc.) – Peter Lerangis (Author) The third book in the CAHILLS VS. VESPERS series, the follow up to the worldwide bestseller THE 39 CLUES.

    The Vespers have crossed a line. Amy and Dan were devastated when the Vespers kidnapped seven Cahills around the world, holding them hostage until Amy and Dan delivered an impossible ransom. But at least the hostages were Cahills – members of the world’s most powerful family, trained to face all odds.

    Now the Vespers have gone too far. They’ve kidnapped Atticus, an innocent 11 year old boy and Dan’s only friend. Now Dan and Amy are in the struggle of their lives. Because if they can’t outwit the Vespers, the unthinkable will happen . . . Atticus will die.

    Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk – Book #7 (Candlewick) – Megan McDonald (Author), Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator). Reading is UNdead – and everyone has zombies on the brain – as Stink’s school and a local bookstore cook up a frightfully fun Main Street event.

    Guts! Brains! Eyeballs! There’s only one week before the new book in the Nightmare on Zombie Street series comes out. Of corpse Stink will be first in line at the Blue Frog Bookstore to buy his copy and join the town’s Midnight Zombie Walk! Until then, Stink and his friends keep busy making ketchup-stained zombie costumes, trying to raise money to buy the book, and racking up points for Virginia Dare School’s race to one million minutes of reading. But with all that talk about the undead, Zink – that is, Stink – starts to wonder: is he being hunted by zombies? He does have a very delicious – er, superb – brain, after all. Readers will just have to open ze book and zee! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book III: The Unseen Guest (Balzer + Bray) – Maryrose Wood (Author), Jon Klassen (Illustrator).Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, “They must have been raised by wolves.”

    The Incorrigible children actually were.

    Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.

    But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick’s long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral’s prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles’ skills to find her.

    The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?

    Guardians of the Chiss Key – Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Grosset and Dunlop) – Ryder Windam (Author), Wayne Lo (Illustrator). The Clone Wars: Secret Missions series of original novels concludes as Nuru Kungurama returns to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant while the remaining members of Breakout Squad await their next mission. But after an alien escape pod vanishes from Jedi Archives, Nuru finds himself flung toward a fateful encounter with his own Jedi Master, Ring-Sol Ambase.

    The Ultimate Guys’ Body Book: Not-So-Stupid Questions About Your Body (Zondervan) – Walt Larimore MD (Author), Guy Francis (Illustrator). You Mean I Can Ask That? Boys’ bodies do the craziest things! They can knock a baseball out to right field or trip in front of class. But at a certain point, those bodies start to grow up and go through some wild changes. You might be wondering things like: Why don’t I look like him? How can I get buff without steroids? And how can I handle that talk my parents want to have—you know, the talk? Yikes! Guy Talk answers all the important questions you want answers to but would rather not ask, mixing fun with great advice for growing guys.

    Pinch Hit (HarperCollins) – Tim Green (Author). Trevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn’t be more different.

    Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There’s nothing he doesn’t have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real.

    Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball’s Major Leagues. He’s determined to get the scouts at the big USC tournament to recognize his talent. And he really wants to see his dad, a struggling screenwriter, realize his own dream.

    When Sam signs up at Casting Central to make some extra money, he and Trevor come together on a movie set and see the chance to trade places—to pinch hit for each other and make everyone’s dreams come true.

    Ruby Redfort Look into My Eyes (Candlewick) – Lauren Child (Author, Illustrator). Hey, buster! Crack open this new series starring Ruby Redfort – Clarice Bean’s favorite all-action heroine – and you will literally be on the edge of your wits.

    Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum. Ruby gets into lots of scrapes with evil villains, but she’s always ice-cool in a crisis. Just take a classic screwball comedy, add heaps of breathtaking action, and multiply it by Lauren Child’s writing genius, and what have you got? Only the most exciting new middle-grade series since, like, ever.

    Amelia’s Boy Survival Guide (Simon and Schuster) – Marissa Moss (Author, Illustrator).Boys enter the picture in this all-new addition to the perennially popular Amelia series.

    Amelia can’t believe eighth grade is finally here! She knows this will be the most exciting year yet for her and her best friend, Carly. But a lot of the other girls are thinking about one thing, and one thing only: boys. Amelia has never wanted a boyfriend. Crushes are for the silly girls who are always fixing their hair and thinking about shopping and what to wear next….right? But when a nice boy named Gerald appears in her class, Amelia thinks she might like to go to the school dance with him. It would be fun to have someone to dance with—but can she work up the nerve to ask him? What if he says no? Is the possible reward worth the risk? There’s only one way to find out….

    Once again, Marissa Moss tells a tale of wisdom gained in the humorous and human way that has earned her millions of loyal readers.

    Goblin Secrets (Margaret K. McElderry Books) – William Alexander (Author). A boy joins a theatrical troupe of goblins to find his missing brother.

    In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around—much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

    Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river.

    This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy.

    Spy School (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers) – Stuart Gibbs (Author). Like many kids, Ben Ripley imagines life as a secret agent would be pretty awesome — so when he learns he’s been recruited to the C.I.A.’s top secret Academy of Espionage, it sounds too good to be true. And it is. From the moment he arrives — and ends up in the middle of an enemy attack — Ben finds Spy School is going to be far more difficult, dastardly and dangerous than he expected. Even worse, he soon discovers that he hasn’t been recruited to become a top agent; instead, he’s been brought in as bait to catch a devious double agent. Now, Ben needs a crash course in espionage so that he can catch the mole, prove his worth — and get the girl. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be a very fun — and very funny — ride.

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (Candlewick) – Frank Cottrell Boyce (Author), Joe Berger (Illustrator). Buckle your seatbelt for the first-ever follow up to Ian Fleming’s only children’s story.

    When the Tooting family finds an old engine and fits it to their camper van, they have no idea what kind of adventure lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary car . . . and it wants its bodywork back! But as the Tootings hurtle across the world rebuilding the original Chitty, a sinister baddie is on their trail – one who will stop at nothing to get the magnificent car for himself.

    Fueled by wry humor , this much-anticipated sequel to the children’s classic by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond – fe aturing a contemporary family and a camper van with a mind of its own – is driven by best-selling, award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce and revved up by Joe Berger’s black-and-white illustrations.

    Caddy’s World – Casson Family (Margaret K. McElderry Books) – Hilary McKay (Author). The amazing and hilarious Casson family is back in this all-new novel from award-winning author Hilary McKay.

    Cadmium Casson is twelve years old the summer that everything changes. Not only are her closest friendships in jeopardy, but her mom is expecting a baby. And when the baby arrives early, Caddy’s world turns upside down. Her mother spends all her time at the hospital, and her father takes over the household, which of course turns into one chaotic (though hilarious) crisis after the next.

    When her charmingly dense boyfriend dumps her, Caddy is at her wits’ end. Then she discovers that the fragile baby she is so afraid of losing is not an ending, but a beginning for her whole family. And that love and friendship don’t need to be destroyed by change—they can be strengthened. Another refreshingly wise, funny, and poignant novel from the inimitable Hilary McKay.

    Amos Daragon #2: The Key of Braha (Delacorte Books for Young Readers) – Bryan Perro (Author).Amos survived his first mission as Mask Wearer, but soon after that, an encounter with a mysterious girl brings his life to an end—and sends him on his way to Braha, the City of the Dead, where souls await judgment. To get there, Amos, now a spirit himself, boards a boat, on which he meets Jerik, a decapitated criminal who must carry his head everywhere. Jerik tells Amos that Braha is overcrowded with spirits; the gods have shut the doors that lead to paradise and to hell. A key is said to unlock the doors—but its whereabouts are unknown. Only someone who dies and comes back to life can find it. Will Amos be that someone? Will his ingenuity and intelligence be enough to restore order in Braha? Or will he unknowingly serve those who are using him for their own gain? Most importantly, even if Amos finds the key, will he ever return to the land of the living?

    The Secret Life of Money: A Kid’s Guide to Cash (Owlkids Books) – Kira Vermond (Author), Clayton Hanmer (Illustrator). If discussing money is a difficult task for adults, it’s doubly so where kids are involved. Not only is the subject loaded with cryptic jargon (mortgages? Bull markets? Huh?), but it often fails to click with how a kid sees his or her world. Many young teens do not yet have a job, and even if they do, their responsibilities with their earnings are miles away from grown-up money issues. In other words, not only is money a little mysterious, it’s also seen as something that’s none of their concern.

    The Secret Life of Money is written to address this last point in particular. It’s central message is that money affects us deeply and that even kids can have an effect on it, too. This book uses odd anecdotes, engaging comics, and a wealth of surprising everyday connections to help young readers see and understand cash from an entirely different angle. From the history of different currencies to why we buy what we buy, from how charities and credit cards work to saving and investing, and a whole lot more, readers will gain not only an appreciation for the myriad ways that money changes, influences, and betters their lives.

    The Moon Over High Street (Michael di Capua Books) – Natalie Babbitt (Author). The new novel by Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting

    Joe Casimir needed help with the choice he had to make. But how do you choose the person who will help you choose? Mr. Boulderwall, the millionaire, knew exactly what he wanted Joe to choose. And millionaires are experts at making choices. Well, aren’t they? But Vinnie, the number-two man down at Sope Electric, didn’t much approve of millionaires. He said to Joe, “Listen, kid, all of ‘em act like they’re the only ones with a ticket to the show!” But he didn’t have any real advice to offer. Joe’s Gran didn’t either, as it turned out, and neither did Aunt Myra.

    The good advice was there, though. Right across the street. Just waiting right across the street. There are a lot of good things just waiting. You’ll see.

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