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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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  • And The Skype Winner Is… Could It Be You?

    Learning Differences

    The Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour Bus rolls on. Will it pull into your library or school with a visit from Erica Perl? Read on to find out…

    But first– who’s that in the bus this week? It’s Kimberley Griffiths Little!

    Welcome Kimberley! I loved your book The Healing Spell and your wonderful Circle of Secrets, also set in Louisiana. Please tell us about you and your books.

    I’m a fanatic reader, writer, on location researcher, wife, mom, and homeschooler. And now I can say I’m an award-winning author, too! It only took about 20 years! (I’ve been busy reading, researching, writing and Mommy-ing, ha, ha!)

    The most fun way to find out about my books is to watch my book trailers, which turned out pretty amazing – with a lot of help from my friends at Nua Music. I love unusual settings and characters and it was a challenge and a joy to incorporate those into the book trailers as well as the plot twists. (I’m a sucker for plot twists and surprise endings.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiTQhFXi0uo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k4VaODgUuA

    What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?

    I was a painfully shy kid and could barely answer a question in class so books were truly my best friends. I determined when I was about 9-10 years old that I wanted to be a writer, too, and try to create that same “magic” I felt when I read.

    What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

    Well, you know this is a hard question for a huge kid-reader like me, so I’ll narrow it down to three!

    NANCY DREW (of course!)
    THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE by Elizabeth Goudge
    HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh


    What makes your school visits special?

    I love talking to kids about books and I’m like a kid showing off my baby gators 

    ?

    No!

    Plush – not real! and research pictures and lots of “Show and Tell”,  plus seeing kids excited about books and reading. I can’t do this on Skype, but I also have a great hands-on writing workshop that has been wonderfully successful. I call it “The Creative Diary” and we talk about our brains and Imagination and I lead the students through some Imagination exercises. At the end of an hour students have written two short stories. Read more about it at my Author Visit Page on my website: http://www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com/author-visit-page/

     And, ya know, I’m on Facebook a lot and teachers can friend me there. And kids. And they manage to find my books on Goodreads, too, which always amazes me. :-)

    That sounds super! Readers would you like Kimberley to visit your classroom, book club or any other group of enthusiastic middle-grade readers? You came to the right place!!

    Leave a comment here for your chance to win. Pass it along on Facebook or Twitter for more chances– just be sure to come back and leave a comment telling us how you’ve spread the word. We’ll draw the lucky winner next Tuesday when we’ll present the next Mixed-Up Middle-Grade author for your Skyping pleasure! For all the scoop and frequently asked questions about the contest look HERE!

     But wait!!!! We have a winner to announce!
     The lucky winner who’ll be welcoming Erica Perl to visit her readers is…………………

    Kristen!

    Please email the please email the Mixed-Up Files at msfishby (at) fromthemixedupfiles (dot) com with your contact information! You’ll be hearing from Erica shortly! And huge congratulations!!!!!

    Readers keep those entries coming and you might welcome Kimberley to your group!

    Tami Lewis Brown is always in a rush… on her way to another middle-grade author visit.

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