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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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  • You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please!

    Authors, Giveaways, Interviews

    I’ve got another, not-your-average-interview, interview!  Yeah, cause I’m awesome at not being average!

    Author James Mihaley has joined us here at the Mixed-Up Files with his book, You Can’t Have My Planet, But Take My Brother, Please.  Well, his book isn’t actually here.  You have to go buy it at the store.  Unless you’re one of the lucky readers who will win a copy!  Yup. Cause James is kewl, he’s agreed to give away a copy of his book and some bookmarks to go with it!

    But first, the interview!

    Me:  So, James, do your book ideas come to you when the aliens visit at night or when you’re running from zombies?

    James: Running from zombies. Zombies don’t run fast so there’s no danger of getting caught. This enables me to calm down, get focused and come up with interesting creative ideas.

    Me: *taps head, clears throat* Of course. I mean, who doesn’t know that? *laughs nervously* I mean, everyone writes better when they’re walking away from zombies.  Those alien visits really mess with your brain.  Not that I’d know anything about that. *quickly changes subject* Sooo…. Chocolate or vanilla? (If you say anything other than chocolate I may have to hunt you down. Kidding. Haha. No I’m not.)

    James: Butterscotch. Most people don’t know this but if you chant the word butterscotch backward while eating it, it tastes exactly like chocolate. If you chant the word butterscotch backward while dancing, it tastes like Madagascar vanilla. I admire versatility in a flavor.

    Me: Good to know.  I’ll have to try that later.  Personally I prefer to chant the word chocolate backward while eating it.  Total calorie free bliss.  *Munches on chocolate* Why don’t you tell us about your writing process. *gets pen, takes notes*

    James: For me, flexibility is the supreme virtue for any writer. Sometimes plotting is helpful. Other times, you create a rambunctious character, like Giles in my book, set him loose on the page and see where he goes. You can’t be too committed to a storyline. You should remain open to the possibility of a splendid new path revealing itself halfway through the story.

    Me: Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more.  Some characters really take us on a ride.  Like that time I went sledding with….  *looks around nervously*…nevermind.  Tell me about your inspiration. Is it unicorns and glitter? Molton lava from the center of the earth? Choice is yours, but personally, I’d go with unicorns and glitter.

    James: What inspires me is the idea that I might create something that will permanently lodge itself in the imagination of a child like an apple seed and bear fruit for the rest of his or her life.

    Me: Exactly what I would have said.  *Unicorns and glitter.  What was I thinking?*  That truly is the best gift – to inspire readers.  Thanks for joining us James and may your book inspire our readers here at the Mixed-Up Files…to infinity and beyond! Oh wait, wrong character. *smiles sheepishly*

    From Indiebound:

    Thirteen-year-old Giles is the last person anyone would expect to save the planet. he’s not as charming as his little sister, and not as brainy as his goody-goody older brother. But when Giles witnesses an alien realtor showing Earth to possible new tenants, he knows he’d better do something. With the help of an alien “attorney” and the maddest scientist in middle-grade fiction, Giles just might save humans from eviction from Earth. Let’s hope so. The alternatives are…not so hospitable.

     

    If you’d like to win a copy of You Can’t Have My Planet: But Take My Brother, Please (but not necessarily the one in the box with the turle, though I’m wiling to bet James would have his turtle sniff it at your request) just leave a comment below.  Deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 30th.  Winner will be drawn and announced on Thursday, May 31st.

    Amie Borst writes fairy tales with a twist with her very own middle-grader.  But you won’t find any damsels in distress in her books, just smart-talking girls who don’t need a hero to save the day.  Visit her website at http://amie-borst.com

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