• 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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  • Books we take with us

    Learning Differences

    Just recently, my husband took a new job in a new part of the country. We are moving to Evanston, IL from Hanover, NH. It’s a big change. And can I brag about my son, a rising senior in high school? He is taking the news like an opportunity….”I trust you,” he said.

    Now the hard part: packing.

    Or should I say: packing and throwing. Because we really would like to start this new life with a lot less stuff.

    And my husband reminded me: that includes BOOKS.

    (He’s not wrong. I do have a lot of them.)

    Yesterday, we began the process. ie: the negotiations.

    Being the reasonable person I am (having fought for and saved the hand made dollhouse, the Thomas trains and a huge herd of plastic dinosaurs), I said, “Okay. I’ll donate a bunch of them to the library. Or a school.”

    And here’s the irony: sharing books is as exciting as reading them. Going through my bookshelves reminded me of all the things I’ve learned by reading lots and lots and lots of books.

    But some I can’t part with. I know I’ll want to read them again.

    First box: my collection of middle grade novels that I still use to teach.

    Second box is more important: the books that meant a lot to my kids as young readers.






    (It works.)

    I asked them to choose which middle grade novels to keep, the ones they still remember YEARS after reading them.

    Here are their picks:

    Rebecca’s first book: RIDING FREEDOM.






    She loved this book–not because she loved horses–but because it was about a girl who risked everything. She ran away. Changed her identity. For what she wanted. “That book really inspired me,” she said. “It made me think that everything was possible.

    ALSO ON HER LIST: Swear to Howdy, Harry Potter, esp 1 and 3, Esperanza Rising, and a whole stack of classics, most notably, Little Women. (She started a Pickwick club in middle school.)

    Elliot’s first title: BUNNICULA.

    I would bet he has read this book two thousand times. (In fact, I caught him reading it two weeks ago.) He has also listened to it on tape. When he was very small, I once found him, tears running down his face, listening to the author’s note, Howe’s tribute to his late wife, Deborah. For a long time, when I would catch Elliot looking blue, he’d say, “I’m just thinking about Debbie.” The irony that this person could create something enduring…and die…still makes him melancholy.

    His list also includes a ton of history books, The Notorious Benedict Arnold, The Secret Lives of US Presidents, graphic novels, Captain Underpants, A stack of Garth Nix and Jonathan Stroud, and HP 1-3 and 5-7. (4 makes him sad.)

    I chose books too, most notably the two stolen library books that I still have with me from childhood. (The statute of  limitations has run out, right?) The first is Judy Blume’s BLUBBER.

       Oh, that bathroom scene.





    The other is Patricia Clapp’s JANE EMILY.

    If you want a creepy story, it’s available at many libraries, minus one.

    I’m proud to say: I’m down to six boxes from eighteen. 

    Now time to look at the shoes.




    Sarah Aronson writes books for kids and teens. She teaches online classes for writers.com. Even though she’s leaving New England, she’ll be back in Montpelier for the tenth annual Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College. 

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