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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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  • June New Releases!

    Book Lists

    Summertime . . . and the reading is easy!

    Take a look at what’s coming this month for middle grade readers! I know I’m already enjoying reading new books outside!

     

     

     

    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (Atheneum) – William Joyce

    This is a new release of the book that inspired the Academy Awardwinning short film, from New York Times bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce.

    Morris Lessmore loved words.

    He loved stories.

    He loved books.

    But every story has its upsets.

         Everything in Morris Lessmore’s life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds.

    But the power of story will save the day.

    Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children’s literature, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again.

    If you haven’t seen this amazing short film, check it out here!)

     

    A Home For Bird (Roaring Brook) – by Philip Stead

    While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend – a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some of his other favorite things, but Bird says nothing. Vernon introduces Bird to his friends, Skunk and Porcupine, but Bird still says nothing. “Bird is shy,” says Vernon, “but also a very good listener.” Vernon worries that Bird is silent because he misses his home, so the two set off on a journey to help find a home for Bird. This is a tender tale of a thoughtful friend who is determined to help his quiet companion, by the author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

    Bink and Gollie, Two for One (Candlewick) –  Alison MgGhee  and Kate DiCamillo

    Your favorite marvelous companions are back! Meet them at the fair in this delightfully droll sequel to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning Bink and Gollie.

    The state fair is in town, and now Bink and Gollie — utter opposites and best friends extraordinaire — must use teamwork and their gray matter while navigating its many wonders. Will the energetic Bink win the world’s largest donut in the Whack-a-Duck game? Will the artistic Gollie wow the crowd in the talent show? As the undaunted duo steps into the mysterious tent of fortune-teller Madame Prunely, one prediction is crystal clear: this unlikely pair will always be the closest of pals. Get ready for more laughs in this wry, warmhearted sequel to the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book Bink and Gollie, written by the award-winning, best-selling Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and featuring the exuberant visual humor of illustrator Tony Fucile.

    Pandora Gets Greedy (Bloomsbury) Carolyn Hennessy

    Pandora is off to Rome in search of Greed. With a little magical help, Pandy and her friends pose as servants for a Roman senator. But the hard work leaves little time to search for evils—not to mention dealing with the senator’s bratty daughter. When a feud breaks out between the senator and Julius Caesar, Pandy finally gets the courage she needs to search for Greed. But there is an odd twist. The Greek gods are in town on a “family reunion” with their Roman counterparts. Are the double gods just a coincidence or are they here to help her?

    The magic and humor of Carolyn Hennesy’s beloved series is back in full force. Fans will be thrilled by the new twists and turns and next year will bring us the final chapter in this exciting quest.

     Clementine and the Family Meeting (Hyperion)- Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee

    Clementine’s having a nervous breakdown. The FAMILY MEETING! sign is up in her house, and she just knows she’s in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what’s on the agenda, her parents won’t reveal anything before the meeting. As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: “We’re getting a gorilla.” But no, it’s something entirely different. “We’re talking about a new baby,” says her father. “A brother or sister for you two. What do you think about that?” NO THANKS! is what Clementine thinks. After all, four is the perfect number for a family. There are four sides to a table, not five. Will Clementine learn to make room for one more? Readers will chuckle at Clementine’s unique perspective on the age-old issue of sibling rivalry.

    Chronicles of the Red King #2 (Scholastic)-Jenny Nimmo
    The second book in NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Jenny Nimmo’s new series chronicling the origin and the adventures of Charlie Bone’s magical ancestor, the Red King!Timoken, a magician king, has found a new home in a castle in Britain. But when an evil steward takes control of the castle, he imprisons Timoken and wreaks havoc on surrounding villages. With the help of Gabar, the talking camel, Timoken escapes and embarks on a quest to find and rescue his friends, and build himself a kingdom to call home for good.

    In this brand-new series, bestselling author Jenny Nimmo takes readers on an extraordinary quest with one of her most powerful and mysterious characters, the one who started it all for Charlie Bone.

    Dork Diaries 4: Tales from a Not So Graceful Ice Princess (Aladdin) -Rachel Renee Russell

    In an all-new addition to the New York Times bestselling series that’s as popular as it is dorky, Nikki Maxwell is determined to help out her crush!

    Nikki Maxwell isn’t at all surprised to find out that her crush Brandon volunteers at a local animal shelter. He’s such a sweet guy—of course he wants to help those adorable puppies! Then Brandon tells her that the shelter is in danger of closing, and Nikki knows she can’t let that happen. Especially when she discovers a shocking secret about Brandon that makes keeping that shelter open more important than ever. So Nikki and her friends Chloe and Zoey enter an ice skating competition to help raise money for the shelter, but (big surprise) Mackenzie has to stick her nose in and cause trouble so that she can be the one to swoop in and save the day. No way will Nikki let that happen: She’ll just have to come up with some extra creative ideas this time.

    Seekers: Return to the Wild 2: The Melting Sea (HarperCollins) – Erin Hunter
    Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and Yakone trek onward toward the Melting Sea, the site of Kallik’s traumatic cubhood–and prepare to be separated for the first time since their journey began.
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