• 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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  • Interview with Adam-Troy Castro, Author of Gustav Gloom and the People Taker


    From Indiebound: Fernie What finds herself lost in the Gloom mansion after her cat appears to have been chased there by its own shadow. Fernie discovers a library full of every book that was never written, a gallery of statues that are just plain awkward, and finds herself at dinner watching her own shadow take part in the feast!

    Along the way Fernie is chased by the People Taker who is determined to take her to the Shadow Country. It’s up to Fernie and Gustav to stop the People Taker before he takes Fernie’s family.

    Darkly funny and at times outright creepy, Gustav Gloom is already on my list of all-time favorite children’s horror novels (right up there with Neil Gaiman’s Coraline). Luckily, Adam-Troy Castro‘s new series will span six books, each digging a little deeper into the mysterious Gloom mansion and the Shadow Country. That means more gorgeous illustrations by Kristen Margiotta to look forward to as well – this is one of those covers you have to see in person to really appreciate how weirdly beautiful it is.

    Adam was nice enough to talk to share a few thoughts on writing middle-grade horror, favorite books, and shadow food here at From the Mixed-Up Files.

    While you’re an accomplished sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writer, this is your first middle-grade series. What’s your favorite thing about writing MG, and what do you feel is the biggest challenge?

    My favorite element is that whimsy is a plus, not a minus. The biggest challenge — since this is a horrifically-tinged series — is edging right up to the limit of what’s appropriate, and not going over. Generally, I accomplish this by going exactly as far as I have to, and then retreating if I must.

    What were your favorite books as a kid? Which authors inspired your own writing?

    I was earliest to the works of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Sheckley, Richard Matheson, and Harlan Ellison. They were the folks I always shot for, from the beginning.

    At age 18, penning horror stories, I was told by one dismissive person that, “This is almost as bad as Stephen King,” and thus learned about him for the very, VERY first time; the criticism was made to break me, but sent me to the library, and I emerged pleased.

    Gustav and Fernie become friends despite their very different personalities. What were you like as a middle schooler – outgoing and pajama-loving, or more the quiet outcast with no shadow?

    The outcast, definitely — the kind of outcast who attempts to be the class clown and only succeeds about a quarter of the time. When I was funny, I was drop-dead funny. When I was not…oy vey.

    The Gloom mansion is filled with strange rooms – a library with all the books that have never been written, a gallery with extremely awkward statues, a room filled with seemingly normal chairs that are not-so-normal…are there any rooms in the mansion you wish were in your own house?

    The library, of course – provided I had the capacity to read it. I also wouldn’t mind wandering around the Gallery of Awkward Statues, a little bit. There’s a room coming up in Book 2, important to Gustav’s past, that is downright delightful…and another in Book 4 with an artifact that turns out to be gamechanger, and boy do I want one of those.

    What’s your shadow’s favorite food? (And what’s yours?)

    My shadow just loves quiche. I’m a hamburger guy.

    Michelle Schusterman is the author of the I HEART BAND series (Penguin, 2014). She’s currently living in Queens, and she blogs, tweets, and Tumblrs.

    1 Comment

    1 Comment

    1. Jill  •  Jul 26, 2012 @6:43 pm

      I cannot wait to read this book. It looks delightful and fun. Love the cover art also!