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    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 ...

    March 28, 2013: Big at Bologna

     This year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the focus has shifted to middle-grade.  “A lot of foreign publishers are cutting back on YA and are looking for middle-grade,” said agent Laura Langlie, according to Publisher's Weekly.  Lighly illustrated or stand-alone contemporary middle-grade fiction is getting the most attention.  Read more...


    March 10, 2013: Marching to New Titles

    Check out these titles releasing in March...


    March 5, 2013: Catch the BEA Buzz

    Titles for BEA's Editor Buzz panels have been announced.  The middle-grade titles selected are:

    A Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

    Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward

    Nick and Tesla's High-Voltages Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

    The Tie Fetch by Amy Herrick

    For more Buzz books in other categories,


    February 20, 2013: Lunching at the MG Roundtable 

    Earlier this month, MG authors Jeanne Birdsall, Rebecca Stead, and N.D. Wilson shared insight about writing for the middle grades at an informal luncheon with librarians held in conjunction with the New York Public Library's Children's Literary Salon "Middle Grade: Surviving the Onslaught."

    Read about their thoughts...


    February 10, 2013: New Books to Love

    Check out these new titles releasing in February...


    January 28, 2013: Ivan Tops List of Winners

    The American Library Association today honored the best of the best from 2012, announcing the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz awards, along with a host of other prestigious youth media awards, at their annual winter meeting in Seattle.

    The Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Honor books were: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin; and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.

    The Coretta Scott King Book Award went to Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

    The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award,which honors an author for his or her long-standing contributions to children’s literature, was presented to Katherine Paterson.

    The Pura Belpre Author Award, which honors a Latino author, went to Benjamin Alire Saenz for his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was also named a Printz Honor book and won the Stonewall Book Award for its portrayal of the GLBT experience.

    For a complete list of winners…


    January 22, 2013: Biography Wins Sydney Taylor

    Louise Borden's His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg, a verse biography of the Swedish humanitarian, has won the Sydney Taylor Award in the middle-grade category. The award is given annually to books of the highest literary merit that highlight the Jewish experience. Aimee Lurie, chair of the awards committee, writes, "Louise Borden's well-researched biography will, without a doubt, inspire children to perform acts of kindness and speak out against oppression."

    For more...


    January 17, 2013: Erdrich Wins Second O'Dell

    Louise Erdrich is recipient of the 2013 Scott O'Dell Award for her historical novel Chickadee, the fourth book in herBirchbark House series. Roger Sutton,Horn Book editor and chair of the awards committee, says of Chickadee,"The book has humor and suspense (and disarmingly simple pencil illustrations by the author), providing a picture of 1860s Anishinabe life that is never didactic or exotic and is briskly detailed with the kind of information young readers enjoy." Erdrich also won the O'Dell Award in 2006 for The Game of Silence, the second book in theBirchbark series. 

    For more...


    January 15, 2013: After the Call

    Past Newbery winners Jack Gantos, Clare Vanderpool, Neil Gaiman, Rebecca Stead, and Laura Amy Schlitz talk about how winning the Newbery changed (or didn't change) their lives in this piece from Publishers Weekly...


    January 2, 2013: On the Big Screen

    One of our Mixed-up Files members may be headed to the movies! Jennifer Nielsen's fantasy adventure novel The False Prince is being adapted for Paramount Pictures by Bryan Cogman, story editor for HBO's Game of Thrones. For more...


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Fall Into A Book Festival!

Activities, For Kids

Newly sharpened pencils, tart apples and falling leaves — Fall is more than the start of a new school year. In many communities it’s also book festival season! Take a break from the fall rush, meet your favorite authors and illustrators face to face, and hear first hand about the best and brightest new books.

(The gorgeous poster for this year’s National Book Festival was created by Rafael López)

 The king of the festivals is in my hometown, Washington DC. Distinguished authors from every state gather to present their books to tens of thousands of readers, young and old. This year you can climb into Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books or shiver your Goosebumps away with R. L. Stine, and that’s just the beginning. Dozens of children’s and YA authors will be headlining this year’s program. And like most fall book festivals it’s all FREE.

After looking all over the internet I couldn’t track down a list of Fall book festivals with great kids’ events so I’ve made one of my own. Here it is!


Sept 17-23 Brooklyn , NY Brooklyn Book Festival www.brooklynbookfestival.org  (Did you read and love WONDER? Author R. J. Pallacio will be here!)

Sept 22-23 Kirkland, Washington Northwest Bookfest http://nwbookfest.com/  (Smart and funky festival, just like the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loved Peg Kehret’s middle grade novels for years-wish I could see her here!)

Sept 22-23 Washington DC   National Book Festival http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ (The king of the festivals. This is a who’s who of the book world- children’s, young adult and everything else from poetry to world lit to mystery!)

Sept 26-30 Fairfax, Virginia    Fall For The Book http://www.fallforthebook.org/  (Smart, cool festival on the heals of the big one in DC)

Sept 28-30 Baltimore, Maryland    Baltimore Book Festival http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com  (Big time authors and Baltimore natives flock to this festival. I’m looking forward to Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz and her new book Splendors and Glooms)

Sept 28-30 Deadwood, South Dakota South Dakota Festival of Books http://www.sdbookfestival.com/  (How can you miss with a festival in Deadwood?)

September 30 West Hollywood, California West Hollywood Book Fair www.westhollywoodbookfair.org  (Hollywood Chic! More YA than middle grade but it’s still fun for kids)


October 1-6 San Diego California San Diego City College International Book Fair http://www.sdcitybookfair.com/  (appears there’s not a lot of programming for kids although Matt de la Pena will be speaking)

October 12-14 Brattleboro, Vermont  Brattleboro Book Festival http://brattleboroliteraryfestival.org/  (Many of my favorite authors and illustrators come to this intimate and exciting festival. This year I’m looking forward to Tony DiTerlizzi, Jane Yolen and Karen Hesse)

October 13-14 Charleston, WV West Virginia Book Festival http://wvbookfestival.org/ (great fun  Robert Sabuda will show off his pop up books this year!)

October 14-16 Nashville, Tennessee Southern Festival of Books http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/events-children-and-young-adults  (I’ll be at this one! Hope to see you there!)

October 20 Cincinnati, Ohio Books By The Banks  http://booksbythebanks.org/topics/2012/childrens-2012/ (I’ll be here, too!  If you don’t catch up with me in Nashville meet me here!)

October 27-28 Austin, Texas Texas Book Festival http://www.texasbookfestival.org/  (This book festival is renowned! The events are always amazing!)

October 27 Dallas Texas International Book Festival http://dallasinternationalbookfair.com/  (A smaller festival but great events)


Nov 9-10 Frankfort, Kentucky Kentucky Book Fair http://kybookfair.blogspot.com/ (A mix of children’s and adult authors, many with Kentucky connections)

Nov 11 Miami, Florida  Miami Book Fair www.miamibookfair.com (Fun in the sun! Each year a different country is featured, incorporating fabulous children’s events)

I know I’ve missed some. If there’s a fun festival or fair in your community leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!


Tami Lewis Brown will be dusting off her presentation skills this fall for book festivals in Cincinnati and Nashville!




  1. Jen Swanson  •  Aug 29, 2012 @8:06 am

    Thanks for a great list, Tami! Looks like a lot of fun. I’m going to have to try to check some of them out. Enjoy Cincinnati and Nashville!

  2. Heather  •  Aug 29, 2012 @8:19 am

    I visit the Cincinnati one each year!

    tami lewis brown Reply:

    @Heather, See you there!!!!

  3. tricia  •  Aug 29, 2012 @11:59 am

    Waaa–this is the first year I’ll be missing Cincinnati! It’s a great one. Have fun, you all, and Tami, our paths need to cross soon!

    tami lewis brown Reply:

    @tricia, That makes me sad! We need to get together!!

  4. Ali B  •  Aug 29, 2012 @2:35 pm

    How gorgeous is that poster by Rafael Lopez? I’m proud to call him my friend and so lucky to see his gorgeous murals at our kids’ school on a daily basis. What a talent!

    tami lewis brown Reply:

    @Ali B, Your school is so lucky to have a Rafael Lopez mural! The kids must love it!! You can download a hi rez copy of his National Book Fest poster on their website- http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

  5. Dianna Winget  •  Aug 30, 2012 @9:08 am

    Thanks for the post, Tami. Book festivals sound like such fun! Now that my own MG debut will be out soon, I’m curious as to how effective authors feel these festivals are. It seems that you’d have a ready supply of readers and buyers if you’ve established a name, but I wonder how some of the newer writers fare?

  6. Kellie  •  Aug 30, 2012 @9:20 am

    Thanks for this awesome post! It’s so good to see so many book festivals across the country!

    Two more that might be of interest: The Boston Book Festival on 10/27 – always lots of great kid/teen events and authors, and Wordstock, the Portland Book Festival, from 10/11 to 10/14 – lots of great writing events and opportunities for kids at this festival.

  7. Sheela Chari  •  Aug 30, 2012 @3:50 pm

    Wendy Mass, RJ Polacio, and I will doing a MG panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sep 23, for anyone interested. :)

    Thanks for compiling this list, Tami. I love book festivals.

  8. Janet Smart  •  Aug 31, 2012 @6:53 am

    Great list. Wish I could visit them all. The Charleston one is right next door to me, though, I’ll have to go to it.