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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, read more...

     

    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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Number Crunch: Non-fiction for Math Lovers (and others)

Book Lists, Nonfiction, Teachers

Mixed-Up Files Reader, Michael M. comments:

I’m sure you’ve noted a heightened emphasis in the new Common Core Standards on NF and longer texts beyond articles. It’s particularly challenging, as much of the available NF is not expository pieces with the charts and tables that the CCS requires.  If you have any “go-to” people, that would be huge. Thanks for a great blog and a wonderful resource!

Michael, thanks for the comment and the compliment of our little piece of the blogdom. While I wouldn’t consider myself a “go-to” person, I’m interested in the same topic as a writer, school-based occupational therapist and general research geek. It’s a good thing since I can see from my calendar, it’s a topic I’ll be hearing a lot more about in upcoming professional development meetings. There will be lots of other people trying to figure out the practical implications of the standards and the best resources to implement them. Publisher’s Weekly had a great article about that very subject.

For this post, I searched for non-fiction books about math that included the graphs and charts you referenced in your question. For my needs, I also looked for high interest subject matter that had practical real life applications. I wanted books that did not look like textbooks in any way and were easy to access. I was able to find all of these books at my public library.

For our Mixed-Up fiction lovers (and as a nod to my previous post about book twins), I also included a few examples of fiction that reference math concepts. Hopefully MUF readers will add to the list in the comments below. Don’t worry, Michael, we’ve heard your plea and will include more non-fiction book lists and references in the future.

Tiger Math by Ann Whitehead Nagada; Cindy Bickel
Children learn to graph as they follow the growth of an orphaned Siberian tiger cub.

A Siberian tiger cub born at the Denver Zoo is orphaned when he is just a few weeks old. At first T. J. refuses to eat his new food, and it requires the full attention of the zoo staff to ensure that he grows into a huge, beautiful, and very healthy tiger.

Through photographs, narrative, and graphs, young readers follow T.J. as he grows from a tiny newborn into a five-hundred-pound adult. A heartwarming story about one tiger’s fight for survival that also introduces a basic math skill. (descriptions and cover photos from Indiebound unless otherwise noted.)

Joanne’s comments:  This is part of a series that includes books by the same authors including Panda Math, Chimp Math and Polar Bear Math. The right side pages follow the story of the animals. The left side pages include the math concepts such as charting growth patterns, figuring out how much food the animal needs, the feeding schedule etc.  The math concepts in the series include time, division,  graphing and fractions.

Growing Money by Gail Karlitz
Never before has there been a time when the economy has been so much a part of our daily lives. Today’s young investors want to know the basics of finance, especially how to make money grow. This complete guide explains in kid-friendly terms all about savings accounts, bonds, stocks, and even mutual funds!

Joanne’s comments: Money is motivating for most kids and this book is a great resource with lots of interesting information and facts.  Charts and tables are sprinkled throughout including comparing the cost of everyday items in the past to current prices and demonstrating the effect of interest on savings.


The Big Push: How Popular Culture is Always Selling by Erika Wittekind

Buyer beware! Why do you really buy what you buy? Did you see a commercial for a cool mountain bike? Did your favorite celebrity wear a fantastic pair of shoes on the red carpet? Learn how products are advertised using all types of media. And be aware of popular cultures influence on consumers including you! (description from Amazon.com)

Joanne’s comments: I am  veering a bit off topic here, but I found this book when I was looking at books about money. I thought it was fresh, relevant and was something that many kids could relate to. The charts and graphs were not plentiful but were interesting. The book was targeted toward the tween age group. Being a smart consumer is another aspect of managing one’s money and is definitely a needed life skill, so I believe it meets my criteria for this list.

Basketball: The Math of the Game by Thomas Kristian Adamson

How far is it from the three point line to the basket? What is the difference in diameter between a basketball and the rim? How do you calculate a basketball players field goal percentage? With every bounce of the ball and swish of the net, math makes its way to the court! (description from Amazon.com)

Joanne’s comments: This book is part of a Sports Illustrated for Kids series including other books featuring baseball, hockey and football.  I read Football: The Math of the Game by Shane Frederick and was pleasantly surprised at the level of difficulty of the math–definitely upper middle grade math including pre-algebra, mean, median, mode and range and calculating momentum. It has the familiar glossy magazine format with lots of photos, but there is a solid amount of text, tons of graphs and math problems based on real football situations.  Another example is the  Sports Math Series by Ian Mahaney including contains graphs and math application with a solid amount of text but targeting the younger middle-grade reader.

For Fiction Lovers: Don’t forget to check out Wendy S.’s post Show Me the Money for great fiction ideas. I also like The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies and Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. 


All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall is another  fiction choice from my To-Be-Read Pile.

Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world’s largest tetrahedron. Weaving together the different personal stories of the kids, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, award-winning author Shelley Pearsall has written a vividly engaging story about the math, life and good-tasting barbecue. Filled with unexpected humor, poignant characters and quiet brilliance, All of the Above is a surprising gem.

MUF readers, please help Michael and add your favorite math-themed non-fiction or fiction in the comments. What non-fiction book lists or topics would you like to see us tackle in future posts?

Joanne Prushing Johnson spent her school years fighting a solid case of math anxiety. She found that practical applications helped take the anxiety out of math,  put the purpose into the process and made math more fun (okay–that’s an exaggeration). She still prefers words to numbers, but loves to hide math and science concepts in her fiction–just to prove her twelfth grade calculus teacher wrong. 

5 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Tammy Flanders  •  Aug 13, 2012 @12:20 pm

    Oh, lots of good ones.
    Fiction – Pennies for elephants by Lita Judge
    Lucky beans by Becky Birtha
    Babymouse: dragonslayer by Jennifer Holms
    Mathematickles! by Betsy Franco
    The number devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
    An abundance of Katherines by John Green

    Nonfiction – too many to list but I’m really loving Growing Patterns by Sarah Campbell and Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman

    joanneprushingjohnson Reply:

    @Tammy Flanders, thanks for you post and recommendations to add to my TBR pile. Are any of these more upper MG as Genevieve is requesting? If so, could you pop into her thread and let her know. Thanks for your great suggestions.

  2. Genevieve  •  Aug 13, 2012 @2:22 pm

    Any upper-middle-grade math-related fiction to recommend? I’ve got Abundance of Katherines on the list, though that might be a year or two too old for my son at the moment.

    joanneprushingjohnson Reply:

    @Genevieve, thanks for you post. Hopefully other readers will add to the discussion. I thought Lawn Boy read more upper MG to me and it’s part of a series. There are a lot of options when looking at books about money. I’m interested to see what other readers are finding in other math-themed fiction.

  3. Trever Reeh  •  Aug 14, 2012 @12:08 pm

    http://new-to-teaching.blogspot.com/p/good-math-texts.html is a site that is for upper middle school and high school level math texts, fiction and non-fiction.