• 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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  • For Teachers/Librarians Update

    Librarians, Teachers

    Summer is a great time to clean up – in your classroom or library, at home, and especially here at the Mixed-Up Files!  We’ve been busy updating the For Teachers/Librarians page to help you make middle-grade books an even more effective and engaging part of your classroom and library/media center!

    You’ll notice that, like all thorough cleaners, we’ve tried to reorganize and streamline the information.  We hope you find that the alphabetized list of categories helps you scroll quickly to the topic you’re looking for.  We’ve also updated all of the links and added some new ones!

    Please help us continue to grow by adding your requests/suggestions in the comments section below!

    Here’s an overview of the specific additions you’ll now find on the page (marked on the For Teachers/Librarians page with New!):


    • MUF Blog Posts on author visits: We’ve collected all that we’ve had to say about author visits in one place.

    AUTHOR WEBSITES with discussion/activity guides

    • Additional links to middle-grade authors who offer helpful classroom activities and discussion guides on their websites:  Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, Judy Blume, Jack Gantos, Jean Craighead George, Will Hobbs, Deborah Hopkinson, Gary Paulsen, Rodman Philbrick, Gary D. Schmidt, Jerry Spinelli, and Jane Yolen


    • American Indians in Children’s Literature: Debbie Reese helps teachers and librarians find resources and consider issues related to the representation of American Indians in children’s books.
    • The Reading Tub: Extensive collection of middle grade and YA book review blogs (previously under General Resources)


    • MUF Blog Posts on Book Clubs:  Collected MUF posts related to starting and sustaining book clubs for middle-graders.
    • Book Clubs for Kids from PBS Parents:  Great resources for teachers and parents.
    • Literature Circles Resource Center: Resources and information on book clubs and literature circles from the College of Education at Seattle University.



    We hope you find some gems that will make your classroom or library the sizzling spot for middle-grade readers and writers!  We urge you to offer your own suggestions in the comments section below.  And finally, a hearty thanks to our MUF colleagues who developed this wonderful resource page in the first place!


    Bruce Eschler and Katherine Schlick Noe took off their writer hats and put on their well-worn teacher beanies to update this page.  Bruce teaches junior high school students most of the year, writes speculative fiction for kids as much he can, and is hoping he’ll soon be done with his pesky doctoral program. He has occasionally been spotted at www.bruceeschler.com. Katherine teaches beginning and experienced teachers at Seattle University. Her debut novel, Something to Hold, was published by Clarion Books in 2011. Visit her at http://katherineschlicknoe.com.



    1. tricia  •  Aug 15, 2012 @10:11 am

      A million thanks, Bruce and Katherine! This is an amazing and efficient resource.

    2. Sara  •  Aug 15, 2012 @10:30 am

      Thank you for including the International Reading Association’s Choices lists and ReadWriteThink in your article! We also have weekly K-12 book reviews on Reading Today Online and children’s literature interviews and stories on the Engage Teacher to Teacher blog.

    3. Cathe Olson  •  Aug 15, 2012 @5:34 pm

      This will be really helpful for me. Thanks.

    4. Ali  •  Aug 15, 2012 @10:30 pm

      Great resource! Thank you for putting this together.

    5. mclicious  •  Aug 19, 2012 @3:58 pm

      These are excellent resources! I also suggest The Pirate Tree (thepiratetree.com), which is run by a group of authors who explore children’s and YA books in the context of social justice themes, from violence to gender to race to poverty.