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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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  • The Great Library Giveaway Spotlight #2

    Book Lists, Giveaways

    We are a full week into our Great Library Giveaway.  Only three weeks left to nominate a worthy library!  Click here and follow the instructions if you have a library that you’d like to see receive our collection of middle-grade books.

    We’d like to thank authors and publishers who have donated books, as well as our blog members.  Thanks to all of you.  If you’ d like to donate a title, please see our Donations page for more information.

    Ten titles that have been donated are:

     

    Vanished by Sheela Chari

    Description: Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular instrument was a gift from her grandmother—intricately carved with a mysterious-looking dragon.

    When this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, strange clues surface: a tea kettle ornamented with a familiar pointy-faced dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead musician, and even a legendary curse. The clues point all the way to India, where it seems that Neela’s instrument has a long history of vanishing and reappearing. Even if Neela does track it down, will she be able to stop it from disappearing again?

    Hannah West on Millionaire’s Row by Linda Johns

    Description: Hannah West is back in an all-new mystery?and this time she?s living in the lap of luxury in a mansion on Millionaire?s Row in Seattle?s Capitol Hill neighborhood. When someone starts breaking into homes and doing feng shui, Hannah is immediately intrigued. It all seems innocent at first. But when some small but valuable objects start to disappear from the neighbors? houses, Hannah can?t help wondering if there?s a connection. Could it have anything to do with the Antiques Caravan that?s in town to tape an episode of their television show?

    Road Block by Yolanda Ridge

    Description from Barnes and Noble: In this sequel to Trouble in the Trees, it’s the end of grade six and Bree plans to spend the summer hanging around her townhouse complex in Vancouver, climbing trees with her friends. But her parents have other plans for her; she is going to Ontario to stay with her grandma who lives on a farm “in the middle of nowhere.” A farm that is about to be destroyed by a superhighway unless Bree can stop it. Convinced that saving the land will end her grandma’s unhappiness, Bree tries to rally cousins and neighbors, but instead of finding help, Bree uncovers some shocking things about her relatives. The more Bree gets to know about her extended family and their farm, the more complicated everything becomes. If she isn’t able to save the farm, can she at least manage to save her family?

    Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, Book 1) by Geoff Rodkey

    Description: It’s tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody’s trying to kill you.

    Not that Egg’s life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.

    But when Egg’s father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.

    Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

    Suddenly, Egg’s running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he’s been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.

    Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset by Tom Angleberger

    Description: Tom Angleberger’s farcical middle-grade mystery begins when M’Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it has never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned. When, as a result of “the Loosening,” the precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump (quite literally a lump), goes missing, the Luggertucks look for someone to blame. Is it Horton Halfpott, the good-natured but lowly kitchen boy who can’t tell a lie? Or one of the many colorful cast members in this romp of a mystery that combines supreme silliness with a tale of a young hero with heart.

    Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck

    Description from www.whbeck.com: When Malcolm (a smaller than average rat) arrives as the fifth grade pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention, the Pop-Tart crumbs, and his new Comf-E-Cube. He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) out of trouble. After all, everybody knows, “a lot happens in a school when the teachers aren’t looking.”

    There’s just one problem. Have you heard? Rats have a terrible reputation! So when the Academy assumes that Malcolm is a mouse, he doesn’t exactly speak up. Then the Academy’s leader, a glasses-wearing iguana named Aggy, disappears and the Academy smells a rat . . . a dirty rat fink, to be specific. Now Malcolm must use all of his ratty persistence to prove his innocence, get Aggy back under her heat lamp—and to find out if it’s possible to be a critter of valor and merit, even if you’re a rat.

    Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kim Baker

    Description: This is the story of THE LEAGUE OF PICKLEMAKERS

    Ben: who began it all by sneaking in one night and filling homeroom with ball-pit balls.

    Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle-making club, could receive funding from the PTA.

    Oliver: Who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to live in a submarine.

    Bean: Who wasn’t exactly invited, but her parents own a costume shop, which comes in handy if you want to dress up like a giant squirrel and try to scare people at the zoo.

    TOGETHER, they are an unstoppable prank-pulling force, and Fountain Point Middle School will never be the same.

    Reality Leak by Joni Sensel

    Description: Come follow this trail of riddles lined with popcorn and drawn in invisible ink!

    Pants that walk by themselves . . . Secret messages that pop up in the toaster . . . A mysterious factory that plants already-popped corn and makes invisible ink . . . or is it inc?

    What is going on in South Wiggot? It all started when Mr. Keen arrived in the dusty little farm town–in a wooden crate. Strange things have been happening ever since, and Bryan Zilcher is determined to find out why, before things can go from strange to sinister.
    This compelling adventure is like nothing else you’ve ever read. Part Saturday morning cartoon, part secret agent mystery–and all zany fun!

    The Black Heart Crypt: A Haunted Mystery by Chris Grabenstein

    Description: Halloween is near, the one day of the year when the ghostly plane is close enough to the human plane to allow mischief and mayhem. But the ghosts who have their eye on Zack aren’t thinking mischief, they are thinking murder.

    In the fourth volume of Chris Grabenstein’s popular Haunted Mysteries series, Zack must yet again do battle with malevolent spirits. And with perseverance and pluck, and the assistance of three dotty aunts, he must save his town from a 200-year-old threat.

    Trouble Don’t Last by Shelley Pearsall

    Description: Eleven-year-old Samuel was born as Master Hackler’s slave, and working the Kentucky farm is the only life he’s ever known—until one dark night in 1859, that is. With no warning, cranky old Harrison, a fellow slave, pulls Samuel from his bed and, together, they run.

    The journey north seems much more frightening than Master Hackler ever was, and Samuel’s not sure what freedom means aside from running, hiding, and starving. But as they move from one refuge to the next on the Underground Railroad, Samuel uncovers the secret of his own past—and future. And old Harrison begins to see past a whole lifetime of hurt to the promise of a new life—and a poignant reunion—in Canada.

    *Descriptions are from Indiebound unless otherwise noted.
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