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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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The 13th Sign Blog Tour!

Book Lists

Welcome to DAY PISCES of 13 Days of THE 13TH SIGN Preorder Contest! PISCES is traditionally considered to be the twelfth sign of the zodiac. PISCES characteristics include: intuitive, adaptable, romantic, self-pitying, illogical, and vivacious.

(Want to learn more about your 12-sign horoscope, your 13-sign horoscope, and which horoscope sign you ACT like? Take THE 13TH SIGN quiz!)

From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors is happy to host Day Thirteen of this contest! The Grande Finale!

But before we get to the contest, we must introduce our guest, Kristin Tubb!  What better way to introduce her than with an interview!

Me:  What inspires you most when you write?  A nice slice of chocolate cake to get the creative juices flowing or a mountain lion chasing you to get your adrenaline pumping?

Kristin:  Ha! Coffee plays a very large role in my writing process, and I love looking at paintings and photographs and maps for inspiration. (Pinterest is my latest time-suck, but at least I’m pinning with a goal! Here’s THE 13TH SIGN board: http://pinterest.com/kristintubb/the-13th-sign/)  But when it comes to hammering out a scene, I have to get moving. Some of my best ideas come while on a hike or blowing bubbles for my dogs (yes, you read that right J). The voice recorder on my phone is full of scene and story ideas so I can get to work right away when back at a keyboard.

Me: Oh man. I LOVE Pinterest.  Talk about a time suck….try a black hole!  Where do you do your writing?  A desk? A cafe? A smelly slimy bog? A beautiful ice castle?

Kristin:  It differs book to book and with each season of this ever-changing life. When my kids were younger, I wrote mostly in libraries. I write at home, now, unless I have a pressing deadline, and then it’s offsite I go (and away from laundry/dishes/pet messes/ringing phones).  I sure would love one of those ice castles, though. Without internet, please. WITH an espresso machine, please.

Me:  I’m so glad I’m not alone in that.  House chores constantly call to me when I’m writing. What is your most favoritest book of all time?

Kristin:  A Wrinkle In Time. In sixth grade, I interviewed Madeline L’Engle by telephone. (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) She told me I, too, could be a writer if I just kept reading. So Wrinkle is my favorite book for many, many reasons.

Me:  No. Way.  Me too!  Well, everything except the interview part….and the career in writing….and the….so yeah, I read the book.  It was my favorite.  Do you have any writing rituals?

Kristin:  I wish I had some tried-and-true rituals! I’ve found that these differ from story to story as well. The one thing I’ve done for every book is to keep a vocabulary list – a list of words that “sound” like that story to me. So for THE 13TH SIGN, the list included words like “vibrate” and “plipped” and “feisty.” For some reason, doing this really seems to help me find the tone and voice of the story.

Me:  What a cool technique!  I’ll have to try that!  Thanks for suffering through my questions, Kristin!

Kristin:  Thank you, Amie, and all the Mixed-Up Files Authors!

Now….on to the part you’ve all been waiting for!

So. What is this contest all about?

If you preorder a copy of THE 13TH SIGN by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, you will be entered into a contest! Where you can WIN THINGS! And there are new prizes every day!

And. EVERY preorder will be *matched* by a $1.00 donation to RIF, a literacy program committed to placing books in the hands of kids who need them most.

About the book:

What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

What about the rest of the world?

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change, and infuriating the other 12 signs?

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend upon it.

What can I win TODAY?

If you preorder THE 13TH SIGN today, Wednesday, December 5, you could win:

-zodiac charm – sign of your choice

-signed THE 13TH SIGN swag

-glow-in-the-dark star stickers

-signed paperback of AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

-a 13th SIGN tshirt

How do I enter?

Preorder THE 13TH SIGN! You can preorder it through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or through your local independent bookstore. Then email your receipt TO KRISTIN at ktubb@comcast.net. You will be entered into that day’s drawing, the grand prize drawing, and your purchase will be *matched* by a $1.00 donation to RIF!

Are there other ways to enter the contest?

Yep!  You can be entered into the daily prize drawings by doing one or more of the following:

-Each preorder of THE 13TH SIGN = 10 entries into grand prize drawing and 10 entries into that day’s drawing

- Each person who blogs about the contest = 10 entries into that day’s drawing

-Each person who changes Twitter or Facebook avatar to cover = 5 entries into that day’s drawing (for each day it is present)

-Each Tweet or Facebook status mention of the book and contest = 2 entries for that day’s drawing (must include hashtag #the13thsign)

-Each RT of book and/or contest = 1 entry for that day’s drawing

BUT. You have to preorder THE 13TH SIGN to enter to win the grand prize and to have your purchase matched with a RIF donation.

ALSO. To make sure you get the correct amount of entries, please let Kristin know if you’ve done any of the above! You can email her at ktubb@comcast.net with everything you’ve done to enter.

What is the grand prize?

A Nexus 7 ereader! BOOM. The grand prize winner will be announced on Kristin’s blog on Friday, December 7. 

How long does the preorder contest last?

13 days total! You can visit these other blogs for each day’s prizes:

DAY ARIES: The Book Vortex

DAY TAURUS:  The Housework Can Wait

DAY GEMINI:  Magnet 4 Books

DAY CANCER:  Abby the Librarian

DAY LEO:  Mother Daughter Book Club

DAY VIRGO: S. R. Johannes/Market My Words

DAY LIBRA: Elizabeth O. Dulemba

DAY SCORPIO:  Citrus Reads

DAY OPHIUCHUS: Young Adult Books Central

DAY SAGITTARIUS: Bloggers [heart] Books

DAY CAPRICORN: – Middle Grade Mafioso

DAY AQUARIUS: Smack Dab in the Middle

DAY PISCES: From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors

Good luck! And don’t forget to take THE 13TH SIGN quiz!

 

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of Selling Hope (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2010), Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte/Yearling/Random House 2008) and the forthcoming The 13th Sign (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan January 2013). She can be found far too often on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kristin.tubb ) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ktubb). Oh, and she has a website, too: www.kristintubb.com

WOW! Talk about awesomeness!  So what are you still doing here??!  Go.  Enter!

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