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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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  • Authors for Earth Day

    Authors, Librarians, Teachers

    Brooke Bessen is one of the many inspiring people I met at SCBWI-LA (yes, I’m still talking about it!  If you’re interested, you can read more about my conference experience here.)  On top of being an author-illustrator, naturalist, and warm and engaging person, Brooke is the founder of Authors for Earth Day.

    Authors for Earth Day (A4ED) started with Brooke’s visit to an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona on April 22, 2008. “I was looking for a meaningful way to observe Earth Day with young readers,” says Brooke, “so I planned to donate my speaking fee to a conservation organization. Then I got thinking… what if the students voted to determine the donation recipient? I was excited to empower kids to find their ‘voice’ as writers and as voters, and to use that voice to help care for our blue planet.”

    The visit was a success.  Such a success, in fact, that Brooke decided it was something she wanted to do every year.  And she wanted to invite other children’s authors and illustrators to join her.  She developed A4ED infrastructure with resources for a team and went to the 2009 SCBWI conference in LA with a badge that said, “Ask me about Authors for Earth Day.”  With the help of authors like Linda Sue Park, Dan Gutman, Lin Oliver, and Eileen and Jerry Spinelli (who no longer do school visits but have contributed financially to the cause) A4ED grew from there.

    At the 2012 conference, Brooke’s badge had been replaced by am A4ED sign up table, prominently displayed in front of the main ballroom.  A4ED is now a coalition of 64 authors and illustrators who have collectively contributed more than $15, 750 in donated fees from school visits.  And thousands of students from New York to California to Australia have been involved in choosing, from a short list of organizations striving for a more sustainable future, who gets the money.

    It’s turned into a lot of work for Brooke, who organizes everything from maintenance of the A4ED blog to recruitment of new participants.  When asked why she does it, Brooke says “I started Authors for Earth Day to tie together those precious elements… children and voice and courage. And an author’s power to shape the world through their writing.  I think many people write, or want to write, or imagine writing books that will infuse courage into their characters… and thus perhaps infuse courage into the young readers who love them.”

    Want to get involved?  If you are an author, all you have to do is contribute the fees from one school visit in April.  You can sign up by emailing Brooke at info@AuthorsforEarthDay.org.   If you are a librarian, media specialist, teacher or principal, check out schools page of the A4ED website for more details and consider scheduling one of the talented professionals on the growing list of Available Authors & Illustrators.

    Yolanda Ridge, author of Trouble in the Trees (Orca Book Publishers, 2011) and Road Block (Orca Book Publishers, 2012), is signed up for A4ED and looking forward to her first Earth Day School visit in 2013.  For more information, please read her contribution to the A4ED blog or visit her website.

    3 Comments

    3 Comments

    1. Michelle Schusterman  •  Jan 23, 2013 @6:10 pm

      Very cool program!!

    2. Linda Petersen  •  Jan 23, 2013 @7:14 pm

      What a great project!

    3. PragmaticMom  •  Jan 24, 2013 @10:04 am

      Awesome. Will pin to my free author visits page.