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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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  • Screen Free Week With Alvin Ho Author Lenore Look!

    Authors, Book Lists, Giveaways, Interviews

    Lenore Look is here today to discuss screen free week (April 29th – May 5th)  a time when many chose to turn off their televisions in exchange for other activities.  I know I enjoyed reading Alvin Ho during my time away from the T.V. this week, even if it was a bit early!  Lenore has some great input for what she does during her unplugged days.  Read ahead to learn all about it!

    2 Days - Alvin Ho_2

    Me:  During your screen free week you decide to take advantage of a beautiful sunny day, what do you do?

    Lenore:  Believe it or not, it’s not only screen-free week for me, it’s a screen-free life! I had decided at age 18, when I moved out to college that I would never own a TV. In my parents home when I was growing up, the TV was on ALL the time, and I got so sick of it and saw how much time was wasted in front of it, that I knew I didn’t want it inmy house. And do you know what? I never even miss it. My days are so full that I don’t have time for  everything, let alone find time for TV. I really don’t know how people fit it in. On sunny days in my screen-free life, I’ll go for a run, meet a friend for lunch, work on my books, read a book, read the newspaper, go for a swim, travel, and so much more! The more screen-free you are, the richer and fuller your life becomes!

    Me: That’s awesome!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve threatened to turn off the cable. I don’t know what’s stopping me.  Thank you for being such a great example.   What are your rainy day options? Do you grab your sword and shield and fight off fire breathing dragons or do you put on an aluminum foil cap so the aliens can’t read your mind?

    Lenore:  Everything I do on sunny days is even better to do on rainy days, except maybe for the run. I love curling up with a book on a rainy day. And nothing makes me write better than a good storm. When I was a kid, a rainy day (and there were many in Seattle!) meant rolling out the flying carpet (a bath towel) and going on the most splendid journeys to exotic lands. I dropped in and out of different cultures and even time traveled. It was fantastic! When I was old enough to not burn down the house, I enjoyed baking cookies and brownies on rainy days.

    Lenore Look_Photo Credit Charity Chen-cropped

    LENORE LOOK is the author of the popular Alvin Ho series; in a starred review Kirkus Reviews called Alvin “refreshingly original [and] endearing.” Lenore is also the author of several acclaimed picture books, including Henry’s First-Moon Birthday and Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding, both of which received three starred reviews and were named ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Books. Her latest picture book is Polka Dot Penguin Pottery.

     Me:  Darn! No Fire breathing dragons, huh?  The flying carpet is pretty cool though!  We enjoy making crafts in my home.  Are you a crafter?

    Lenore:  Sadly, I’m a crafter wannabe who will never amount to much. I always get inspired to do a craft whenever I see something spectacular that someone has made, and say, “Hey, I can do that!” Then the competitive part of me adds, “I can do it better!” Then I head straight to the craft store, where I’ll spend a princely sum because not only will I do it better, I’ll make the BEST ONE YET!!! Guess how many world-famous, museum-worthy craft projects I have in the back of my closet waiting for me to do???

    Me: Ha! Don’t I know that feeling!  One last question.  A unicorn visits your picnic, do you:

    a. share your chocolate

    b. chase him away with a stick while wearing a turbin and dancing the hula

    c. feed him your veggies (the ones that you tucked under your napkin at dinner last night)

    Lenore:  Sorry, unicorn, I’m going to say “none of the above” – this is on account of a.) I love chocolate so much I have a really hard time sharing chocolate, b.) I would never chase you away because I love animals, and c) I love veggies so much I have a hard time sharing those, too, though not as much as chocolate. So if you’re a unicorn at my picnic, I would share my homemade granola with you because it’s the best granola in the world and it’s good for you. Then I’ll comb your coat. Then we’ll be friends, just like that!

    Me:  Smart girl. I wouldn’t share my chocolate either!  Thanks for joining us here on The Mixed-Up Files, Lenore.

     

    Alvin Ho

    ALVIN HO: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night by Lenore Look; illustrated by LeUyen Pham

    Alvin’s fans will laugh out loud at his latest fear–a baby!Readers will herald the return of their favorite phobic boy in this, the fifth book in the beloved series. Alvin’s mother has been getting bigger . . . and bigger. Alvin’s sure it’s all the mochi cakes she’s been eating, but it turns out she’s pregnant! There are lots of scary things about babies, as everybody knows–there’s learning CPR for the newborn and changing diapers (no way)–but the scariest thing of all is the fact that the baby could be a GIRL. As a result of the stress, Alvin develops a sympathetic pregnancy and hilarity definitely ensues. Once again, Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham deliver a story that’s funny and touching in equal measures.

    Want a copy of this book??  One lucky winner will receive a copy of Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars and Other Bumps in the Night by Lenore Look! If you’d like to win  this delightful story just fill out the form below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    You can learn more about screen free week here http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/screenfreeweek/.  Here’s a youtube video from Random House about unplugging https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsbhj6_ha94.  Now, join the cruisade and UNPLUG!

    Amie Borst and her middle-grade daughter write fairy tales with a twist.  Their first book, Cinderskella, releases October 2013!

    7 Comments

    7 Comments

    1. Jill  •  Apr 27, 2013 @7:16 am

      Great interview and something to think about since I use too much screen time honestly…sometimes I need some kind of distraction, but I guess that is no excuse!

      I have been meaning to read these books. Fun.

    2. roanne scheringer  •  Apr 27, 2013 @8:52 am

      I like to do scrapbooking during my screen free time.

    3. Alana  •  Apr 27, 2013 @4:31 pm

      Our kids are always up for a board game!!

    4. PragmaticMom  •  Apr 27, 2013 @6:25 pm

      We like to cook together and we’ll try more art projects.

    5. Stacey  •  Apr 27, 2013 @6:46 pm

      I love the premise–afraid of babies! Sounds like a fun game. I also think screen free week is a great idea!

    6. L  •  Apr 29, 2013 @5:07 pm

      seriously considering no screen during summer but maybe a once a week film..really can’t do without a good film to read. but I do want to make better of my time with me and the family. having another alvin ho book to laugh aloud with some summery morning sounds really good to me. love this series.

    7. Michelle  •  May 1, 2013 @1:47 pm

      I love to use my Kindle to read:)