• 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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  • Remembering the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

    Book Lists, Librarians, Nonfiction, Science, Teachers

    On May 18, 2013 at 8:32 am PDT, I hope you paused 
    to celebrate the amazing power of our Earth, upon which so much depends.  Many of us throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond remember that moment on May 18, 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted, changing lives and the landscape of the Washington Cascades forever.  This anniversary offers an excellent opportunity to connect middle grade readers with an array of informational text and online resources that tell this amazing story — massive destructive power unleashed in seconds, as well as incredible stories of survival and regeneration as the Earth continues to heal.


    Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens by Patricia Lauber (book cover above)
    This is my favorite book on the eruption!  Vivid photographs illustrate Lauber’s engaging description of the run-up to the eruption, the have-to-see-it-to-believe-it impacts on all living things within reach of the explosion, and the dramatic recovery that continues today, 33 years later.  Readers will be enthralled as they figure out how the terms “survivors” and “colonizers” apply in a special volcanic context.

    Volcanoes & Earthquakes by James Putnam & Susanna van Rose
    Dorling Kindersley’s Eyewitness Books are always kid favorites.  This book explores earth science events around the world, including the eruption of Mount St. Helens.  The photo-heavy format of DK books, with limited and supportive text, makes the book a great option for readers who may be fascinated with volcanoes but struggle with challenging text.


    Gopher to the Rescue! A Volcano Recovery Story 
    by Terry Catasus Jennings & Laurie O’Keefe

    OK, Gopher isn’t technically nonfiction, but the National Science Teachers Association liked it so much, they named it to the 2013 Outstanding Science Trade Books for K-12, calling it “A good story that gives an unusual perspective on a current topic, showing succession after a volcano eruption on Mt. St. Helens.

    Will It Blow?: Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens
    by Elizabeth Rusch; ill. by K.E. Lewis
    Readers who wonder what’s next for Mount St. Helens and other active volcanoes can put on their scientist/detective caps and tackle the question, “Will it blow — and when?”  Interactive, engaging, and grounded in the real-life work that challenges scientists right now.


    Teaching Resources

    Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
    Visit the US Forest Service’s rich, interactive website on everything related to the eruption and rebirth!  Students can take a webcam peek at the mountain in real time, or watch archived video of a period of significant eruptions from 2004.

    US Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program: Mount St. Helens
    This site is filled with accessible scientific information from the United States Geological Survey.  Students can hear directly from USGS scientists about what happened leading up to, during, and after the eruption in a video that uses dramatic images from that day.

    NOVA Program on the Eruption of Mount St. Helens (Public Broadcasting System)
    This YouTube clip from an episode of the award-winning science program, NOVA on PBS, shows both real and simulated images of the eruption and its aftermath.

    Gallery of Earth Images: NASA’s Space Place
    See NASA satellite images of active volcanoes, from Mount St. Helens to all corners of the world.

    Dave Crockett:  A First-Person Account by KOMO-4 (Seattle) News Photographer
    The thoroughly riveting video was shot by a Seattle news photographer who was on Mount St. Helens that morning, because he “had a hunch that something was about to happen.”  Crockett was caught right in the middle of the action and miraculously survived.  Dave’s story reminds us also to honor the 57 people– loggers, campers, scientists – who were nearby but not as fortunate.


    On May 18, 1980, Katherine Schlick Noe stepped out into a beautiful Seattle morning and heard what she thought were two distant sonic booms. She’s been fascinated with the story of Mount St. Helens ever since. Visit her at http://katherineschlicknoe.com.




    1. Jana  •  May 17, 2013 @10:20 am

      I live in Montana so my biggest memory was that enough ash made it’s way over to us that I got to miss school for a few days and we had to walk around with bandanas over our mouths. I wish I had been a bit older because this is the kind of thing that would fascinate me for hours now!

    2. Dianna Winget  •  May 17, 2013 @11:12 pm

      I was eleven and living in Grandview, WA when Mt. Saint Helens blew. It was a Sunday morning, and I remember coming out of our religous service to an eerie quiet and a yellow sky. It was lightly raining ash. I’ve never seen the sky that color ever again. Pretty intriguing.

    3. Marva Dasef  •  May 18, 2013 @11:53 am

      We had the pleasure of being on I5 in the vicinity when it blew the second time three days after the first eruption. Found out volcanic ash is as slick as ice. Fun trip.

    4. tricia  •  May 19, 2013 @9:48 am

      One of the most original book lists I’ve ever seen! Thanks, Katherine.

    5. Joan Y. Edwards  •  May 20, 2013 @5:30 pm

      Dear Katherine,
      I remember that date. My sister, Judith Thomson and her family had to stay inside for days on end because of the ash in the air. At the time they were living in Oregon and by chance were riding to Washington State to visit family. The ash moved east and people across America found evidence of it.

      Later, animals from beneath the earth come to light. Plants that hadn’t grown there before, showed up.

      Thanks for sharing your stories and books about it, too.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards