• 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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  • Getting Wild-er

    Book Lists

    My family recently embarked on a trip of a lifetime, loading the van and hitting the road to see the United States in all its glory. As part of the trip, every member of the family chose a place they were guaranteed to see (along a particular part of the United States). Consequently, we are on our way to visit the Grand Coulee Dam, and I am writing this post from a campsite in Glacier National Park. The most important result for me, though, is that we also stopped at a little town along the shores of the Mississippi River – Pepin, Wisconsin.

    Yes, I might as well confess here – though I feel relatively safe that I’m among friends on this blog – that I am a Bonnethead. I fell in love with the ‘Little House’ books just as the TV series rose to fame, and have never stopped marveling at the life and character of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thus, fans of the ‘Little House’ books will recognize Pepin as the town where Laura Ingalls Wilder (LIW) was born, mentioned in ‘Little House in the Big Woods.’ The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum is well-stocked with pieces from the era and the gift shop offers prairies dresses, as well as more books about LIW than I had ever imagined.

    Little House

    The real strength, for me, lay in witnessing its genuine affection for its most famous resident. A copy of Laura’s enrollment at the local school is proudly displayed, as well as a letter she wrote to her cousin, Lottie, later in life. (She notes that “[t]he books are still selling well.”) The Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in September offer plenty of fun in the spirit of the time (including spelling bee!), and photos of the past winners of the Laura contest are featured in the museum. You can join the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society to get newsletters, and for $60, you can have a paver inscribed with your name on it. None of this is possible without the kind of work that only comes with devotion.

    Pepin has also erected a small cabin on a plot of land once owned by the Ingalls. As we drove through the lovely, winding farmland, I could appreciate the amount of work it would take to tame the land or to make a seven-mile journey to town, in a way that only comes with seeing the land itself. While the cabin is not placed where the original home existed, it was not hard to imagine two small girls playing in the front yard, looking up in surprise when the occasional wagon creaked by.


    Maybe it’s something only another Bonnethead would understand. We’re now more than a thousand miles from Pepin, and my daughter and I are thoroughly enjoying William Anderson’s excellent middle-grade biography of LIW, which we purchased from the museum. The book deftly moves from moments in the books to omitted details from LIW’s life. One detail that left a lump in my throat was finding out that the last thing Mary remembered seeing before losing her sight was the blue of Grace’s eyes. As my own teenager snoozes nearby, we are able to admire Laura’s grit and work ethic at the same age, as she works for neighbors to support her own cash-strapped family.

    wilder life

    Those of you with more tolerant families may be able to visit additional towns and pageants on your own Laura journey, such as De Smet, South Dakota or Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Adult fans who appreciate a humorous, armchair journey may enjoy Wendy McClure’s Wilder Days. So, fellow Bonnetheads, I’d like to know – what have you done in the name of LIW? Share your experiences below – whether you have fried a vanity cake, curled your hair with a lead pencil or attended a festival, I want to know!



    1. Jill  •  Aug 16, 2013 @6:05 pm

      A beautiful post. I don’t have much of my own experiences (other than growing up watching Little House on the Prairie and coming from a bit of a rural/”farm” family myself :)
      I think Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Anne of Green Gables stories touch a lot of people.

    2. Becky Gorek  •  Aug 16, 2013 @8:35 pm

      I’ve been to Walnut Grove and DeSmet. When my daughter is a bit older, we’re going to go on a full Laura Ingalls trip, ending at the museum at Rocky Ridge. So I completely understand! Loved your post, thanks. :)