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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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  • By the Grace of Todd – Interview and Giveaway

    Authors, Giveaways

    BytheGraceofTodd_slsconf_copy

    Todd’s room borders on Hoarders-level messy. We’re talking Roomageddon here. When his mom gives him the ultimatum to clean it or miss his best friend’s birthday bash, Todd makes an amazing discovery: he has created an entire civilization of ant-sized people from the sheer grossness on his filthy sock. The “Toddlians” put their faith in their all-powerful creator, but can the kid who can’t even keep a hermit crab alive save them from Max Loving, the biggest bully at Wakefield Middle School?

    Me: Welcome Louise! Thanks for joining us here at The Files. Why don’t you start by telling us why you write MG books?

    Louise: The middle-grade years are that transformative time between dreams and reality–between being a kid and becoming a “responsible” adult. It’s the cocoon season, full of introspection and self-discovery. It was a huge period in my life, because I made a major move from the suburbs of Tulsa to a tiny rural Kansas town, and to fit in, I basically had to reinvent myself. All of that awkwardness really stuck in my psyche. I still feel like I’m in that place between immaturity and sophistication–somewhere between my Jack Black sense of humor and my Jane Austen sensibilities.
    Me: With or without a move, I think many of us had to go through that transition at some point or another.  What was your favorite MG book when you were a kid?
    Louise:  Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I still have my fifth grade copy. That book got under my skin and made me want to write (also was a good cautionary tale–I’m still careful about what I put in my journals!) And I loved the artwork. I consider myself an “underdeveloped” artist. I’d love to go back to school and get my art degree so I can illustrate my own books.
    Me: I think that would be amazing! I really admire author/illustrators. So who or what was your inspiration for BY THE GRACE OF TODD?
    Louise:  I have eleven children, so you might say I preside over my own micro-civilization. With five sons (one of which just turned thirteen), I have boatloads of inspiration (and stinky socks that might be growing their own species). I also have a blankie-toating toddler who readers will recognize as Todd’s baby sister, Daisy. (Minus the “evil” in the evil genius.) Princess VanderPuff (Todd’s mom’s pernicious poodle) is based on the dog I had growing up, “Chachi”.
    Me: Eleven children? Wow. I can’t help admire you for managing it all and being an author. I struggle to find balance with three kids! Okay. Last question. You’re at Hogwarts and you have one choice to do the following everyday for the next month: Eat earwax flavored jelly beans for every meal or battle the Whomping Willow.
    Louise:  Hmmm… well, I’ve been totally freaked out by scary trees since the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz, so I’m going to have to say the earwax flavored jellybeans, which might taste (or at least look) like popcorn flavored JellyBellies–one of my favorite food groups. My kids say I can eat anything, and I did once almost swallow a fried worm, like the hero in one of my other favorite middle-grade books.
    Me: Whomping Willow it is! I never said I played nice ;) Just kidding. I’ll give you chocolate instead, just for putting up with me. You deserve it!
    LGBioPicture_copy
    Louise Galveston grew up on horseback and books in the Midwest, where she still lives. In addition to writing middle-grade novels, Louiise is resident playwright and director of her local children’s theater. She also enjoys performing occasionally alongside her husband and eleven children. When she’s not writing or at the theater, you can find Louise sketching or battling laundry.
    https://twitter.com/LouiseGalveston
    https://www.facebook.com/LouiseGalvestonAuthor
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7135851.Louise_Galveston
    https://www.bythegraceoftodd.com
    If you have your own little civilization….or a mountain of laundry…or kids who refuse to clean their room, then you’re going to want to win a copy of this book!  You know what to do….

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Amie Borst is the co-author of Cinderskella. She writes with her middle-grade daughter, Bethanie, and their second book, Little Dead Riding Hood releases this October! Follow them on facebook or blog.
    12 Comments

    12 Comments

    1. Heather  •  Feb 27, 2014 @8:06 am

      What an ingenious plot! I look forward to reading this!

    2. Emily  •  Feb 27, 2014 @12:02 pm

      Sounds like something my students would love to read!

    3. Brenda  •  Feb 27, 2014 @1:05 pm

      That is so cool that you draw inspiration from your family and pet dog! Congratulations.

    4. Louise Galveston  •  Feb 27, 2014 @1:48 pm

      Thanks for the great interview, Amie! Made this day extra special for me!

    5. jobeec267  •  Feb 27, 2014 @1:51 pm

      This book seems like a really good middle grade book!

    6. Andrea Krug  •  Feb 27, 2014 @2:40 pm

      I think kids in our middle school would LOVE this book, and it might be a parent favorite, too!

    7. Jennifer Duddy Gill  •  Feb 27, 2014 @5:55 pm

      Happy Book Release Day, Louise!

    8. Jen in KS  •  Feb 27, 2014 @10:27 pm

      I know a middle grader who’d get a kick out of this book. I’d love to pass it on.

    9. Louise Galveston  •  Feb 27, 2014 @11:00 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer! It’s been a fun one!

    10. Ms. Yingling  •  Feb 28, 2014 @5:16 am

      I was so excited when Goodreads let me know this was now available. Anything that has humor for middle grade students is fantastic. I hope everyone heads over to Deb Marshall’s Middle Grade March celebration! http://middlegrademarch.com/

    11. Marilyn  •  Feb 28, 2014 @7:43 am

      I’m sure there’s something gross living in my son’s messy room, but I’ve never considered an entire civilization! Can’t wait to read this one!

    12. Heather S  •  Mar 4, 2014 @2:04 pm

      What a hilarious plot! I’d love to win! Thanks!