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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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  • Interview and Giveaway with Anne Blankman!

    Authors, Giveaways, Interviews, Librarians

    PrisonerOfNightandFogFinalCover

    In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

    Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

    And Gretchen follows his every command.

    Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.

    As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

    From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

    *

    Let me start by saying Prisoner of Night and Fog is technically a young adult novel (full disclosure and all that) but I thought it would be a great addition to our historical fiction here at The Mixed-Up Files, especially for our upper Middle-Grade readers.

    Amie: I mentioned above that your book is technically YA, but how do you feel it will relate to the MG reader?

    Anne: As a librarian, I’m a big believer in matching children with books…and holding off when they’re not quite ready for a particular title. PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG is geared for those 12 and older, so I don’t consider it too mature for the upper MG crowd, let’s say seventh and eighth graders. My story does deal with weighty issues, such as anti-Semitism and violence, though, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting it in a ten- or eleven-year-old’s hands. What MG readers will probably like the best is my book’s mystery…and some female readers may like the romance the most of all. :)
    Amie:  That’s a good point. My 10 year old read a book recently that was a YA for 12 and up and she adored it! I think it comes down to the individual child, their reading preferences, abilities, and maturity level.  What was the most interesting thing you learned when writing this book?
    Anne: Oooh, it’s hard to pick just one! The strangest detail I discovered is actually about Hitler’s mustache. The reason he sported such a bizarre, tiny mustache is because he thought it made his nostrils look smaller. Apparently he was very self-conscious about them!
    Amie:  Ha! A Napoleon complex of nostrils! Do you have a favorite MG book from childhood?
    Anne:  This is almost a cruel question! I can only pick ONE favorite book?Hmm, the first one that leaps to mind is THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE by Philip Pullman. Gorgeous writing, a thrilling plot, a Victorian London setting, and a gutsy heroine–really, what more could you ask for?
    Amie: *Adds book to to-read list* We like to have a little fun here At MUF…so….Bed bugs or head lice? Farts or burps? Chocolate or vanilla?

    Anne:  I love these questions. Bed bugs for sure! Just the thought of little things crawling over my head wants me shudder. Ack! Definitely burps–it’s a compliment to someone’s cooking, right? And vanilla every time! Yum. Now you’ve made me hungry.

    Thanks so much for having me “visit”, Amie!

    Amie: Glad to have you, Anne!

    DSC_3331

    Anne Blankman grew up in a small town in upstate New York. She studied history and English at Union College and earned a master’s degree in library science from the University at Albany. She has worked for several years as a librarian. Currently Anne lives with her college sweetheart husband, Mike, and young daughter, Kirsten, in southeastern Virginia, where the hot summers haven’t killed her yet. PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG is her first novel.

    So, what do you say, Mixed-Up Members? Want to win a copy of Prisoner of Night and Fog? Well, you know what to do!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Amie Borst writes twisted fairy tales. Cinderskella and Little Dead Riding Hood are the first two books in the Scarily Ever Laughter series. Find her on facebook and her blog.

    38 Comments

    38 Comments

    1. Melissa  •  Apr 10, 2014 @2:09 pm

      Thanks for the chance to win. I love YA historical, even though I don’t read it all the time, so looking forward to this novel.

    2. Kristie  •  Apr 10, 2014 @2:14 pm

      I’ve been very interested in the book for the longest time. It’s definitely a side of history that hasn’t been touched on very much.

    3. Hope Tweeddale  •  Apr 10, 2014 @2:19 pm

      Wow. This looks scary, but amazing. Definitely would love to read it!!

    4. M. Andrew Patterson  •  Apr 10, 2014 @2:23 pm

      Wow! This book sounds amazing! Love the concept and what an amazing cover.

    5. Christy  •  Apr 10, 2014 @3:08 pm

      I heard about this book about a month ago and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release. It sounds interesting and unique.

    6. Bridget Howard  •  Apr 10, 2014 @3:22 pm

      I have heard so many great things about this book and the premises sounds so intriguing!!!!

    7. Tamara  •  Apr 10, 2014 @3:42 pm

      This book looks amazing, I love historical books and seeing different takes on events in history.

    8. Christina  •  Apr 10, 2014 @3:51 pm

      The premise of this book sounds so cool. I’ve seen the title around the blogosphere but I never read the synopsis until now. I can’t imagine if someone I loved and admired ended up being one of the worst people in history. Thanks for the giveaway!

    9. Jared  •  Apr 10, 2014 @4:03 pm

      I’ve been looking for a good YA/MG historical fiction, and this looks like a fantastic one! Thank you for the interview.

    10. Kierra  •  Apr 10, 2014 @5:07 pm

      I adore historical fiction! I’ve yet to read a book placed in the 1930s, which is why I’m so interested to read from a perspective of the niece of Hitler!

    11. Brooke Einstein  •  Apr 10, 2014 @6:05 pm

      As a librarian at a Jewish day school I think this would really appeal to my students. And I am really looking forward to reading it too!

    12. Kimberley Griffiths Little  •  Apr 10, 2014 @6:28 pm

      Ooh, Anne, we have similar tastes: I loved The Ruby in the Smoke!! For all the reasons you state. ;-)

    13. Jessica R  •  Apr 10, 2014 @9:36 pm

      I love seeing interviews where Anne talks about her research and all the interesting things she has unearthed – like the reason behind Hitler’s moustache… so strange, but at the same time, oddly relatable. Great interview!

    14. Bruce Luck  •  Apr 10, 2014 @10:12 pm

      Publishers stress that characters must face tough choices and it sounds as though Ms. Blankman has done that well.

    15. Sarah  •  Apr 10, 2014 @10:29 pm

      Thank you so much for doing the giveaway!! This book looks really good!

    16. Heather  •  Apr 10, 2014 @10:51 pm

      Would go great on my chelf

    17. Rabiah  •  Apr 10, 2014 @10:56 pm

      I got the chance to read an eGalley of this book and it was absolutely BRILLIANT. Thank you so much for the amazing giveaway :D

    18. Jpetroroy  •  Apr 11, 2014 @3:37 am

      Sounds fascinating.

    19. beegirls  •  Apr 11, 2014 @6:26 am

      Sounds like a good book

    20. Katie  •  Apr 11, 2014 @12:22 pm

      This is one of my most anticipated books for 2014! I love books set during WWII and the Holocaust–I think they can be so powerful for both young and older readers. I especially look forward to reviewing this book in terms of its spiritual dimensions. Stories like these reflect important and thought-provoking themes. Very excited for this book’s release!

    21. Xandy  •  Apr 11, 2014 @12:26 pm

      Wow, sounds great! Now in my to-read pile!

    22. Sarah F  •  Apr 11, 2014 @12:34 pm

      Awesome giveaway, this book sounds really good!

    23. Amy M.  •  Apr 11, 2014 @12:45 pm

      I don’t typically read historical fiction, but Prisoner of Night and Fog sounds so interesting! I’ve been wanting to read it since I first saw it on EpicReads a while back.

    24. Kris C  •  Apr 11, 2014 @1:58 pm

      I think it will be very interesting this book!

    25. Lori  •  Apr 11, 2014 @2:45 pm

      This book sounds so intriguing!

    26. Dina  •  Apr 11, 2014 @3:22 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading this book. It sounds very interesting.

    27. Audrey Jackson  •  Apr 11, 2014 @4:47 pm

      I’m really wanting to get into reading historical fiction, so this would be a great intro!

    28. hd  •  Apr 11, 2014 @9:17 pm

      woot -

    29. hd  •  Apr 11, 2014 @9:18 pm

      For my public library.

    30. bn100  •  Apr 11, 2014 @9:47 pm

      The blurb sounds interesting

    31. Amaris  •  Apr 13, 2014 @2:44 pm

      This is one of my anticipated April releases :)

    32. Andrea  •  Apr 14, 2014 @4:31 pm

      I just added this to my to-read list a few days ago, based on a review I read (can’t remember where!). I love historical fiction, and this one sounds so good!

    33. Brittany Todd  •  Apr 15, 2014 @2:37 pm

      This has been on my TBR forever since I saw it on goodreads way back when. I love anything historical fictiony. As sad as it was I always find the time frame interesting my favorite movie of all time is “life is beautiful”

    34. Katie  •  Apr 15, 2014 @6:27 pm

      World War Two is my absolute favorite era of history, and this book is so different from all the other WW2 books out there. I can’t wait to read it!

    35. Miranda E.  •  Apr 15, 2014 @10:45 pm

      I’ve been dying to read this book! I think it’s very interesting to read about Hitler who was “close” to the main character.

    36. alicia marie  •  Apr 16, 2014 @7:36 am

      I love historical fiction, and I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while! Can’t wait to finally read it : )

    37. Maria Medeiros  •  Apr 16, 2014 @2:02 pm

      I’ve heard great reviews about this book! Love to read it!!

    38. Kate I.  •  Apr 16, 2014 @6:06 pm

      As a fan of historical fiction, I’ve been wanting to read this book for some time. The WWII era is one of my favorite periods, in part because my mother was born in Germany (though is of other European ancestry) in November 1945. Her parents were separated by wartime events and my mom didn’t meet her own father until she was 16 years old (by which point he wanted nothing to do with her, having already started another family).