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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 Marissa Burt!

    Book Lists
    storybound_cover-1
    Story's End

    Enter the magical land of Story in this sequel to Storybound, perfect for fans of Inkheart, The School for Good and Evil, and classic fantasy tales like Ella Enchanted and The Neverending Story. Kids who love fairy tales, dragons, magic, and more will be enchanted by Una Fairchild’s unforgettable adventure in Story’s End.

    Story is a land of dashing Heroes, dastardly Villains, and epic quests—and once upon a time, a noble King. But the King vanished so long ago that even the memory of him is lost. Now a cruel Enemy plots to rewrite Story’s future, and an ordinary girl named Una Fairchild may be the only one who can stop him. As Una and her friends Peter and Indy race to defeat the Enemy, their quest will take them deep into the secrets of Story’s past . . . and Una’s own mysterious ties to this fairy-tale kingdom and its long-forgotten King.

    Put your hands together folks and welcome the wonderful, the majestic, Marissa Burt!
    Amie: I’m sure most of audience knows (and has read) your first book, Storybound. So tell us, what was different about writing your second published book than your first?
    Marissa:  STORYBOUND was the first book I wrote, so I definitely had the luxury of working at my own pace. Between the time that the duology sold and when my draft of STORY’S END was due, I had a baby.  I wrote the second book while wrangling three boys under the age of four.  Needless to say, that period of time is all a blur.  Because of family responsibilities, I kept putting off my writing so I drafted STORY’S END evenings and weekends in the two months before my deadline and vowed to never do that again.
    Content-wise, the book was challenging.  While I usually have a loose outline, I end up changing a lot of things during the writing process, which means a lot of big revisions at the end.  Happily, I have an outstanding editor who worked with me to make STORY’S END a cohesive sequel.  With your first book, you’re hoping someone will buy it, read it, and like it, but it was a nice change to have eager readers counting down to release day, just as I was.
    Amie:  Having finished writing a sequel myself, I can attest that making sure everything is cohesive is the tricky part! Who is your favorite middle-grade book character and why?
    Marissa: It will always be Anne Shirley for me.  I love her so, and I am such a fan of all of LM Montgomery’s work that I re-read most of them annually.  Runner-ups would have to go to Harriet the Spy, Karana from ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, and Solo from SOLO’S JOURNEY.
    Amie: Ohhh! Good choice! What’s next on the docket for you?
    Marissa:  I am working on revisions for my next book A SLIVER OF STARDUST, due out in fall 2015. It tells the story of eleven-year-old Wren Matthews who has always known she was weird.  Super-smart, happily solitary, and obsessed with astronomy, the only place Wren has ever fit in is at the regional homeschool conference.  But when a mysterious visitor appears and invites Wren and her long-time science-rival Simon Barker to join the ancient guild of magicians known as the Fiddlers, things get a whole lot weirder.  As apprentice Fiddlers, Wren and Simon have a lot to learn, but their ordinary stardust lessons are soon overshadowed by tainted legends of Mother Goose, battling alchemists, and dreams of the dangerous otherworld, the Land of Nod.
    Amie: What an enticing premise! Can’t wait for it’s release!  Last question - candy canes or licorice?
    Marissa:  Neither, I’m afraid.  I’m weirdly not a big candy person, though I do love the smell of peppermint.  So, if forced under duress to choose, I would take a candy cane.  :)
    marissa_burt_author_photo

    About the author: Marissa Burt was forever getting notes sent home from teachers about reading novels during class.  She grew up in Oregon, and drifted eastward through Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina before coming back to the Pacific Northwest.  She now lives in the Seattle area with her husband and three sons.  You can visit Marissa online at:

    Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, WebsiteProject Middle-Grade Mayhem Blog

    Want to win a copy of BOTH Storybound AND Story’s End? Then just fill out the rafflecopter form below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Amie Borst writes twisted fairy tales. Cinderskella is her first book and Little Dead Riding Hood releases October 2014! Visit her at her blog and facebook.

    11 Comments

    11 Comments

    1. Kristen  •  Apr 3, 2014 @6:11 pm

      I love fairy tales and would love to read and share these books with my students.

    2. Mia  •  Apr 3, 2014 @8:08 pm

      Fractured fairy tales are hot right now. I’ve loved them even before they were a trend – bring on the next one!

    3. JenP  •  Apr 3, 2014 @8:16 pm

      I love fairy tales–sounds lovely.

    4. Roxanne Scheringer  •  Apr 4, 2014 @8:42 am

      I love fairy tales and enjoy reading them over and over

    5. Cassidy Leora  •  Apr 4, 2014 @3:19 pm

      Oh, I absolutely cannot WAIT for your new book!
      StoryBound and Story’s End are some of my favorite books EVER, and I absolutely adore Miss Marissa Burt!

    6. beegirls  •  Apr 4, 2014 @4:20 pm

      Hi

    7. Lynnette  •  Apr 4, 2014 @7:03 pm

      I have a lot of girls in my library who love grown-up fairy tales, but there aren’t a lot to choose from. These look great.

    8. Andrea Krug  •  Apr 4, 2014 @8:16 pm

      Not only do the stories sound charming, but what lovely books! I can imagine these being a big hit with our readers.

    9. Dawn  •  Apr 7, 2014 @11:28 am

      I would love to win a copy of this book so I can share these great books with more people. My son loved these books!

    10. Leslie  •  Apr 7, 2014 @12:13 pm

      I love these books. Nice addition to our book collection.

    11. 1110cg  •  Apr 9, 2014 @2:51 pm

      These books sound perfect for my taste!