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    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 ...

    March 28, 2013: Big at Bologna

     This year at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the focus has shifted to middle-grade.  “A lot of foreign publishers are cutting back on YA and are looking for middle-grade,” said agent Laura Langlie, according to Publisher's Weekly.  Lighly illustrated or stand-alone contemporary middle-grade fiction is getting the most attention.  Read more...


    March 10, 2013: Marching to New Titles

    Check out these titles releasing in March...


    March 5, 2013: Catch the BEA Buzz

    Titles for BEA's Editor Buzz panels have been announced.  The middle-grade titles selected are:

    A Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

    Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward

    Nick and Tesla's High-Voltages Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

    The Tie Fetch by Amy Herrick

    For more Buzz books in other categories,


    February 20, 2013: Lunching at the MG Roundtable 

    Earlier this month, MG authors Jeanne Birdsall, Rebecca Stead, and N.D. Wilson shared insight about writing for the middle grades at an informal luncheon with librarians held in conjunction with the New York Public Library's Children's Literary Salon "Middle Grade: Surviving the Onslaught."

    Read about their thoughts...


    February 10, 2013: New Books to Love

    Check out these new titles releasing in February...


    January 28, 2013: Ivan Tops List of Winners

    The American Library Association today honored the best of the best from 2012, announcing the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz awards, along with a host of other prestigious youth media awards, at their annual winter meeting in Seattle.

    The Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Honor books were: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz; Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin; and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.

    The Coretta Scott King Book Award went to Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

    The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award,which honors an author for his or her long-standing contributions to children’s literature, was presented to Katherine Paterson.

    The Pura Belpre Author Award, which honors a Latino author, went to Benjamin Alire Saenz for his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was also named a Printz Honor book and won the Stonewall Book Award for its portrayal of the GLBT experience.

    For a complete list of winners…


    January 22, 2013: Biography Wins Sydney Taylor

    Louise Borden's His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg, a verse biography of the Swedish humanitarian, has won the Sydney Taylor Award in the middle-grade category. The award is given annually to books of the highest literary merit that highlight the Jewish experience. Aimee Lurie, chair of the awards committee, writes, "Louise Borden's well-researched biography will, without a doubt, inspire children to perform acts of kindness and speak out against oppression."

    For more...


    January 17, 2013: Erdrich Wins Second O'Dell

    Louise Erdrich is recipient of the 2013 Scott O'Dell Award for her historical novel Chickadee, the fourth book in herBirchbark House series. Roger Sutton,Horn Book editor and chair of the awards committee, says of Chickadee,"The book has humor and suspense (and disarmingly simple pencil illustrations by the author), providing a picture of 1860s Anishinabe life that is never didactic or exotic and is briskly detailed with the kind of information young readers enjoy." Erdrich also won the O'Dell Award in 2006 for The Game of Silence, the second book in theBirchbark series. 

    For more...


    January 15, 2013: After the Call

    Past Newbery winners Jack Gantos, Clare Vanderpool, Neil Gaiman, Rebecca Stead, and Laura Amy Schlitz talk about how winning the Newbery changed (or didn't change) their lives in this piece from Publishers Weekly...


    January 2, 2013: On the Big Screen

    One of our Mixed-up Files members may be headed to the movies! Jennifer Nielsen's fantasy adventure novel The False Prince is being adapted for Paramount Pictures by Bryan Cogman, story editor for HBO's Game of Thrones. For more...


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Member Bios

Sarah Aronson knows what it feels like to sit on the bench.  But these days, she is riding a wave of good luck.  Her middle-grade novel, BEYOND LUCKY, will be published in 2011 by Dial Books.  When she is not writing, Sarah keeps busy teaching for www.writers.com, cooking, watching her favorite teams, or riding her bike. Check out her website at www.saraharonson.com.

Jen K Blom was actually locked in her school – but she lived to tell the tale! She lives in Berlin, Germany with her darling new daughter, fantastic husband and two neurotic hairless cats! Jen writes middle grade with plucky characters and animals galore. Her debut title, POSSUM SUMMER, is forthcoming Spring 2011 from Holiday House.  Feel free to drop by www.jenkblom.com, her blog at jaekaebee.blogspot.com, or her twitter at twitter.com/jaekaebee to get the latest and greatest on her haphazard life!

Amie Borst could never fit enough chocolate in one violin case to last her a whole week, let alone one day.  When she’s not eating chocolate, she’s busy writing with her three daughters.  She lives in northern Virginia soaking up the sun and walking through cemeteries plotting her next idea.  To learn more about Amie, visit her website, http://amie-borst.com.

Tami Lewis Brown lived on the top floor of a museum for two years and only set off the burglar alarm once. Her picture book biography for middle graders, Soar, Elinor! will be published in October 2010, followed by a middle-grade novel, One Shiny Silver Key in Spring 2011. She lives with her family, two cats, and a dog in one of the oldest houses in Washington, D.C. Visit her at www.TamiLewisBrown.com.

Sheela Chari uses her violin case to store her violin, but she does dream of sleeping in a tall canopy bed with draping some day. She lives 30 minutes from New York City with her husband and two daughters, where they talk frequently about visiting the Met, but end up reading a book instead. Sheela’s middle-grade novel, VANISHED, will be published by Disney-Hyperion, July 2011. Visit her at www.sheelachari.com.

Sue Cowing once spent the night locked in a public library, but in the bathroom wing where she couldn’t reach the books!  Naturally, she made good use of the time drafting a new novel on paper towels. . .not. Her debut novel You Will Call Me Drog was published by Carolrhoda Books in 2011 and will appear in paperback from Usborne UK in April, 2014. Visit her (and the puppet Drog) at www.suecowing.com.

Elissa Cruz has her own unique filing system at home.  When she’s not busy rummaging through her piles of paperwork, she’s writing middle-grade books for boys.  She lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, three sons, five dress-up princess gowns, seven toy lightsabers, thirteen bicycles, and more books than she cares to count.  You can learn more about her crazy, mixed-up writing life at www.elissacruz.blogspot.com.

Sayantani DasGupta first learned about the birds and the bees by checking out all the books (and I mean ALL) in her local library on the topic. It only figured that she grew up to be a kids’ doctor, then a writer, then a professor, and then a kids’ writer. When she’s not juggling careers, or juggling nine pins in New York area traffic, she’s juggling her two children, husband, and her overdue fines from the library. She’s the author of THE DEMON SLAYERS AND OTHER STORIES: BENGALI FOLKTALES and likes to tweet, blog, and otherwise blather.

Bruce Eschler tried escaping from the crowds by hiding in a museum, but the janitor found him, so he settled for a mountain cave. Occasionally he’s sighted in 7th and 8th grade classrooms teaching students about heroes, monsters, and other worlds, or how to read, write, research, and ask questions. Others have spotted the reclusive curmudgeon on mountain trails, talking to himself about characters and stories. But only his wife, dog, and toddler have used their night-vision goggles to catch him writing his middle-grade speculative novels. You might find him at www.bruceeschler.com.

Greg R. Fishbone writes galactic fiction from the parlor of a two-hundred year old antique home. He is the author of the Galaxy Games series, combining sports, science fiction, video games, and the end of the world. Find him at www.gfishbone.com.

Jan Gangsei has never felt compelled to run away as she’s had the great fortune to live in some pretty awesome places — Vermont, Key West, NYC, DC and Barbados. Plus, she’d miss her family too much. But when Jan does need an escape, she retreats to the corner of her brain that harbors her inner 11-year-old and writes stories for kids. She thinks her amazing literary agent, Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse, is the most dedicated, hardworking person on the planet. Jan’s travel agent comes in a close second.

Jennifer Gennari is always jumping in feet first and keeping an eye out for the best berries. She lives on a houseboat in Sausalito and returns every summer to Lake Champlain in Vermont. MY MIXED-UP BERRY BLUE SUMMER (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2012) is her debut novel. You can read her updates on the writing and floating home life on twitter and on her website jengennari.com.

Jennifer Duddy Gill loves to make up stories for children and if you ask her why, she may not try to explain because, as Mrs. Frankweiler says, the modern world has too many words and explanations for everything already. Jennifer has lived and worked all over the world and currently writes books in Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Visit her blog at: www.jennifer-d-g.livejournal.com.

Hillary Homzie is the author of the tween novels, The Hot List (S&S 2011) and Things Are Gonna Get Ugly, as well as the comedic chapter book series Alien Clones From Outer Space, which is being made into an animated television series.  She has also been privately coaching both published authors and aspiring authors for nine years, and during the summers teaches in the graduate program in children’s writing at Hollins University. A former sketch comedy performer in NYC, Hillary currently lives with her family in Northern California. Please visit www.hillaryhomzie.com.

While in high school, Jacqueline Houtman touched one of Michelangelo’s Slave sculptures in the Louvre Museum and got a stern look from a guard. After her reckless art-touching youth, she earned a PhD in biology. She is a freelance science writer for adults and children and also writes “sciency fiction,” where real science is integral to the story. Her middle-grade novel, The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, was published in 2010. She and her engineer husband live in Wisconsin, where they conduct research in the form of two sciency kids. www.jhoutman.com.

When Michele Weber Hurwitz was 10, she ran away from home with her 5-year old brother. They made it to the end of the block. Now she journeys much farther — her best writing ideas come on long walks in her tree-filled neighborhood. She lives in the Chicago area with her CPA husband and three teenage children. Michele’s debut middle-grade novel, CALLI BE GOLD (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House 2011, Yearling Paperback 2012), was named a Best Book of 2012 by the Bank Street College of Education. Visit www.micheleweberhurwitz.com.

T. P. Jagger once stole a coin from a fountain, but his mom made him put it back. He then decided not to be a criminal and became a teacher instead. After working many years as an elementary teacher and reading specialist, T. P. now stays home and writes a lot, washes his kids’ dirty socks, and teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University even though he actually lives in the state of Washington. His writing is geared toward middle-grade boys because that’s what the voice of the 10-year-old trapped in his head keeps telling him to write. He is not a ninja. Visit him at www.tpjagger.com.

Linda Johns has always thought there’s something nice and safe about being surrounded by books. She spends her days in an 11-story library that has excellent potential for adventure, even if mummies are kept in the 393′s instead of their own Egyptian wing. She is the author of the HANNAH WEST middle-grade mystery series (published by Penguin) and is a librarian at the Seattle Public Library. Visit her at lindajohns.wordpress.com or on the third floor of the downtown Seattle library.

Kimberley Griffiths Little’s best ideas come when taking long hot baths, but instead of a sunken black marble tub with gold faucets and a dragon-shaped spigot, she has New Mexico hand-painted tiles in her adobe home along the Rio Grande.  Kimberley has two upcoming middle-grade novels with Scholastic Press: THE HEALING SPELL (2010) and CIRCLE OF SECRETS (2011).  Please visit www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com to download the free guides for teachers and book clubs.

Katherine Schlick Noe teaches graduate literacy courses in the College of Education at Seattle University, and believes middle-graders are looking for characters who struggle on in spite of circumstances and who can show them what they might do.  Her debut novel, Something to Hold (2011), is inspired by her childhood experiences living on Indian reservations in Washington and Oregon and explores issues of friendship, prejudice, and speaking out for justice. Visit her at www.katherineschlicknoe.com.

Rosanne Parry knows all about hiding in museums, cheating at cards, and having a bossy big sister. She’s the author of the middle-grade novels “Heart of a Shepherd” and “Second Fiddle” (2011). She and her husband live in an a very old house in Portland, Oregon where they raise four children, three chickens and five kinds of fruit. You can visit her tree house office at www.rosanneparry.com.

Yolanda Ridge likes doing two things at once.  Mother of twin boys, she often reads while she cleans.  She also writes while walking on her treadmill desk, which is how she completed her first two middle-grade novels, Trouble in the Trees and the sequel, Road Block.  Having lived in twenty different places across Canada, Yolanda feels like she is always running away.  For now, she’s settled in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia where she likes to ski and bike (but not at the same time).  Visit www.yolandaridge.com to find out more.

Jonathan Rosen is a high school English teacher and father of three, living in South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach for their sports teams. Some of Jonathan’s earliest memories are of writing. He writes for middle-grade boys, because they share the same sensibilities and sense of humor. Jonathan has lived all over in such varied places as, New York, Mexico, Israel and now Florida. He is hoping to eventually find a place that will let him stay.

Michelle Schusterman learned the hard way that the worst part about becoming an adult is you can no longer get away with bathing in museum fountains. Her middle-grade series I HEART BAND (Penguin, Fall 2013) is basically an excuse to relive her band geek days and put her music degree to good use. After several years of dragging her husband, chocolate lab, and too many drums around the world, she’s settling down in New York City (hopefully the MET allows pets). She blogstweets, and shares other random things.

Wendy Shang makes penny wishes AND quarter wishes.  One of her wishes came true when she found out that her book, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, was going to be published by Scholastic.  She lives near Washington, D.C. with her family and is frequently preoccupied by thoughts of gummi bears (the good ones).  To learn more, visit www.wendyshang.com.

If Tricia Springstubb could get locked in somewhere overnight, it would be the zoo!  She’d love to see what the animals do after all the humans go home. Meanwhile, she lives and writes in a plain old house in Cleveland, which she shares with her husband and three cats (who sleep at night, and much of the day).  Her middle grade novel, WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET, will be published by HarperCollins in August, 2010.

Jennifer Swanson dreams of one day running away to the Museum of Science and Industry-  then maybe she could look at all the exhibits and try out all the gadgets without competing for them with her kids. An author of seven nonfiction science books for grades 3-6, Jennifer’s goal is to show kids that Science Rocks! She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, three kids and two dogs. When not writing she’s on the hunt for fun science facts. Learn more about Jennifer and her books at www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com.

Mindy Alyse Weiss spends so much time writing quirky stories, she usually has a laundry mountain large enough to fill a hundred violin cases.  She lives in Florida, and is constantly inspired by her husband, daughters, Bullmasador puppy, and two stinky but loveable ferrets.  You can find out more about her at http://MindyAlyseWeiss.com.

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