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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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  • Have a Summer Lemonade Party!

    Everybody loves a tea party but who wants hot tea when the temperature is high enough to melt plastic? We like to mix things up around here so why not have an afternoon tea-style party with ice cold lemonade instead?

     

    Here are a few ideas to make your party cool. All you have to do is decide who to invite.

     

    Menu

    Homemade lemonade with berry ice cubes

    Fresh strawberries

    Blueberry and lemon scones

    Lemon curd

     

    Recipes:

     

    Homemade Lemonade

    6-7 large lemons

    1 cup sugar (or more to taste)

    2 quarts cold water

    Slice lemons in half (ask a grownup for help) and squeeze the juice into a large measuring cup. Remove any seeds. In a large pitcher, combine the juice and sugar and add the cold water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

     

    Berry Ice Cubes

    1 can frozen concentrate strawberry juice

    Fresh strawberries

    Pour the juice concentrate into a pitcher and then fill the can once with cold water, adding it to the concentrate. Stir. Pour the juice into two ice cube trays. Wash and slice strawberries and place one or two slices into each cube. Freeze.

     

    Blueberry Scones or Lemon Scones

    Buy fresh scones from the bakery or use a mix and follow package directions. If you want to try making scones from scratch, they’re really easy and there’s a great recipe here:

     

     

    Lemon Curd

    You’ll find lemon curd in the sauces area in your grocery store. Give each guest individual sauce dishes with a few dollops of curd and a knife to spread the curd on scones. This is the taste of summer you’ve been waiting for!

    If you’d like to make lemon curd from scratch, find a kitchen-helper grown-up and try this recipe:

     

    Decorate your table

     

    Placemats are easy and add a splash of color to your table.


    You will need:

    One white or colored 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper for each placemat (computer paper works fine)

    Fancy-edged scissors

    One lemon

    Yellow acrylic craft paint

    Paintbrush

    Paper towels

     

    Begin by trimming the paper with your fancy scissors. Work close to the edge so that the placemat stays rectangular and you are only trimming off about ¼ inch. Hang on to those trimmings because we’re going to use them later.

     

    Next, on a washable painting surface, paper towel or a plastic tarp, lay out your placemats. Pour some yellow paint into a container. Slice the lemon in half and slice one half into a thick wedge. On a paper towel, dab off excess juice.

    Apply paint lightly to the lemon, working from the rind inward. Press paint-side down on practice paper, using just enough pressure to create an impression but not so much that juice runs from the lemon. When you’re ready, stamp the placemats, creating a whimsical pattern.

     

     

    Let placemats dry and press under books to flatten if edges curl.

     

     

    Centerpiece

     

    No Lemonade Party table is quite complete without a centerpiece. If you’re lucky enough to have flowers in your yard, fill a Mason jar with colorful blooms and some greenery.

     

    Cut a yard of ribbon for the Mason jar. Now, remember those scraps you trimmed from your placemat? Curl them around a pencil or your finger. Bunch the trimmings together and wrap a small piece of scotch tape around the center. Tie the ribbon around the Mason jar, making a knot in the front, gathering the trimmings into the knot. Tie a bow.

    (If flowers are not an option, a bowl of lemons is a lovely centerpiece. Weave wired ribbons through the lemons and drape them over the edge of the bowl.)

     

    Napkin rings

     

    Dig around in your junk jewelry for beaded bracelets on stretchy thread. Fold either paper or cloth napkins into a cone. Wrap the bracelets around the napkins twice (as if they were rubber bands) and gently move halfway up the napkin. Cute!

     

    You’re now ready to set your table and serve your guests!

     

     

     

    1 Comment

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