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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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  • Start Reading, Keep Reading

    Photo by West Point Public Affairs

    Congratulations!  Your child is now reading independently.  But now you have a new challenge: how do you keep them reading?  How can you encourage reading when there are so many other diversions out there – sports, television, video games, the Internet – competing for their time?

    The good news is, the solutions are not complex and provide great ways to continue bonding with your children.  Just as parents and younger children enjoy “lap time” together with a picture book, there are ways to enjoy books with older children as well.  Here are some ideas:

    Have regular trips to the library: When children go to the library regularly, they gain the skills to find books they like.  They figure out where their favorite authors are shelved, where to look for new releases, and maybe even how to reserve the titles they want for the next trip.

    Make a trip to the bookstore a celebratory tradition:  Many families like to start summer break with a trip to the bookstore to start vacation reading (and sign up for the summer program).  Seeking out local bookstores while on vacation is a great way to enjoy the “local flavor.”  A trip to the bookstore is also a great way for visiting grandparents to spend time with a child and get to know his or her tastes.

    Flickr photo by Joyseph

    Continue to read to your child: Even though your child can now read independently, reading aloud can still play an important role in their reading lives.  Children can understand stories on a level that exceeds their reading abilities.  By hearing stories, children become exposed to new vocabulary words, can ask you questions and experience the richness of language through your interpretation.  You can even have a whole-family read-aloud.  For more information on reading aloud, visit the website of read aloud advocate Jim Trelease, www.trelease-on-reading.com.  You will find fascinating facts and tips on reading aloud to your child.

    Read near them:  While many adults fill their reading time with magazines, newspapers and the Internet, make sure your children also catch you reading and enjoying books.  Then make room on the couch and read together!

    Read their books:  Consider reading what your children are reading.  Your children will appreciate your interest, and you will have some fascinating discussions about characters, problem-solving and story endings.  Or you can help them expand on topics raised in books: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is a terrific jumping-off point for Greek mythology.  Parent-child book clubs are another great way to explore books in tandem; check your local library for groups.  If you need help starting one in your area, ask your library or school PTA for help.  Many books have readers guides to help you get started.

     

    3 Comments

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      Please check out ‘Elsbett & Robin Take On A-Nasty-Sia.’ It’s an adventurous middle-grade novel of about 37,000 words that kids are sure to enjoy! My debut novel (though far from the first story I have written), I would be thrilled to provide interviews, readings, etc.

      The book can be purchased here: https://www.createspace.com/3651515

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