• OhMG! News


    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 ...

  • Subscribe!

    Get email updates:

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • For Teachers/Librarians

    You love books, you love kids, and authors love you.   We’re pleased to offer teachers and librarians a wealth of resources to help you make middle-grade books an even more effective and engaging part of your classroom and library/media center!

    Our first two entries are especially for you:  The collected MUF blog posts categorized for teachers and librarians!  The rest of this page is organized alphabetically by the following categories to help you find resources quickly: Author visits, Author websites with discussion/activity guides, Blogs for middle-grade reading/writing, Book clubs, Book lists, and General resources for teaching and literature.

    MUF Posts for Teachers and MUF Posts for Librarians: We’ve captured the posts that are categorized for teachers and/or librarians in one convenient place.  The posts are organized by date, so “drop on by” any time to see what we’ve written with you in mind.


    Most middle-grade authors and many illustrators love to visit schools and libraries.  Check their websites or their publishers’ sites for contact information. For a searchable list of authors and illustrators by region, check out The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

    General Tips for a successful author/illustrator visit: Few experiences generate more reading and writing excitement than having a real live author interact with your students…. (read more)

    MUF Posts on author visits: We’ve offered a great series of posts about author visits here at the Mixed-Up Files:

    Virtual Visits: Like to have an author visit your school or library but can’t manage the logistics of an in-person visit?  There is another way… (read more)

    AUTHOR WEBSITES with discussion/activity guides
    Many authors provide discussion or activity guides for use in the classroom on their websites… (read more)

    BLOGS (of special interest to teachers and librarians)
    American Indians in Children’s Literature: Debbie Reese helps teachers and librarians find resources and consider issues related to the representation of American Indians in children’s books.

    Charlotte’s Library ~ Weekly Round Up of New Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction: Charlotte will help you keep up with what’s new and hot in the world of middle-grade fantasy and science fiction so you can stay one step ahead of your young readers.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen’s Tween Tuesday: A round up of great book talks for the upper end of middle grade.

    Middle Grade Ninja: A blog about reading and writing middle grade that includes great interviews to enhance author studies.

    Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: A weekly round up of book talks from middle grade authors, librarians, teachers and booksellers. From new releases to classics to graphic novels, they have all reading interests covered.

    The Pirate Tree: Authors who explore books in the context of social justice themes, from violence to gender to race to poverty.

    Project Mayhem: A group of well-known middle-grade authors blog about writing, life and reading. Great opportunity for students to see inside the mind of some of their favorite authors.

    The Reading Tub: Extensive collection of middle grade and YA book review blogs

    Smack Dab in the Middle: Middle-grade authors talk about their books, their journeys to publication, and themes of the month where the bloggers weigh in on different topics. Gives students a great opportunity to learn even more about the authors they read.

    New! Top Teaching Blog by Scholastic:  Well regarded as a resource for literacy professionals everywhere, Scholastic also offers teacher-to-teacher support through the Top Teaching Blog.  Eight innovative teachers bring you right into their classrooms for ideas on how to enhance middle graders’ literacy experiences.  Even though summer is quickly waning, you’ll get some great ideas team member Shari Edwards in this post: a challenge to herself to read a children’s book a day

    New! A Year of Reading:  Franki Sibberson and Mary Lee Hahn are classroom teachers and authors of acclaimed professional books on literacy.  The blog is rich with ideas and resources for bringing middle grade readers and good books together!  Check out Franki’s thoughts on selecting that all-important first read aloud of the school year.


    MUF Blog Posts on Book Clubs

    Book Club Central: Book suggestions for children and tweens with sample chapters and ideas for organizing a book club.

    Book Clubs for Kids from PBS Parents:  Great resources for teachers and parents.

    Literature Circles Resource Center: Resources and information on book clubs and literature circles from the College of Education at Seattle University.

    Middle School Reading Activities: Suggestions for teachers and families to encourage reading using classroom reads, literacy projects or for engaging alternatives to traditional book reports.

    National Public Radio’s Back-Seat Book Club: Offers a monthly book club selection that students read then have the option to send in questions to NPR. Some of those questions are given to the author when visiting the radio programme, All Things Considered at the end of the month.

    Pragmatic Mom-Book Clubs for Kids: Excellent resource of tried and true book club strategies, including meetings, including the books used and the activities done. Includes many middle-grade titles.

    MUF Book Lists: Check out our complete file of middle-grade book lists.

    Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC): Recommended Book Lists

    International Reaching Association (IRA) Children’s Choices Reading List

    IRA Children’s Literature Special Interest Group Book Reviews:  Weekly reviews of books for grades K-12 organized by topic.

    IRA Teachers’ Choices Reading List 

    Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Children: Annual list compiled by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council

    Outstanding Science Trade Books: Annual list compiled by the National Science Teachers Association

    Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2012: Children’s Fiction

    Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2012: Children’s Nonfiction

    GENERAL RESOURCES for teaching and literature
    American Library Association (ALA)

    ALSC Blog: Programming ideas and literacy initiatives from this branch of the American Library Association.

    Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)

    Children’s Book Council (CBC)

    CBC Diversity Committee

    Exploring Diversity: Resources related to diversity compiled by author Cynthia Leitich Smith.

    Horn Book Magazine: Resources for Educators

    International Reading Association (IRA)

    Middle Web: Resources for middle grade educators and parents

    National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

    ReadWriteThink: Literacy resources for teachers at all levels.

    Renaissance Learning Book Quizzes

    Scholastic Teacher Resources: Search for both free and paid curriculum resources.

    Scholastic Librarian Resources: Search for both fee and paid resources for your library.

    School Library Journal 

    TeachingBooks (Note: this service charges a membership fee after the free trial period has expired)

    Teaching Tolerance: From the Southern Poverty Law Center, in-depth and free resources and book lists on a wide range of social justice issues for educators. You’ll find an extensive list of classroom resources, as well as “What We’re Reading,” culturally aware book lists for educators in Teaching Tolerance Magazine.  Subscriptions to the magazine (print or digital editions) are free for educators.

    Themed Literature Units: Resources for teaching children’s literature using books with themes such as speaking out for justice, persevering to overcome obstacles, reaching out to others, and many more.

    New!  Finding Common Themes in Fiction Texts: 3rd grade teacher Beth Newingham offers a wonderful array of strategies and resources (downloadable posters!) to help you guide  middle grade students to find and learn from the themes in good books.  This is a rich site from Beth’s classroom in Troy, Michigan — take your time and dig in!  Beth is also part of Scholastic’s Top Teaching Blog team, so we encourage you to visit her there as well!

    MUF Blog Posts on Themed Literature Units

    1 Comment

    1. Lisa Rogers  •  Jun 8, 2010 @3:20 pm

      Looking forward to a site that my students and I can really use! I’m hoping for great book lists that will pique my students’ interest and help teachers find what they need. Children move quickly from picture books to chapter books; thanks for providing information for this important niche.


    Leave a Reply

    Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>