JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans. Join now (it's free).
Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Middle Grade Book Authors, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 17 of 17
How to use this Page
You are viewing the most recent posts tagged with the words: Middle Grade Book Authors in the JacketFlap blog reader. What is a tag? Think of a tag as a keyword or category label. Tags can both help you find posts on JacketFlap.com as well as provide an easy way for you to "remember" and classify posts for later recall. Try adding a tag yourself by clicking "Add a tag" below a post's header. Scroll down through the list of Recent Posts in the left column and click on a post title that sounds interesting. You can view all posts from a specific blog by clicking the Blog name in the right column, or you can click a 'More Posts from this Blog' link in any individual post.
Hey everybody! We have a super-special treat today! Debut author Nikki Loftin, whose middle grade novel THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY launches August 21, is joining us to talk about something that concerns many writers—building a website for middle grade fans. Take it away, Nikki!
The worst words in the entire world, to a reader who’s gone down the rabbit hole into the world of a wonderful book, are “The End.” I remember feeling as a child that sinking sensation as I got closer and closer to the end of a favorite novel, knowing the magic would end soon, and I would have to step back into reality.
I hated that. I wanted the story to keep going. I wanted to read the biographies of the characters, I wanted to know what they were eating for dinner the day after the story ended, what they did with their friends, who they spoke to… So many of these characters became my friends. When the story ended, it was almost like they’d moved away.
(Of course, when I was child, there was no such thing as the Internet, with its sites for fan fiction and Pottermore-ish places to keep the dream alive. Hold on for a second while I yell at some kids to get off my lawn. There, I’m done.)
I thought—hoped—that some kids would fall in love with my characters and the world of Splendid Academy enough to have that same longing feeling. And I wondered if I could provide something to extend the magic of the story, just a bit, with a website for Splendid Academy. I reserved the domain name of my school, put up some placeholder pages, and started thinking.
What kind of site did I want? What could I offer my readers that would be fun for them, yet easy for me to maintain so I could, you know, have time to write more books?
The site I wanted would be partly for marketing—anything promoting your book serves that sort of purpose. But I really wanted it to be something for my readers. So I started jotting down notes about what I would have wanted as a kid, if I had just finished reading The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy.
I wondered if this was all a waste of time. Then, a lovely publicist/creative genius named Kirsten Cappy, from Curious City, met with me in the spring and helped me solidify some of my ideas, and she mentioned that librarians love to be able to send avid readers to book-related sites—and book clubs can use them as a part of their discussion. (She had me at “librarians love.”)
The first thing I settled on was a page with staff bios. I tried to write each one with enough detail so that readers who had finished the book would get the hidden jokes (and hidden threats), but kids who hadn’t read it yet wouldn’t see spoilers. Since the site ostensibly is written by the principal and teachers of the school, any reference to the book would have to be hidden—although to be fair, I did decide to put a very visible button to take potential buyers straight to a site where they could buy a copy!
I thought a series of letters from the principal would be fun to write, with the occasional note from one of the other teachers, and maybe even a “guest blog” from some of the secondary characters to add to the fun. Of course, with a book involving enchanted food, a school menu would be a must. (The most recent post is a call for readers to comment on the site for the chance to have their favorite food added to the upcoming menu. I’ll also have kids at the launch party in a few weeks write down their favorite foods, so I can post them there as well.)
I have thoughts about adding a quiz for prospective students, as well as adding “lesson plans” featuring the many fairy tales I reference in the book… but I’ll have to see how much time it takes. A writer’s first job is writing, after all—and if all goes well, I’ll have kids emailing me to “hurry up and write another one!”
And that’s probably the very best way to please your audience.
NOW FOR THE CONTEST!!!
For a chance to win an Advanced Readers’ Copy of Nikki’s debut novel THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY, you can help Nikki build her website! Go to SplendidAcademy.com and leave a comment about your favorite food! (Remember, this place has gourmet fare, so don’t be shy about asking for the good stuff!) Nikki is also giving away some cool bookmarks to reward even more yummy suggestions for the school menu. The contest will run one week and we will announce the winner on Monday, August 20.
THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY
Coming from Razorbill, August 21, 2012
When Lorelei’s old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It’s every kid’s dream.
But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it’s too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.
Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she’d like to forget – and taking on a teacher who’s a real witch.
What Lorelei and Andrew discover chills their bones—and might even pick them clean!
Tera Lynn Childs will celebrate the debut of her newest book for young adults, JUST FOR FINS. When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mer kingdom of Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land, Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom… Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and her human boyfriend, Quince, after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave! In JUST FOR FINS, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people and for the humans she loves.
First Friday Reading Series, will feature the 2012 Meta-Four Youth Poetry Slam Team. Meta Four Houston is a nonprofit organization that encourages self-expression and literacy among Houston’s youth through creative writing and performance. Meta-Four Houston grew out of the Young Houston Writers 2007 -2008 collaboration between the Houston Chronicle daily newspaper and three local arts non-profits – DiverseWorks, Voices Breaking Boundaries and Writers in the Schools – that formed to identify and support the nascent youth spoken-word community in our city.
Inprint House is located at 1520 West Main, one block south of the Menil Collection, one block east of Mandell, in the Museum District of Houston. Always free, open to the public, always an open reading after the featured poet. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
Herman Parish, nephew of Amelia Bedelia’s creator, Peggy Parish, and the author of many books about Amelia Bedelia, will discuss and sign AMELIA BEDELIA’S FIRST VOTE, the newest book in the Amelia Bedelia series.
For important information about this event, please see
Saturday we got to celebrate the long awaited launch of Lynne Kelly’s debut novel CHAINED with the good people at Blue Willow Bookshop. Lynne started off telling us a bit about the evolution of this story which started life as a picture book, and the first version is one that, thankfully (she says), no one else ever saw. Lynne took it to a critique group where Charles Trevino suggested it should be a novel. She said she thought, wow, a novel—that’s a lot of words!
Lynne said she started writing one chapter at a time, not knowing what was going to happen in the next chapter. She says she did know how it would end though, sort of. She joined a critique group and says they didn’t run her off, so she stayed and wrote the book. Uma Krishnaswami gave her an early critique, then gave it a final read before publishing to make sure it was all culturally correct. Revision took the storyline from three years to one and a half years to one year. CHAINED sold to MacMillan two years ago this month.
The publisher asked Lynne to suggest illustrators for the cover, so she researched book covers she loved and came up with some suggestions. One book, Elephant Bill, became the mentor’s backstory. She brought a poster to show
Yesterday at The Book Spot in Round Rock, Lynn Kelly had her Hill country debut of CHAINED, the story of a boy and an elephant who have a friendship stronger than any lock, shackle, or chain. By a lucky chance, I happened to be in Round Rock, so I stopped in to hear Lynn talk about her novel.
I haven’t spent much time in Round Rock, so I’d I’d never been to this book store before. It is a cozy neighborhood with resident dogs who make sure everyone fells welcome. It was easy to spot regular customers because the first thing they did was pick up the dogs! If you are in the greater Austin area in July, you might want to stop by to see their Kids Spot, a special area for early readers through elementary school, and their young adult selection for middle school and high school readers.
One of the props Lynne brought with her was a replica of an elephant’s tooth. Elephants lose and regrow their molars up to seven times. This was part of a poignant discussion between two characters in the book. For more notes on Lynne’s talk about CHAINED, you can take a look at the post I wrote up after her launch at Blue Willow Bookshop. Thanks to The Book Spot for hosting this event. I love book stores that support authors! You can help support The Book Spot by Liking them on Facebook.
Blue Willow Bookshop hosted a really special event this week—New York Times best-selling rockstar Jodi Piccoult and her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer with their new co-written middle grade/young adult book. Jodi Piccoult says Samantha (Sam) pitched the idea for the book to her while she was on tour in L.A. and Jodi knew at once that out of Samantha’s many story ideas, this one was a winner.
BETWEEN THE LINES is about what happens when happily ever after…isn’t. Delilah, a loner hates school as much as she loves books—one book in particular. In fact if anyone knew how many times she has read and reread the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially her cooler than cool classmates, she’d be sent to social Siberia . . . forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there’s a handsome (well, okay, incredibly handsome) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there’s something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is not just a one-dimensional character in a book. He’s real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they’re from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?
Jodi and Samantha took turns reading excerpts from the two main characters points of view. Both gave excellent readings, then the event was opened up to questions. Since Jodi Piccoult is such a big name, many questions were about her novels for adults, but I’m going to focus on the questions about Samantha and BETWEEN THE LINES.
As usual, I wrote as fast as I could, but I’ve ended up paraphrasing both questions and answers. None of these are verbatim, but I’m trying to be as accurate as I can. So here goes:
Question: Jodi, some of your books have controversial topics. Sam, do you read them? Jodi, are you comfortable with that?
Sam: Yes, I’ve read four of them.
Jodi: We have a very open household. I don’t think there’s any topic off limits. The more controversial my books are and the more upset people get about them, the more I am convinced I am doing the right thing.
Question: Are the two of you planning to write any more books for teens?
Sam: The first thing we are going to write is my college applications! But we do have an idea for a sequel to BETWEEN THE LINES.
Jodi: When Sam was in second grade, her teacher called and asked if she could send home Sam’s story to typed. When I said yes, the teacher said she needed to warn me—it was forty pages!
Question: Did you both discuss how this book would be written?
This has got to be the most jam-packed week ever for fantastic author/illustrator events in the Houston area. This is a long list, so I’ll get right to it. As always, this information is taken from the website of the sponsoring bookstore or organization. Please visit their websites or their stores for the latest and most accurate information.
Eric Litwin and James Dean present their new picture book, PETE THE CAT: ROCKING IN MY SCHOOL SHOES. Pete the Cat is back—and this time Pete discovers the library, lunchroom, playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song . . . because it’s all good.
Please see Blue Willow Bookshop’s Special Events page for important information about his event.
Ilsa J. Bick, child psychiatrist, film scholar, former Air Force major, and now full-time author, will discuss and sign her new YA novel, ASHES, a terrifying and thrilling story about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.
(Pssst!If you’d like to meet the author of the hugely successful Artemis Fowl series, Eoin Colfer will be at Murder by the Book on Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. discussing his first adult crime novel, Plugged.)
Today we have the last spotlight in my continuing series on the authors of The Pen Fatale Tour, the multi author event coming to Spring Forest Middle School on Memorial Drive tomorrow night, September 29. This tour features four of today’s hottest Young Adult authors:
Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.
I’m putting up the weekly author/illustrator events a day early for two reasons. First, this week is cram-jammed with events, including a major event on Saturday–the TweenReads Festival. The other reason is that last week I somehow missed posting a few events including one happening today that I’m sure a lot of my readers will not want to miss–Kate DiCamillo will be appearing at Blue Willow Bookshop TODAY! So, here we go:
Kate di Camillo Newbery-award winning author of A TALE OF DESPEREAUX, BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT among others, as well as BINK and GOLLIE and THE MERCY WATSON series for early readers, and the picture book LOUISE, THE ADVENTURES OF A CHICKEN will discuss and sign her books.
October 24, Monday 6:00 P.M. Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands Adam Gidwitz: Author Adam Gidwitz presents A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.
Rachel Caine will discuss the latest book in the Morganville Vampire series, LAST BREATH, in which college student Claire Danvers learns that three of the vampires in Morganville have disappeared without a trace, only to discover that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is a mysterious new resident named Magnus. She begins to suspect that Magnus is not a fellow-human.
Laura Numeroff, author of many books for young readers, will discuss and sign IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT. A portion of her royalties will be donated to First Book, a national nonprofit organization that promotes children’s literacy.
If you give a dog a donut, he’ll ask for some apple juice to go with it.
When you give him the juice, he’ll drink it all up.
Then, before you can say “Woof” . . . Dog is off on a backyard adventure!
In conjunction with this event, Blue Willow Bookshop is holding a supply drive for CAP, Citizens for Animal for Protection. Please bring dry kitten or puppy food, white paper towels, Ultra Clorox Bleach, dish detergent or new or used bath towels.
Here it is the third week of November, and I haven’t wished good luck to all the brave and determined people who are hammering out 50k words for NaNoWriMo. Best wishes to all of you and a Happy Thanksgiving, too! To help everyone around the Houston area have a great Thanksgiving week, here are the author/illustrator events around town:
Marianne Malonewill sign and discuss her debut middle grade book, THE SIXTY-EIGHT ROOMS. Housed in the deep inside the Chicago Art Institute is a collection of 68 exquisite miniature rooms, each set in a different historic period, and every detail is perfect. Some might even say, the rooms are magic. Imagine—what if on a field trip, you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you could sneak inside and explore the rooms’ secrets? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind?
Sam E Bromleywill signHUNKA CHUNKA MONKEY SHAPES UP, an early middle grade tale of a curious but sedentary monkey who soon discovers it is refreshingly fun to make a new friend and join him in playful, active adventures of running, jumping and learning the fast paced game of basketball.
Annie Barrows will discuss and sign IVY AND BEAN: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS, the latest in the IVY AND BEAN series. Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars, to be exact. Never mind what for. Okay, it’s for low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size. Don’t ask why. How are Ivy and Bean going to make ten dollars? Hey, maybe they should write a newspaper about Pancake Court and sell it! Great idea! And easy, too. All they have to do is snoop around the neighborhood. Wow…It’s very interesting what they can find out. It’s even more interesting when the neighbors read about it in the newspaper.
Another great week of author and illustrator events is here! Something for everyone: a picture book author/illustrator, a Newbery honor winner, a popular author/screenwriter and a quartet of YA authors. Mark your calendars!
Divya Srinivasan, an illustrator and animator living in Austin, Texas, will lead a special storytime featuring LITTLE OWL’S NIGHT . It’s evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can’t understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.
In case you missed her announcement, Lynne Kelly, author of the upcoming middle grade novel CHAINED, is offering a book club kit giveaway for teachers and librarians. The kit will go to a classroom or reading group and includes ten books, a tote bag, a Skype visit, and bookmarks and signed bookplates for each kid in the group. Lynne will also send bookmarks to everyone who enters. Details and instructions are here in this blog post. Lynne’s contest is open from now until May 1st.
If you are in the Houston area, mark your calendars for Saturday, February 18. The Houston YA/MG Writers are hosting a FREE workshop by award winning, multipublished author, Kimberly Ivey.
Purpose, Power and Pizazz! Learn to organize the components of your book, beginning with visualization of your story’s structure, followed by dividing those components into chapters with purpose and punch. Discover how to avoid trouble spots and fine tune tension, pacing, and hooks like the pros.
We start at 9:30 but come at 9 if you’d like to chat. The meeting is in our permanent location- the Community Room at the H.E.B. at 9710 Katy Freeway, on the north side of the freeway. For questions, please email Jessica Capelle at email@example.com.
IMPORTANT: Bring one full chapter of your work in progress for brief exercises, plus pen, paper and laptop for notes.If you don’t have a full chapter to work with, bring what you’ve got or just take notes- this will be valuable for us all.
I know we are all excited about TeenBookCon and happy that next week it’s Houston’s turn to host TLA, the Texas Library Association’s annual conference. But though these are the biggest events rocking Houston’s children’s literature community, they aren’t the only events. Check out what’s happening in the next few days:
Children’s Author/Illustrator Laurie Knowlton signs I KNOW A LIBRARIAN WHO CHEWED ON A WORD. Miss Devine, a bun-wearing bibliophile, has a passion for literacy that reaches new heights. She has actually chewed on a word, claims one small witness to this outrageous event. In the manner of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” she has downed a book shelf, table, chair, cart, and a copy of Peter Pan trying to chase down a savory assemblage of letters. What is that word?
April 14, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4p.m.
Alief Taylor High School TeenBookCon
Orson Scott Card will be the keynote speaker for the 3rd annual Houston-area TeenBookCon. TeenBookCon is FREE, though attendees may want to bring money for books and snacks. Along with Card, over 20 authors and artists of teen books from all over the U.S. will participate in author panels, signings, and activities at the free event. Authors’ works include graphic novels, paranormal and dystopian fiction, fantasy and romance. This is a great opportunity for teens and other fans of YA literature to interact with a variety of authors and graphic novelists! TeenBookCon’s major sponsor is the Blue Willow Bookshop. For details on the event schedule and other sponsors, please visit
Well, as you can see, I still haven’t come up with a clever name for this feature. I’m open to suggestions!
The next upcoming book signing for a children’s or young adults’ author is hosted by Murder by the Book, an independent bookstore in Houston specializing in murder and mayhem since 1980. You can follow them on Twitter, friend them on facebook, or read their blog to keep up with what’s sneaking up on you.
Please remember the information here is from the sponsoring bookstores’ websites. Please visit their website or their shop for complete, up-to-the-minute information.
BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson will sign and discuss the newest book in the Never Land series, The Bridge to Never Land. Murder by The Book is expecting a packed house for this event, so… Please note: For any customers mailing in or dropping off books to get signed, we (Murder By The Book) will be strictly enforcing our policy of getting 3 older titles signed per copy of the new title purchased from us. For customers attending the event, a second round will depend on the number of people attending the event.
Hey everyone, the Houston SCBWI is hosting a novel revision workshop on January 13-15 at Camp Allen, Navasota, TX. I attended this workshop last year when it was held in College Station and it was so fantastic, I signed up for this year as well. FYI–this workshop does NOT come to Texas every year! Those who missed it last year just got lucky this year. This workshop is limited to 24 participants, but we have a few spots still available.
Here’s the info:
Novel Revision Retreat with Darcy Pattison January 13-15 Camp Allen, Navasota, TX
Darcy Pattisonis well-known for her amazing workshops and the great results that come from them. This workshop is for authors with a finished MG or YA novel.
Your novel must be finished by November 1, 2011. Before the retreat, each attendee will receive and read three manuscripts by other attendees, as well as two books on the craft of writing.
The workshop begins Friday afternoon and ends Sunday morning. This is an intensive weekend, full of learning, writing and critiquing. Camp Allen is in Navasota, in a beautiful wooded setting. The rooms are in the hotel on the grounds, only yards away from the lodge where the actual workshop takes place. The cafeteria is in the lodge. The meals will include vegetarian selections.
Cost for the retreat is $340 for a single room, $270 for a double room. Costs include lodging for two nights, workshop fee and all meals.
The first 24 people will receive a confirmation and have one week to mail in their registration fee. Hurry to sign up; there are only a few spots left. Hope to see some of you there!
And for those of you who write Picture Books, check out this fantastic workshop:
Big Picture, Tiny Frame: Making the Most of Your Picture Book Manuscripts
Last night, about fifty SCBWI members and I got to vicariously attend the national SCBWI conference by listening to reports from several of our members who attended the LA conference. I’d love to go sometime; maybe next year.
MG IVY AND THE MEANSTALK by Dawn Lairamore
Having saved her kingdom from the dastardly designs of a scheming prince in “Ivy’s Ever After,” 14-year-old Princess Ivy and her dragon friend, Elridge, have little time to rest on their laurels, for Ardendale is once again being threatened by a vicious man-eating meanstalk.
On Project Mayhem