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1. MMGM: AFTER THE BOOK DEAL w/ Jonathan Auxier (plus the 4/21/14 links!)


Don't go into shock--but I actually have a proper post this week. A really good one, too. PROBABLY because I didn't write it. But hey, I had to be organized enough to get it all assembled and posted for you, so... it's progress, right?????

All kidding aside, I'm SO excited to share this most from the amazing Jonathan Auxier with you guys. Partially because he's super flippin' smart in it. But mostly because I'm a huge fan of his books, so it's always fun when I get to support them.

And so, without further ado, I give you: AFTER THE BOOK DEAL, by Jonathan Auxier:


The Internet is full of great advice about how to sell a book, but what about after the sale? When my first book came out, I found it was surprisingly hard to find answers to some basic questions. Like most authors, I learned most of the answers through trial and error. And so in anticipation of the launch of my new novel, The Night Gardener, I’ve decided to write down everything I learned so I don’t make the same mistakes twice!

AFTER THE BOOK DEAL is a month-long blog series detailing the twenty things I wish someone had told me before entering the exciting world of children’s publishing. Each weekday from now until MAY 20, I will be posting an article on a different blog. Follow along and please spread the word!



***

DAY ONE - Finding Your Tribe

Publishing is a slow process—usually taking more than a year between sale and publication. For a new author, desperate to see their book on a shelf, it can be an agonizing wait. But this delay is a good thing, because you need that time to prepare! This first week, I’ll be talking about the five things you need to do in the months before your book comes out.

The first thing any new author should do—and they should start as soon as possible—is find a community of friends within the book world. This can be easier said than done.

Right after selling Peter Nimble, I dedicated myself to learning all about the kidlit/YA community. I spent months reading every klidlit blog and website I could. The goal was simple: find my tribe. Even in a market as small as ours, there is a lot of diversity—some people love paranormal romance, some want to talk about education, some want to talk about public libraries, and some want to discuss old books (that would be me!). The more widely I read, the more I was able to determine which authors/bloggers/teachers/librarians shared my own interests and passion.

Your goal is not to determine a “target audience” or anything so cynical. Think of yourself as a new kid in school, scoping out the yard during recess, looking for friends. That last word is key: these people will be your friends. So look for people that you actually like and whose opinions and interests you respect.

So how do you turn these strangers into friends? Reaching out to virtual strangers can be daunting. The trick lies in nine simple words:

“Can I buy you lunch and pick your brain?”

The best way to learn about the industry is to talk to people who are in the industry. And the best way to talk to these people is to spend time with them in person and learn about their lives. When I entered the world of children’s publishing, I did just this. After meeting a few authors/bloggers/librarians who I admired, I made a point to seeking them out. If you’re not in the same city, then you’ll probably have to meet up with people at conferences and book festivals (which I’ll be discussing in week two!).

Please note that this is not about pitching your book. Your book shouldn’t even come up. This is about learning from people you like and respect. Just be a curious, courteous person who shares similar interests. Remember the kid in the schoolyard: you’re just trying to make friends, not win votes for class president.

I should mention that many of these librarians/bloggers/authors are likely too busy to sit down with complete strangers—that’s where being an avid reader of (and commenter on) blogs helps. If I want to meet someone who isn’t a blogger, my rule of thumb is first to make sure that I have at least two mutual acquaintances before reaching out. And once I’ve sat down with a person and had a good chat, I always end the conversation with the same question:

"Who would you recommend that I talk to next?"

This is a fairly painless way for a new friend to help you—it takes almost no time and gives you a reason to keep in touch with them. Hopefully, over the course of several months, you will build friendships that will live way beyond your book launch. Assuming you’re serious about being an author, this is a community you will share for the rest of your life.

That’s it for BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL! Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting the Novel Novice to discuss the tricky business of building a “public identity” that actually reflects who you are! Swing by and spread the word!



*******************************************************************************
JONATHAN AUXIER writes strange stories for strange children. His new novel, The Night Gardener, hits bookstores this May. You can visit him online at www.TheScop.com where he blogs about children's books old and new.


**************************************************************************

See why I'm a huge fan of this guy? Such great advice. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, Jonathan. 

And don't forget to check out these other MMGMs happening throughout the blogosphere:

- Michelle Mason is cheering for PARTNERS IN CRIME--with a GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details.  
- Barbara Watson is gushing about WHAT THE MOON SAID, with an ARC GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for all the fun.  
- Mark Baker is spreading love for POACHED. Click HERE to read his feature! 
- Katie Fitzgerald is feeling TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Andrea Mack is drawn to THE AWESOME ALMOST 100% TRUE ADVENTURES OF MATT & CRAZ. Click HERE to see why. 
- Susan Olson is on the edge of her seat for THE WELLS BEQUEST. Click HERE to see why. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--AND GIVING AWAY--ICE DOGS. Click HERE for details.
- Rcubed is highlighting THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES OF FLORA & ULYSSES. Click HERE to see why. 
- Sue Heavenrich has some earth day reading for you with LAST BUT NOT LEAST: LOLA GOING GREEN. Click HERE to learn more.
- Greg Pattridge wants you to TURN LEFT AT THE COW. Click HERE to see why.
- Daniel Johnston is giving a shoutout to FRINDLE. Click HERE to see his feature 
- Suzanne Warr has chills for ODIN'S PROMISE. Click HERE to see why.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM: AFTER THE BOOK DEAL w/ Jonathan Auxier (plus the 4/21/14 links!) as of 4/21/2014 8:05:00 AM
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2. MMGM Shout Out: THE PECULIAR, by Stefan Bachmann (Plus the 4/14/14 links)

Woo Hoo--EVERBLAZE is ALMOST done! I have a few tiny changes to make, and a final polish read to do over the next couple of days, and then it is FINISHED. Not gonna lie--I never thought I'd get there. BUT I MADE IT. And I can't wait for you guys to read in November! I hope you love it as much as I do.

I'm a little loopy tonight from a crazy weekend (events on Fri, Sat, & Sun--*collapses*) but I am trying to get back on track with these MMGM shout outs. So I have a quick one for you guys today for a book I adore: THE PECULIAR, by Stefan Bachmann.


This is one of those books that I bought entirely because of the cover. I didn't know what it was about.  I hadn't heard anything about it. But I mean, LOOK AT THAT COVER! It was begging me to read it. So I did, and...wow.  It was one of those books I couldn't put down. Such a cool world, such a page turning plot, and holy crow can Stefan Bachmann write. I can't believe he was a teenager when he wrote it. Way to make the rest of us look bad!

If you haven't read it yet, I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.  You can find it on Goodreads HERE

And make sure you also check out these other MMGMs happening throughout the blogosphere:

- Jennifer at 5 Minutes for Books is cheering for ALWAYS, EMILY. Click HERE to see her feature. 
- Susan Olson is on the edge of her seat for RISKED. Click HERE to see why. 
- Charlotte Ritchie is caught up in the MUSEUM OF THIEVES. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Rcubed is talking about common middle grade themes. Click HERE to see what they are. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmarten has chills for DIEGO'S DRAGON. Click HERE to see why.   
- Jenni Enzor is unlocking EIGHT KEYS. Click HERE to read her review. 
- Sue Heavenrich is chasing PRISONER 88. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is gushing about HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL. Click HERE to see his review.
- Daniel Johnston has chills for SHREDDERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY. Click HERE to see his feature 
- Suzanne Warr is spreading some love for SAVVY. Click HERE to see why.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM Shout Out: THE PECULIAR, by Stefan Bachmann (Plus the 4/14/14 links) as of 4/14/2014 7:07:00 AM
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3. Hidden Picture Illustrations

Below are some glimpses of hidden picture illustrations either published or fresh off the drawing board. These are a challenge but really fun to do!

april8 work 1

(c) Highlights For Children

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4. MMGM Links (4/7/14)

I know I'm skipping another MMGM shout out, but this time I am SURE I will get back on track next week because I JUST TURNED IN THE REVISION OF EVERBLAZE!!!!  I'm not exaggerating when I say that was the hardest revision I've ever done, so I'm very happy to have it behind me. Here's hoping I got it right!

I also have a couple of events this week, in case you're in the SoCal area:

Friday, 4/11
7:00 pm
Mysterious Galaxy Books 
7051 Claremont Mesa Blvd. #302
San Diego, CA 90278
*with JR Johannson, Nancy Holder, Debra Driza, and Rachel Hawkins

Sunday, 4/13
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
LA Times Festival of Books
Booth 732
USC Campus


Hope to see some of you there! And now, here's the MMGM links:

- Elise joins the MMGM fun with her first review ever, about 11 BIRTHDAYS. Click HERE to welcome her to the group.  
- Jess at Reading Nook is sweet on A SNICKER OF MAGIC. Click HERE to see why.   
- Katie Fitzgerald is highlighting the first two books in the GRIMMTASTIC GIRLS series. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Rcubed is in love with WALK TWO MOONS. Click HERE to see her feature.. 
- Michelle Mason is covering the REAL MERMAIDS series. Click HERE to see why. 
- Claire Caterer has an awesome giveaway, where the winner gets to pick their prize! Click HERE for details.  
- Greg Pattridge is gushing about I AM NOT JOEY PIGZA. Click HERE to see his review.
- Suzanne Warr is championing STRANDED. Click HERE to see why.
- Daniel Johnston is on the edge of his seat for RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Click HERE to see his feature
- Rosi Hollinbeck has two features this week, for  A BIRD ON THE WATER and STAINED. Click HERE to learn more about them. 
- Laurisa White Reyes is singing praises for MOCKINGBIRD. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.    
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM Links (4/7/14) as of 4/7/2014 7:37:00 AM
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5. MMGM Links (3/31/14)

Okay, I'm going to have to skip this week's MMGM shout out again, but only because there were a LOT of links to put together. But I should be finishing this revision this week, (even if it kills me) so hopefully things will get back on track next week. In the meantime, here are all the awesome links:

- Jess at Reading Nook has a review of THE NINJA LIBRARIANS over HERE. And an interview with the author, plus a GIVEAWAY of 3 signed copies over HERE.
- Jenni Enzor is wild for WILD WINGS. Click HERE to see her feature.
- Rcubed is back for another week with a feature on THE WEDNESDAY WARS. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Michelle at 5 Minutes for Books is spotlighting HORSES OF THE DAWN. Click HERE to see why. 
- Claire Caterer is singing praises for THE SONG OF THE QUARKBEAST! Click HERE to read her review.  
- Natalie Aguirre is interviewing author Maureen McQuery, and GIVING AWAY a copy of BEYOND THE DOOR. Click HERE for all the fun.  
- Julie DeGuia is feeling the magic for two books this week, A SNICKER OF MAGIC, and THE WHIZZ POP CHOCOLATE SHOP. Click HERE to see her reviews.
- Mark Baker is laughing along with I, EVEN FUNNIER. Click HERE to read his review. 
- Janet Smart has chills for ICE DOGS. Click HERE to see why.
- Greg Pattridge is going BOOM! Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Suzanne Warr is highlighting HATCHET. Click HERE to see why.
- Daniel Johnston is rooting for THE KID WHO RAN FOR PRESIDENT. Click HERE to see his feature
- Rosi Hollinbeck is cheering for SHANE--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Laurisa White Reyes is FIGHTING FOR DONTAE. Click HERE to see why.
- Dorine White is glowing for LUMINESCENCE. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Andrea Mack is shining a light on YESTERDAY'S DEAD. Click HERE to read her review.  
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.    


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM Links (3/31/14) as of 3/31/2014 9:07:00 AM
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6. Author Website Content: Beta Readers



This month-long series of blog posts will explain author websites and offer tips and writing strategies for an effective author website. It alternates between a day of technical information and a day of writing content. By the end of the month, you should have a basic author website up and functioning. The Table of Contents lists the topics, but individual posts will not go live until the date listed. The Author Website Resource Page offers links to tools, services, software and more.

Calling All Grammar Witches: Beta Readers for Your Site

WWW under construction building website

You’re just days away from launching your new and improved Author Website. Now’s the time to proofread, test links and make sure everything is working! Recruit friends (and enemies?) to click around and make sure the site works.

  • Links. Click on every single link to make sure it works.
  • Grammar and Spelling. Grammar Witches, i love you. I’ll do everything you tell me to do.
  • Photos. Add photos to every page, because it makes it more appealing.
  • Tweak posts. OK, you’re a writer. You will be tweaking every single post. Just don’t stress out over this; write the best you can and let it go.

Fix everything that is reported to you. Make sure everything is in order for launch.

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7.

Gah--between revision and a conference all weekend, I didn't have the brainpower for an MMGM shout out this week. But I PROMISE I'll get back on track next week. In the meantime, I have links!

- Rcubed joins the MMGM fun with a feature on I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Birdie Reader is sweet on SPRINKLES & SECRETS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Claire Caterer is cheering for THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER! Click HERE to read her review.  
Sheri Larsen has chills for UNDERTAKERS: SECRET OF THE CORPSE EATER. Click HERE to see what she thought
- Sue Heavenrich is part of the CHARLIE BUMPERS Blog tour. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Michelle Mason is highlighting JUNIPER BERRY--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for details. 
- Janet Smart is singing praises for WHAT THE MOOD SAID. Click HERE to see why.
- Greg Pattridge is championing DESTINY, REWRITTEN. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Barbara Watson is spotlighting the middle grade books she purchased/won last month.  Click HERE to see what they are.
- Suzanne Warr is gushing about THE EIGHTH DAY. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Daniel Johnston is getting SCHOOLED. Click HERE to see why. 
- Susan Olson is highlighting BACK TO BLACKBRICK. Click HERE to see her review.  
- Rosi Hollinbeck is celebrating SEEING RED--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Laurisa White Reyes is buddying up to CHARLIE BUMPERS AND THE REALLY NICE GNOME. Click HERE to see why.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on as of 3/24/2014 8:57:00 AM
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8. MMGM Links (3/17/14)

I know I'm supposed to be doing MMGM shout outs every week, but I am in the toughest part of this revision (darn you, murky middle!!!) and my brain doesn't have the energy to do much else. Next week I'll get back on track. In the meantime, I have links!

(Also, there's still a few days left to enter the contest I'm hosting to celebrate the launch of LET THE STORM BREAK. If you haven't entered yet, go HERE.)

-  Claire Caterer is back for another week, this time cheering for FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE! Click HERE to read her review.  
Sheri Larsen is exploring the differences between middle grade and YA. Click HERE to see what she's learned.
- Jenni Enzor is singing praises for BLUE LIKE FRIDAY. Click HERE to see why.
- Greg Pattridge is championing CHARLIE JOE JACKSON'S GUIDE TO NOT READING. Click HERE to see what he thought. 
- Xander is celebrating his one year blogoversary with a feature on HORTEN'S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS--and a GIVEAWAY.  Click HERE for details.
- Suzanne Warr is gushing about THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Annie McMahon has an interview with Spellbound Magazine for Children. Click HERE to see what that's all about.
- Laurisa White Reyes is caught up with CRESS. Click HERE to see why.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

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9. MMGM Shout Out: THE SHADOW THRONE (plus the 3/10/14 links)

Whew, last week was a WHIRLWIND, thanks to the launch of  LET THE STORM BREAK (and yes, that pun is very much intended). If you missed the contest I'm hosting to celebrate, make sure you check it out HERE.

But enough Shameless Shannon Self Promotion. For today, I've put together another quick MMGM shout out, this time for THE SHADOW THRONE, by Jennifer Nielson


I have been DYING for this book to come out--I am such a huge fan of this series! So you can imagine how much its killing me to have it sitting on my desk, taunting me like, "you can't read me right now because you're behind on your edits!" I swear, a huge part of my motivation to finish this revision--and quick--is this book. I NEED TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS! And if you haven't started this series yet, you need to. It's a bit like Megan Whalen Turner's THE QUEEN'S THIEF series, which is one of my favorites, and it's seriously addictive. I raced through books 1 and 2 in as many days, and have been waiting oh so impatiently for the final book ever since. COME ON EVERBLAZE--COOPERATE SO I CAN HAVE TIME TO READ.

ahem.

If you would like more info about THE SHADOW THRONE, you can find it on Goodreads HERE. And make sure you also check out these other MMGMs happening throughout the blogosphere:
-  Claire Caterer joins the MMGM fun with a feature on MOON OVER MANIFEST. Click HERE to welcome her to the group. 
- Barbara Watson has feels for AFTER IRIS! Click HERE to see why.  
 - Annie McMahon is cheering for VIRGIL CREECH TAKES A SWEEP AT REDEMPTION. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Jenni Enzor is spreading some love for both WHEN YOU REACH ME and FIRST LIGHT. Click HERE to see both features.
- Media Sharif has chills for ICE DOGS. Click HERE to see why. 
- Kim Aippersbach is rooting for THE PRINCE WHO FELL FROM THE SKY. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Xander is raving about 2884--IXODIA ESCAPE.  Click HERE to see why.
- Daniel Johnston is on the hunt for HARRIET THE SPY.  Click HERE for his review.   
- Suzanne Warr is gushing about FLORA & ULYSSES. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Dorine White is featuring--and GIVING AWAY--the first two GRIMMTASTIC GIRLS books. Click HERE to catch all the fun. 
- Katie Fitzgerald is on the hunt for TREASURE HUNTERS. Click HERE to see her review. 
- Sheri Larsen is championing FAERY SWAP. Click HERE to see why.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome! 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM Shout Out: THE SHADOW THRONE (plus the 3/10/14 links) as of 3/10/2014 9:04:00 AM
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10. MMGM Shout Out: SKY RAIDERS (plus the links for 3/3/14)

Wow--I can't believe LET THE STORM BREAK comes out tomorrow (TOMORROW!). And I really can't believe I'm trying to edit EVERBLAZE in the midst of all this launch chaos. Pretty sure brain matter is starting to ooze out my ears at this point, but hey, it's all quality problems, right? RIGHT????

ANYWAY, Shannon-panicking aside, I'm super excited to have LtSB launch into the world, and I have an awesome contest planned to celebrate, so make sure you check back tomorrow. And for today, I've put together another quick MMGM shoutout, for SKY RAIDERS, by Brandon Mull.


If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know what a huge Brandon Mull fangirl I am. So it shouldn't surprise you at all that I've been counting down the days until this book comes out--and you bet I've already pre-ordered my copy. I am totally going to use it as my reward for finally meeting this brutal deadline (well, assuming I SURVIVE this brutal deadline) and it's the best motivation ever. No one writes fantasy, or builds worlds like Brandon Mull. I can't WAIT to see what he does with the Five Kingdoms. 

If you would like more info about SKY RAIDERS, you can find it on Goodreads HERE. And make sure you also check out these other MMGMs happening throughout the blogosphere:
-  Charlotte Ritchie is spreading some love for FAKE MUSTACHE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Faith Hough is cheering for STEERING TOWARD NORMAL--with a an ARC GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details.  
 - Susan Olson is continuing her fascination with The Missing series with FOUND. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Natalie Aguirre is interviewing the charming NATALIE LLOYD and GIVING AWAY an ARC of A SNICKER OF MAGIC. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Andrea Mack is charmed by THE HYPNOTISTS. Click HERE to see her feature. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Click HERE for details. 
- Greg Pattridge is spotlighting nine of the greatest baseball books.  Click HERE to see what they are.
- Daniel Johnston is gushing about CAN YOU GET AN F IN LUNCH? Click HERE for his review.   
- Suzanne Warr is investigating THE WIG IN THE WINDOW. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Dorine White is celebrating the launch of THE RUBY PENDANT with all kinds of fun things (including a GIVEAWAY) Click HERE to catch all the fun. 
- Laurisa White Reyes is revealing the trailer for THE BOY PROBLEM. Click HERE to check it out. 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Jennifer Rumberger always has an awesome MMGM feature on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.
- Deb Marshall is a MMGM regular. Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week.
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!     


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

0 Comments on MMGM Shout Out: SKY RAIDERS (plus the links for 3/3/14) as of 3/3/2014 9:06:00 AM
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11. Highlights’ HighFive March ’14 Cover Illustration

Well, here we are at the tail-end of February, with March (along with spring!) coming up in a few days. So I wanted to share the project I worked on a few months back–the cover for Highlights’ HighFive’s March ’14 cover! It’s presently out and about (I saw it in a local magazine shop a few days ago). Below is a photo I took of the final, printed cover, then the actual illustration, sans copy, etc., as well as a close-up of the kids. Below that are some of the rough cover concepts I submitted. My thanks to Highlights for letting me be a part of making their magazine a fun read for kids!

h5 cover pic

H5-mar14-cover_nocopy_72

h5-kids snip1_72

h5-march cover ruffs(c) Highlights for Children

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12. Fun math app free today

Heads up! Artgig makes some of my favorite math apps. Their Mystery Math Museum is free today!

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13. Mix-and-Match Monday

My allergies are doing a number on me. Spring and fall are always the worst. It makes me look forward to cold and snow because then no more allergies for six months. And of course Mondays always make everything worse. Have I provided sufficient excuse of the chatty mix-and-match kitchen sink sort of post?

I am now entering the third week — or is it the fourth? Can’t remember and my ability to count seems to be broken — of the self-paced T.S. Eliot course. I am loving it! It makes a difference to have three other people to discuss it all with too. It keeps me motivated and makes it generally more fun. So far we’ve learned a bit about Eliot’s biography, about naturalism and modernism. We’ve read and discussed “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “Sweeny Among the Nightingales.” This week is “Portrait of a Lady.” The lecturer, Victor Strandberg, is very good. The lectures usually clock in from 15-30 minutes, short and to the point. Strandberg knows his stuff and I find him to be a congenial sort of fellow. It would definitely be a pleasure to take an in-person class from him but since that will never happen, this is the second best thing. So thus far, T.S. Eliot is a success.

In fourteen days the Coursera class Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction begins. A few have signed up for it and I sent out emails to those I remembered mentioning they were taking it. If you are signed up and I missed you or if you decide now to sign up, send me an email (email link to the left in the sidebar) and let me know. We’ve got a wiki we are going to use for discussion and information sharing and I’ll send you an invite. It is not a public wiki so no one gets to lurk! I’m really looking forward to the class especially since I have Bring Up the Bodies asking me for attention. Who knows, the class might provide a whole new perspective and dimension to reading historical fiction.

Now some goodies I have accumulated from library newsletters.

  • The 20 Stages of Reading.
  • Ultimate Literary Calendar. It’s got a bookish event for every day of the year. Of course I had to look up my birthday and find that it is the day Winston in 1984 begins his diary. Somehow I had forgotten about that. Bookman’s birthday is the same day that paperback books were introduced in 1935.
  • Have some laughs over 25 Jokes Only Book Nerds Will Understand. For some reason numbers 4 and 5 crack me up. As does 10 and 16, 21, 23 and you get the picture.
  • Some good news from the National Endowment for the Arts. Their latest survey finds that more than half of American adults read a book for pleasure in 2012 (via Library Stuff). The percentage of adults who read what the NEA defines as literature — novels, short stories, poetry and plays — is down from 2008 numbers (the last time they did the survey). This is being reported as “bad news.” I don’t think it is. What I think is bad is that the NEA persists in such a narrow definition of what “counts” as literature. Other findings in the survey: More women (64%) read than men (45%). The largest group of readers are those between 65 – 74. And, very sadly, the number of people who read poetry for pleasure is less than 7%. Clearly National Poetry Month has not been effective in getting people interested in reading poetry. Sigh.

My brain tells me it is time to cease thinking for awhile. I will try to get it charged up in time to think of something to write about tomorrow!


Filed under: Books, Links

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14. Rabbit Trails (and Caterpillar and Crocodile)

Collecting some of the links and detours we’ve explored this week.

Chrysler Building

(Thank you Wikimedia Commons)

Our Round Buildings, Square Buildings reading took us to the Flatiron Building, which led to the Chrysler Building (cue “Hard Knock Life”), the Empire State Building, the old and new Manhattan skylines, and much discussion along the way. I got a bit homesick for NYC. Somewhere around here I have a copy of a letter I wrote to friends back home during my first year in New York—a long description of the view from the top of one of the Twin Towers. Ouch. It would be a good thing to post tomorrow, if I could find it, but them’s slim odds.

A friend posted a caterpillar pic on Facebook, looking for an ID. Beanie was game, and we wound up meandering around this ID site for a good long while. Didn’t find our friend’s critter, but I learned a whole lot about ghost moths…

Rilla is interested in French, which led to an hour on YouTube this afternoon, listening to French children’s songs (and marveling at their unabashed gruesomeness, some of them). It all began with Alouette:

Little lark, nice lark, I am plucking you?! Who knew? (French speakers, that’s who.) Oh, the belly laughs this generated.

Many videos later, we discovered the Most Persistent Earworm of All Time.

Les crocrocro, les crocrocro, les crocodiles will be haunting my dreams tonight.

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15. News that Made My Day

My friend Holly, parent of a legally blind child and president of Parents of Blind Children-NJ, alerted me to this very cool piece of news today: Fox and Crow Are Not Friends was the August selection for the Free Braille Books program sponsored by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults.

In 1997 the AAF started this program to provide blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series. The books are for the children to keep and collect for as long as they want them. The titles published every month are the same titles that are available in bookstores and public libraries everywhere. In the past ten years over one hundred seventy titles from popular children’s reading series were distributed to thousands of blind children.

You may remember Holly and her son Hank from my GeekMom piece on their fight for Hank to receive Braille instruction in school.

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16. Summer Bookletter

My summer bookletter went out yesterday. You can view it on the web here and subscribe to email delivery of future issues here.

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17. The Crozet Library Book Brigade

 

Unbelievably awesome. Our beloved old library in Crozet, VA, housed up until now in a tiny ex-train-depot, has just moved to brand new quarters several blocks away. How did they move the books? The citizens of Crozet lined up and passed them hand to hand.

Over three hundred volunteers showed up to help the books along their way.

Here’s a photo essay. My pal Sarah H. and her daughters are among the helpers! What a gorgeous thing for a community to do.

Lots more photos and videos at the Crozet Library website.

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18. MMGM Links (3/4/13)


Given that I spent the last 4 days at the AMAZING Big Sur Writers Workshop (so surreal being faculty this time!) and that LTSF releases tomorrow (how is that possible????) I definitely have no MMGM today. But I did put together the links! (Though warning, my brain is barely functioning after the looooooooong drive home, so it's possible I missed someone or messed up a link or two. Sorry in advance!)

But before we get to that--I have a winner to announce! The winner of THE CLASSROOM is...


Yay!!!! If that's you, please email me at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com with your address. 

Okay, on to the links!
- Julie DeGuia has a review from her 9-year-old daughter of... KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES!!! (eeeee!) Click HERE to see what she thought! 
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are raving about THE SISTERS GRIMM: THE FAIRY-TALE DETECTIVES. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it.    
- Shari Larsen is cheering for FINN FINNEGAN. Click HERE to read her thoughts.    
- Natalie Aguirre has a special guest post from the author of MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE--with a giveaway. Click HERE for details. 
- Akossiwa Ketoglo is  swooning over DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE--with a giveaway! Click HERE to see her review.
- Danika Dinsmore is intrigued with LIAR AND SPY. Click HERE to see why.   
- Katie Fitzgerald is spreading the love for THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING. Click HERE for her review.  
- Janet Smart is showcasing EVERYTHING ON A WAFFLE. Click HERE to see why. 
- Rosi Hollinbeck is featuring CAKE: LOVE, CHICKENS, AND A TASTE OF THE PECULIAR--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for details.  
- Andrea Mack is gushing about THE DEAD KID DETECTIVE AGENCY. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
 - Michael Gettel-Gilmarten is raving over FOURMILE. Click HERE to see his review.   
- 8-year-old Lucy is talking about WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME. Click HERE to see why.

- Dorine White is interviewing author MaryAnn MacDonald Click HERE to read 
- Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends HOLES. Click HERE to see what that's all about.  

- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!    
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.    
- Michelle Isenhoff is always part of the MMGM fun. Click HERE to see what she's talking about today.  
 - Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.     

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time

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19. MMGM Links (3/11/13)

Still recovering from LET THE SKY FALL's launch week (thank you ALL for the love and support) so once again I have no MMGM. But I promise I will have a feature next week. And in the meantime, I have the links!

- Michael Gettel-Gilmarten is sweet on ALMOST HOME. Click HERE to see his review. 
- Barbara Watson is cheering for PLASTIC POLLY--with an ARC giveaway! Click HERE to see her review. 
- Mrs. Heise is caught up in BOT WARS. Click HERE to see what she thought. 
- Sue Heavenrich is singing praises for A VOICE OF HER OWN: THE STORY OF PHILLIS WHEATLEY, SLAVE POET. Click HERE to see her feature. 
- Katie Fitzgerald is spreading the love for MY SUMMER OF PINK AND GREEN. Click HERE for her review. 
- Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends CAPTAIN NOBODY. Click HERE to see what that's all about. 
- Faith Hough is championing NAVIGATING EARLY. Click HERE to see what she thinks. 
- Kim Aippersbach is fan a new fan of THE OGRE DOWNSTAIRS. Click HERE for her feature. 
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are gushing about POWERLESS: DANIEL CORRIGAN #1. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it.   
- Laurisa White Reyes is the next stop on THE CHRONICLES OF EGG blog tour. Click HERE for all the fun (and a GIVEAWAY). 
- Alex Baugh is reviewing THE TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET. Click HERE to read more. 
- Chelanne Green has fallen for FAIREST. Click HERE to see why.
- Rosi Hollinbeck has a guest post with author Joyce Magnin--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for details. 
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.     

- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!    
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!   
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week.    
- Michelle Isenhoff is always part of the MMGM fun. Click HERE to see what she's talking about today.   
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time

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20. Bubble Gum Math, Revisited

Gum Chewing May Improve Concentration” says Scientific American.

Sound familiar?

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21. Writing Links

Why Older Readers Should Read Picture Books :: Literacy, Families and Learning

8 Ways to Be a Happy Author :: Rachelle Gardner






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22. Two links to share

A new Thicklebit

My interview with graphic novelist George O’Connor about his latest Olympians book, Poseidon: Earth Shaker

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23. Made Me Cry

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24. Updates, or a lack thereof.

So, here’s a cool thing: Tasha from Truth, Beauty Freedom and Books and a couple of her book blogging cohorts have this project called Book Bloggers International, where they post interviews with book bloggers around the world, as well as general book blogging tips and things. It’s a nifty idea, the interviews are super enjoyable, and the latest featured blogger is me. So, check that out for a bit of rambling about my childhood reading and…nothing that should come as a surprise to anyone, actually.

As for new content here…I’m in a bit of a reading drought at the moment. This is a thing that happens, I know, but it always makes me feel kind of guilty and bereft. Like, reading is so easy; why don’t I just do it. And what else am I going to do, anyway?

I probably should have known this was coming, because I hadn’t wanted to read anything but fanfiction for a few weeks, and that’s a pretty good sign of incipient reading fatigue. Oh well. I’m alternating between trying to power through it and waiting it out, and eventually one of those things will work.


Tagged: links, rqhousekeeping, stuff

7 Comments on Updates, or a lack thereof., last added: 6/11/2013
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25. So Much Good Stuff

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Feels like my “Caught My Eye” sidebar is bursting at the seams these days. So much so that things get pushed off the page before anyone gets a chance to see them. Here’s a rundown of recent links:

Poetry links:

Pinsky’s ‘Singing School’: Poetry For The Verse Averse : NPR.

Looking forward to exploring this collection. I once had the the pleasure of chauffeuring Robert Pinsky from Charlotte, NC, to Greensboro. We talked about gardens (I confessed my habit of planting imaginary gardens everywhere I went—sizing up people’s yards and deciding what I’d do with them) and, yes, poetry. I’ve always meant to write a poem about it. One of these days I might get around to doing it.

Robert Frost’s “The Figure of a Poem.”

“It should be of the pleasure of a poem itself to tell how it can. The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. No one can really hold that the ecstasy should be static and stand still in one place. It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life-not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion. It has denouement. It has an outcome that though unforeseen was predestined from the first image of the original mood-and indeed from the very mood. It is but a trick poem and no poem at all if the best of it was thought of first and saved for the last. It finds its own name as it goes and discovers the best waiting for it in some final phrase at once wise and sad-the happy-sad blend of the drinking song.”

“Poetry” by Marianne Moore.

“I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine.”

Marianne Moore: Complete Poems (2nd Take) | Outside of a Cat.

“What do we say when, for once, a cliché rings true? It’s unspeakable, or at least disconcerting. Meaning something words don’t fit any more.”

Marianne Moore’s five-decade struggle with “Poetry.” – Slate Magazine.

“Moore, as I understand her project, champions both clarity and complexity, rejecting the shallow notion that they are opposites. Scorning a middlebrow reduction of everything into easy chunks, she also scorns obfuscation and evasive cop-outs. Tacitly impatient with complacency and bluffing, deriding the flea-bitten critic, unsettling the too-ordinary reader, she sets forth an art that is irritable, attentive, and memorably fluid.”

(Obviously I went on a bit of a Marianne Moore rabbit trail.)

Look at / what passes for the new. « Kenyon Review Blog.

“The Los Angeles Times has issued a call for poems. I’ve longed for such a moment. It seems a natural marriage, not just because newspapers and poetry both seem to be involved in the same meta-conversation of their respective survivability and relevance in an iWorld, but because the news and poetry both should be considered daily. ”

Educational links:

• 750 Free Online Courses from Top Universities. So many enticing offerings here!

Free course: Man and Mammoth in the Carolinas. (Scroll down for links to video & teacher/student guides. Aimed at middle-school students. Yep, the Carolinas are a long way from the Pacific coast, but I’m enjoying these videos with my gang.)

Picturing America: a free art history teacher’s guide (complete with links to paintings) from the NEH (PDF).

How Climate Change Is Threatening Your Daily Cup of Coffee.

Carl Sagan’s Christmas Lectures 1977: The Planets.

15 million-year-old whale skull found on banks of Potomac River.

Food for thought:

George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates – NYTimes.com.

“Err in the direction of kindness.”

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