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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Middle Grade Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 210
1. My Writing and Reading Life: Eric Pierpoint

Eric Pierpoint is a veteran Hollywood character actor who’s begun a writing career with several screenplays in development. His ancestors came west on the Oregon Trail in the mid 1800s, so Eric and his dog, Joey, followed in their wagon wheel tracks and traveled cross-country researching The Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole.

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2. The Girl from Felony Bay, by J. E. Thompson | Book Review

When twelve-year-old Abby Force found her attorney father unconscious, he was surrounded by jewelry taken from a secret hiding place in his library ceiling.

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3. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | August 2015

This month, Connect the Thoughts, an innovative journal from Chronicle Books, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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4. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | September 2015

This month, Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body (Chronicle Books), a must-have for every girl navigating her way through the preteen years, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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5. New Map ~ After the Ashes

I love getting snail mail, especially when it's a shiny new book with a map that I worked on earlier this year!

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6. The Imagined Life of Imaginary Things: Michelle Cuevas on Writing About Imaginary Friends

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend, is the imagined life of imaginary things.

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7. New Map

Here's a new black & white map for a middle-grade novel coming out soon. I'll post the book when I get a copy. (I've been humming that Dora the Explorer song A LOT lately... I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map...)

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8. My Writing and Reading Life: Simon Nicholson

Simon Nicholson writes for Nick Jr. including such shows as Tickety Tock, Bob the Builder, and Zack and Quack, as well as for BBC children’s programming.

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9. 5 Amazing Middle Grade Books | Selected by Kelly Jones, Author of Unusual Chickens

I'd recommend these middle grade novels to kids who enjoy ... [a] strong voice and humor and who might like a peek into someone else's world.

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10. Top Historical Fiction Books That Sweep Away Barriers Between Then and Now

Any author will tell you that one of the questions we get asked the most is What are your favorite books? When it comes to historical fiction, coming up with a short list is pretty much impossible.

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11. Five Family Favorites with J&P Voelkel | Authors of the Jaguar Stones Series

The following titles are favorite middle-grade read-alouds, books that inspired our own books.

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12. Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk, Authors of Fashion Academy | Selfie and a Shelfie

Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk snapped this selfie at BookCon in May where they launched Fashion Academy!

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13. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | July 2015

It's true TCBR readers are fans of Star Wars! That's why, this month, Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary - The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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14. You’re Practically Grown Up…NOT!

Eighth-graders frequently seem confused about how grown up they are. And do you blame them? Not me. Twelve to fourteen-year-olds pay adult admission, and are about to make the giant leap into high school, yet they’re not allowed to drive or work. Bummer. Girls, already on the road in developing the forms and functions of grown women, deal with parents who one moment scold, “You’re practically grown up!” and then awhile later become hysterical when their princess ASKS about the ins and outs of dating. Boys, with their physical and sexual maturity just beginning to awaken, are suddenly surrounded by a horde of newly attractive and unnervingly gigantic girls. Yikes!

Most eighth-graders concerns are related to friends, family, and school. Honestly, it’s a social media nightmare at times. Are they going to be embarrassed? Will their BFF still be their friend tomorrow? Does he like me like me, or just like me? You get the drift.

So as a writer, how do you connect with such a tough audience, who’s not quite grown up, yet feel that all systems are go and are ready to wear bigger shoes? One way is to hook into their characteristics, and extract a much needed trait or a combination of traits to make your characters feel authentic to your readers. In order to do this, we need to take a look at what makes an eighth-grader tick.

Here are Eight 8th Grader Characteristics:

1. Can be touchy, and express anger easily.

2. Music is increasingly important to them, as is technology and the latest got-to-have gadget.

3. Sarcasm is a prevalent quality. (I use that one a lot!)

4. As their self-concept develops, they can be withdrawn or prone to challenging others. They struggle with a sense of identity.

5. Abstract reasoning skills are strengthening and expanding. 

6. May test limits and rules, but also develop ideals and choose role models.

7. Skin problems may be emerging, boys’ voices are changing, and girls are menstruating. Personal hygiene and self-confidence become issues.

8. May begin to experiment with sex and substances.

Remember, readers this age are looking for escape, to experience things they can’t in their own lives. Being attuned to how they think, and what they’re feeling is a step in the right direction to creating a story that will keep this age group turning page after page of your latest tween read!

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15. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | February 2015

This month, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, by Dave Shelton, is still The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book. And we're very happy to add Brown Girl Dreaming to our selection from the nationwide best selling middle grade books.

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16. Seven Middle Grade Books for African American History Month

February is African American History Month. Sharing these books with young readers comes with the responsibility to discuss ... progress towards equality.

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17.  My Writing and Reading Life: Cory Putman Oakes

Cory Putman Oakes is a children’s book author from Austin, Texas. Her middle grade debut, DINOSAUR BOY, hits shelves in February, 2015 with its sequel, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, to follow in February, 2016.

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18. Book Birthdays!


This week I am celebrating three middle grade book birthdays! Hurray for MG!

Nikki LoftinCupcake by My Cute Graphics and fellow Austinite Jo Whittmore are having a joint launch this Saturday at The Book People in Austin.

This week Nikki released her third MG novel, WISH GIRL. In this lyrical novel, a boy struggling with the overwhelming noise in his life meets a “Make A Wish” girl who is dying of cancer, and through their friendship, he finds the strength to live.

Read the beautiful summary on Nikki’s website. Kirkus gave WISH GIRL a starred review!


http://images.indiebound.com/089/405/9781481405089.jpgBirthday Cupcake by My Cute GraphicsJo Whittmore is celebrating her new her fourth book with Aladdin Mix!

COLONIAL MADNESS is the story of a girl who hopes to win a new home and debt-free life for her and her mother by accepting the challenge of a deceased relative: live for two weeks as in colonial times.

This fun book received great reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist.


THE DREAMSNATCHER by Abi Elphinstone, Simon & SchusterCupcake with a CandleI’m also celebrating the launch of a magical MG, Abi Elphinstone’s debut THE DREAMSNATCHER! Head over to Abi’s website for a sneak peek.

From the publisher: Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare—the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.

Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.

Is this a gorgeous trailer or what?


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19. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | March 2015

This month, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, by Dave Shelton, is still The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book. And we're very happy to add the very popular Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome and The Terrible Two to our selection from the nationwide best selling middle grade books, as they appear on The New York Times.

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20. Spotlight on a Book Series: Darlene Foster and the Amanda Travel Adventure Series…

I want to thank and welcome wonderful (and well-traveled) MG author, Darlene Foster for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series and showcasing her middle grade adventure series the Amanda Travel Adventure series with us on my blog today.

BONUS:One lucky reader will win an Amanda Travel Adventure ebook of their choice just by leaving a comment! Don’t forget to leave your contact info for a chance to win, and good luck! So let’s get this interview rolling…
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write the Amanda Travel Adventure series, Darlene?

I was inspired by an amazing trip I took to the United Arab Emirates. While I was there, I felt as excited as a twelve year old. I decided it would be a great setting for a children´s book. I created the character of Amanda, an average girl who wishes for travel and adventure as she blows out the candles on her twelfth birthday. The next day an airplane ticket arrives in the mail for her to visit her aunt and uncle who live in the UAE. What follows is an adventure of a life time. Once Amanda got the travel bug, she had to see more interesting places. I suppose I created Amanda because as a child, I wanted to see the world.

Seems like you made your dreams a reality! How many books are you planning to write in this middle grade travel adventure series?

I was only going to write three but I keep getting new ideas. So I guess I will write as many books as there are interesting places for Amanda to visit. My readers keep asking, “Where will Amanda go next?” Her adventures are based on my travels. I just don´t get into as much trouble as she does.

Keep’em coming, Darlene! What sets the Amanda Travel Adventures series apart from other series in the same genre?

Amanda considers herself a regular girl leading a boring life, but tends to get caught up in other people´s problems. She is braver and more curious than she thinks she is. She also has a good friend, Leah, who lives in England and is quite different from her. This friendship evolves in the series. I believe these books provide an opportunity for children (and adults) to learn about another country while following Amanda and Leah. I try to include details kids would find interesting and often amusing. Maybe something they wouldn´t necessarily learn in school. Teachers who have introduced these books to their classrooms, tell me the children love learning about the places Amanda visits. It entices them to look up more information about the sites on the internet.

How long did it take for you to start and finish each book from the Amanda Travel Adventure series?

The first book took me three years to write but the last two took about eighteen months. I guess you get faster once you know what you are doing. (As if you ever really do!)

I wish I could say the same thing. LOL! What are some of your favorite book series, Darlene?

Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Little Women, Pollyanna and Anne of Green Gables (all with unique and strong female characters!)

Little Women was one of my favorites too. Loved Jo! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write a series?

Get to know your characters well and then have them evolve. The characters should always learn something new about themselves. Each book should be able to stand on its own. My books don´t have to be read in order.

Excellent! Readers need someone to route for, and watching characters evolve keeps them begging for more books. What’s next for Darlene Foster the author?

I have a bi-lingual book coming out called Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. One page will be in English and the other in Spanish. It is a medieval tale about a young boy who tries to save his pig who is on trial. I am also working on Amanda on the Danube-The Sounds of Music

Sounds like you’ll be one busy author, Darlene! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—IF you could time travel into Earth’s past, WHO would you love to meet, and WHY?

I love time travel and your books are great. I would love to travel back to the time of Jane Austen so I could have a chat with her about her writing. I would so enjoy listening to her wonderful words and terrific wit. I love her books and her characters are delightful.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to be a guest on your blog Sharon!

You’re very welcome, Darlene! And readers please don’t forget to leave a comment and your contact info for a chance to WIN an Amanda Travel Adventure ebook of your choice! Darlene will draw the lucky winner at the end of this week! Cheers!

Amanda Travel Adventure Books:

Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask
 Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing half way around the world in the United Arab Emirates? It's her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and a loyal camel called Ali Baba. Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.

Amanda in Spain-The Girl in The Painting
 Amanda Jane Ross is certainly becoming a world traveller; she's now in sunny Spain on vacation with her friend Leah. While there, she encounters a mysterious young girl who looks eerily like the girl in a famous painting she saw in a Madrid museum. Even weirder, the girl keeps showing up wherever Amanda finds herself - Madrid, the remote mountains of rural Spain, the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, a lively fiesta and the busy streets of Barcelona. Amanda wants to help this sweet, young girl and her beloved pony escape the clutches of a mean horse-dealer. Come with Amanda on her next adventure as she attempts to unravel the mystery behind the Girl in the Painting while she treks across Spain - always one step ahead of danger!

Amanda in England-The Missing Novel
Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!

Amanda in Alberta-The Writing on the Stone
Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn't think it's important until everyone seems to want it - including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah's holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.

Amazon Buy Links:

Darlene Foster is a writer of children’s stories, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, reading, shoes, cooking, sewing, music, chocolate, walking on the beach and making new friends. Her grandson calls her “super-mega-woman-supreme”. She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. Children from seven to seventy enjoy her Amanda travel adventure series. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true! Her and her husband divide their time between the west coast of  BC, Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain.

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21. Every Day After, by Laura Golden | Book Review

This book will appeal to middle grade readers who like spunky protagonists, are dealing with difficult family situations, and who like learning about earlier eras in America, (in this case the depression in the 1930s).

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22. My Writing and Reading Life: Jen Calonita, Author of Flunked

JEN CALONITA has interviewed everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Justin Timberlake, but the only person she's ever wanted to trade places with is Disney's Cinderella. She's the award-winning author of the My Secrets of My Hollywood Life series.

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23. Backwards Moon, by Mary Losure | Author Showcase

Backwards Moon is a tale of adventure, magic, and friendship for anyone who’s ever flown on a broomstick—or wanted to.

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24. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | April 2015

This month, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 1, by Jeff Kinney, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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25. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | May 2015

It's true TCBR readers are fans of Greek myths! That's why, this month, the National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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