Middle Grade Mondays: Live from the ALA Midwinter Conference

This is my first time at the ALA conference and for someone who is easily over-stimulated, it’s quite overwhelming. And this isn’t even their big one. Imagine booth upon booth of book displays for the latest award-winners, reviewer picks, and up-and-coming releases (with a definite slant towards children and young adult literature). Book-lover / educator paradise. I had to stay focused or I would have imploded, so my tour of the publishers’ booths was primarily geared toward the upper middle grade reader, especially since I have to create a reading list for an up-and-coming class I’m teaching. Below is a short list of some of the books I am excited about and I will post more later this week. I’ll list a variety – some literary...

The Next Big Thing Blog Crawl

I was tagged to do this blog hop by Tod McCoy, missed the deadline, but was determined to do it anyway, because I said I would. The thing is, I honestly think there is nothing more boring than talking about one’s W.I.P. I warn budding authors not to do this on a daily basis. You’ll tire people. So, unless a) I’m at an author’s reading and everyone in the audience is just dying to know what said author’s next project is, or b) I am in a writing group/workshop and the subject of conversation is my W.I.P. I try to keep this kind of thing under my hat as much as possible. But, hey, since he asked . . . 1) What is the working title of your book? INTERGALACTIC: A Pop Space Opera 2) Where did the idea come from for the book? From one my own...

Futuredaze Anthology Cover Reveal!

I’ve been really wanting to share the news, but had to wait a few weeks before I could make this announcement (the editors didn’t want authors to say anything until they had the T.O.C. down) – but now I can and there’s even a cover to go with it. Ta Da! Introducing Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, edited by Hannah Strom-Martin and Erin Underwood. The book (print and ebook) will be available from Underwords in February 2013. The authors are all listed below. The fabulous cover is by Deena Warner of Deena Warner Designs Underwords is a popular fiction literary blog that focuses on books, writing, publishers, authors, and readers. They say all genres are potential food for thought, but that Underwords has a preference for...

I’m Late and the Cat Ate my Homework

Them’s good eatin’ words This is my Monday post that turned into my Tuesday post that turned into my Wednesday post. That’s my week! The original post was inspired by a post-rant by fellow blogger Gabrielle Prendergast about how high school kids hate to read the books their teachers assign to them. The rant wasn’t about the kids, it was about teachers who refuse to believe that no good literature has been written in the past 40 years and are stuck in Steinbeck mode. She was inspired by a page of tweets by kids about having to read The Worst Book Ever. Some of these “worst books ever” include Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and (gasp) To Kill a Mockingbird. Personally, I don’t know how anyone can’t fall in love...

Middle Grade Mondays: The Enchanted Inkpot

Since I’m away this week, I thought I would leave you with a fabulous author site to explore. THE ENCHANTED INKPOT is a collective of writers of “high, historical, traditional and cross-genre fantasy intended for middle-grade and young adult readers.” On their website they have a list of the authors, their bios, and tons of interviews. I think I’m going to use this site as a reading list. Why not? It’s a great resource. MG Authors on the site include: Ellen Booraem (The Unnameables, Small Persons with Wings), Kate Coombs (Runaway Dragon, the Secret Keeper), Jennifer Nielson (Underworld Chronicles), Jacqueline West (The Books of Elsewhere), Hilari Bell . . . it goes on. It’s a good sized list. You’ll just have to go check...

Middle Grade Monday – Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld

REMINDER that tonight at MIDNIGHT PST is the deadline for the 2nd Round of the 50 First Lines Challenge ~     ~     ~ I wasn’t going to post another MGM until after I got back from Bologna, but I just finished Scott Westerfeld’s very satisfying Leviathan series and wanted to say something about it. First of all, I’ve generally heard of middle grade literature for those ages 8 or 9 to 12 years old and YA being for those over 14. So what happened to the 13-year-olds and what are we doing for them? The answer: LEVIATHAN! According to Amazon, this series is for 7th grade readers and older, so it does just squeak into the top edge of MGM literature. But more importantly, it hits squarely in the “tween” demographic, which is sometimes hard...