Wednesday, February 29, 2012


How about them Oscars, huh? Actually, my wife and I found this year’s production to be a bit dry and slow. But even so, if you’re like me, you watched the show and found yourself rooting for certain people. Maybe an actor you’ve always liked? For me, that actor was Jonah Hill. I liked his departure from his regular (bathroom) humor type role to the phenomenal job he did with the dramatic role he took on in MONEYBALL (which I loved). Or maybe you were rooting for a director or a writer? Like many, I was rooting for all things HUGO, since I am such a big fan of Brian Selznick’s book. It was like seeing one of us on the grand stage, you know? Speaking of HUGO, do you remember way back when (before the movie was released) when I blogged about the movie? I actually thought of that post as I watched the clip of the movie during the show.

So with that little lead-in, I wanted to have our own little MG writing award show, Project Mayhem style. We'll call the awards the Mayhemers. Look at this amazing trophy that's at stake:

Here are our categories. Feel free to vote for one or all categories. Remember, this is MIDDLE GRADE only! Make your votes count!

Best MG Book (does not have to be a 2011 book; equivalent to Best Picture)

Best MG Author (let’s say this award is for the author’s overall body of MG work; equivalent to Best Director)

Best MG Boy Main Character (does not have to be from a 2011 book; equivalent to Best Actor in Leading Role)

Best MG Girl Main Character (does not have to be from a 2011 book; equivalent to Best Actress in Leading Role)

Best MG Boy Supporting Character (in other words, best boy secondary character, and does not have to be from a 2011 book; equivalent to Best Supporting Actor)

Best MG Girl Supporting Character (in other words, best girl secondary character, and does not have to be from a 2011 book; equivalent to Best Supporting Actress)


  1. Fun idea, Mike! Okay, here are my winners:

    Book: Aaaa, too hard!! But one of my favorite MG books is Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, so I guess that's my pick. :)
    Author: Roald Dahl
    Girl Character: Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables)
    Boy Character: Maniac Magee
    Supporting Girl Character: Leslie Burke (Bridge to Terabithia)
    Supporting Boy Character: Ron Weasley

    Looking forward to seeing what others choose!

    1. I know it's hard. So many to choose from. Maniac Magee is a great choice, and how can anyone argue with Ron Weasley?!

  2. Oh wow. This is so hard! It's a great idea though, so I'll give it a shot:

    Book: Danny, Champion of the World
    Author: (like Laura) Roald Dahl
    Main Girl: Matilda
    Main Boy: Bod Owens (The Graveyard Book)
    Supporting Girl: Hermoine Granger
    Supporting Boy: Bartimaeus (although you could probably argue he is the protagonist in some ways)

    1. You know what? I've never read DANNY, CHAMPION OF THE WORLD. But because of your vote I'll have to check it out.

      Two Roald Dahl votes in a row.

      I knew Hermoine would be up here soon!

  3. This is awesome! I will come back later with my picks, but what a great idea! :)

  4. And are you Billy Crystal, Mike?

    Awesome post--and I love the Mayhemer trophy!! I'll be back with my winners once I chase down the Price Waterhouse accountant who's gone off with my secret envelopes.

    1. Ha, nope, Billy Crystal is one of a kind.

  5. This is so fun!
    Book: The Phantom Tollbooth
    Author: Katherine Paterson
    Girl: Ramona Quimby
    Boy: Brian Robeson from Hatchet
    Supporting Girl: Nandita from Chained (she's an elephant, but she counts!)
    Supporting Boy: Peter Hatcher (even though he's the protagonist, we all know Fudge is the star)

    1. Yes, Brian Robeson indeed! And I was late to the party on PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. Hadn't read it until last year and then read it and loved it.

  6. Wow. This IS hard. So many good books, and so many brilliant authors.

    Book: Crash by Jerry Spinelli
    Author: Jerry Spinelli
    Main Girl: Hollis Woods (Pictures of Hollis Woods, Patricia Reilly Giff)
    Main Boy: Maniac Magee (1st one that popped in my head, then I saw that Laura had voted for him, too. So I knew he was the one.)
    Supporting Girl: Leslie Burke, Bridge to Terabithia (same as above)
    Supporting Boy: Penn Ward, Crash by Jerry Spinelli

    1. I haven't read CRASH. And great to see another vote for Maniac Magee. I love the vote for Leslie as well. Very memorable character. Thanks!

  7. Oooo, so fun!

    Book: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
    Author: Louis Sachar
    Main Boy: Percy Jackson
    Main Girl: Meggie (Inkheart)
    Supporting Boy: Ron Weasley
    Supporting Girl: Hermione Granger

  8. Our votes would be very close (I'm going to share mine tomorrow). Percy is a great character, even though some critics say he is a bit flat (I disagree with them). Love the vote for Louis Sachar. I feel he is under-appreciated for his great work.

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  10. Book: Holes
    Author: Spinelli
    Main Boy: Maniac Magee
    Main Girl: Gilly Hopkins
    Supporting Boy: Ron Weasley
    Supporting Girl: Miss Trunchbull--More of a villain, but one of the most fun characters to read aloud ever, so I had to include her somewhere.

    1. Your list is awesome. Signs of a true MG person. Thanks, PMM!

  11. Okay, so my votes would be:

    Best MG Book: Harry Potter & S. Stone
    Best MG Author: Rick Riordan
    Main Boy: Bod Owens (Graveyard Book)
    Main Girl: Miranda (When You Reach Me)
    Supporting Boy: Kevin (Freak), from Freak the Mighty (though some might consider him the MC)
    Supporting Girl: Hermoine Granger

  12. My 9 yo was glued to the Oscars and cheering for Hugo. Unfortunately, just as they were about to announce best picture, his 12 yo brother decided to turn off the tv because it was bedtime. My 9 yo was devastated. But not as much as when he found out Hugo didn't win for best picture.

  13. My first time at Project Mayhem. This is an awesome blog and a great post.

    My votes (and it was pretty hard to pick):

    Best Book: Another vote for Danny the Champion of The World--my favorite book as a kid, despite the poaching or perhaps because of it.
    Best Author: Phillip Pullman--I've only recently started reading his books and I've been stunned by the richness of the prose.
    Main Boy: Harry Potter
    Main Girl: Sally March from The Misadventures of Maude March
    Supporting Boy: Laurie from Little Women (The girls are more YA aged, but I've yet to meet someone who didn't read it during the middle grad years)
    Supporting Girl: Hermione Granger (Two nods to J.K. Rowling. Character development is really her strongsuit.)


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!