Hi, my name is Michael, and I love blogs. Particularly middle grade blogs (or blogs about children's literature, which sometimes include YA, but hey, we all have to grow up sometime.) Today, I thought I'd feature a few of my favorites, and give you the chance to introduce me to some of yours. Hi ho, Blogger, away!
THE BIG BLOGGING KAHUNA
Here are three blockbuster blogs which are must-reads for all in the kidlit community:
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LITERARY RAMBLES: This blog was started by Casey McCormick in 2008. The blog soon became a go-to source for information about agents. Casey was joined by Natalie Aguirre in March of 2011. If you know Natalie, you know she is indefatigable. Literary Rambles' reviews, interviews, and giveaways are second to none.
ADVENTURES IN YA PUBLISHING: This baby is YA--even though it started out as Adventures in Children's Publishing. Martina Boone, author of the newly published Compulsion, started her blog in March 2010. In the beginning, there was an emphasis on craft as Martina shared what she was learning (and good stuff it is!). The blog is now a multi-person enterprise, with First Five Pages workshops, and numerous giveaways. It remains a trove of information.
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Snap of Snapper by Jim and Becca Wicks
Of course, if you are reading this, you are already a humongous fan of PROJECT MAYHEM (woot! woot!). But did you know that PM has several middle grade group blog cousins?
From the inaugural post by Elissa Cruz in June of 2010: "Named in honor of the iconic middle-grade book by E. L. Konigsburg, this group blog and website is dedicated to bringing attention to middle-grade books and the people who write them. And we hope to have a little fun along the way, too." Contributors include T.P. Jagger, Rosanne Parry (Heart of a Shepherd), Wendy Shang (The Great Wall of Lucy Wu), and Tricia Springstubb (What Happened on Fox Street). (34 contributors listed on their About Us page.)
SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE:
Started in March 2011, this colorfully designed blog features 25 contributors--Marcia Thornton Jones (Ratfink), Naomi Kinsman (Shades of Truth), Deborah Lytton (Jane in Bloom), and Irene Latham (Leaving Gee's Bend) among them. Their monthly themed posts are always interesting. (November's is "harvests.")
Newcomer on the block (June 2013), the Kidliterati have established themselves as a fun-loving crew (19 strong) with giveaways and the always-interesting "The Kidliterati Ten"--in which they ask young readers ten questions about their favorite books. Contributors to the Kidliterati include Akossiwa Ketoglo, Dana Edwards, Jean Giardina, and Melanie Conklin (Counting Thyme, 2016)
MS. YINGLING READS:
I've written before about my regard for Karen Yingling, who is a middle school librarian in the Midwest, and one of the nation's peerless readers. I always go to Ms. Yingling's blog to check out her thoughts on the books she's read, She does a great job of describing a book's strengths as well as its weaknesses, and whether it would find an audience with her students. Ms. Yingling is also highly involved with the Cybils.
MIDDLE GRADE NINJA:
Robert Kent was one of the first bloggers I met on the blogosphere. His blog is a trove of interviews with agents and writers ("The 7 Questions series"), and Robert is an engaging essayist who is also venturing out into the brave new world of indie publishing. Great guy all around.
MY BRAIN ON BOOKS:
Joanne Fritz is a former bookseller and a middle grade author. A survivor of a brain aneurism, Joanne has an unerring sensibility about good books and is a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday stalwart. She lives in southeastern Pennsylvania.
OTHER PROJECT MAYHEM BLOGGERS
Not content with their busy lives as authors and upstanding Mayhemmers, the following also have their own individual blogs:
PAUL GRECI: Paul's blog--Northwriter--features posts on writing, running, kayaking, and life in Alaska. Paul's debut novel--SURVIVING BEAR ISLAND--is forthcoming from Move Books in March, 2015.
DIANNE SALERNI: Dianne, the author of several novels, including THE EIGHTH DAY, has a blog in which the first three posts of each month are devoted to First Impressions--short crits of first pages sent in by readers. Dianne has a great eye for how to improve those pages. You can learn a lot from reading her critiques.
CAROLINE STARR ROSE: A beautifully designed blog (notice the bluebirds on the title), Caroline (MAY B. and the forthcoming BLUE BIRDS) features quotes for writing inspiration as well as interviews of fellow writers. Recent posts have featured the wonderful Kimberley Griffiths Little as well as wisdom from Darcy Pattison.
As you can see, I could lose myself in blogs till the cows come home. Thanks for stopping by to find out about some of my favorites. Please feel free to leave links to your own, or to favorite blogs, in the comment section.