Middle Grade Fiction – my plots and schemes

Welcome to anyone reading this who attended the New Mexico Library Association’s pre-conference on middle grade literature and library services this past Wednesday as presented by me and Ellie Simons!  I hope you enjoyed yourself and learned at least a few new things to try in your library. Let me apologize for the technical difficulties during my presentation.  Thanks for sticking it out with me through that bump!

If you’re looking for the entire Powerpoint presentation I did (I had to skip a few slides!) You can find it on my Programs/Presentation page or use this direct link.  Ellie will be uploading her presentation to Slideshare when she returns to work on Monday and I’ll add it to the  entry on the Programs/Presentation page, so please check back.  Or, of course, you can email either of us to have us send you something directly!

I realize the technical glitches might have hindered note-taking, boo, so if you have any immediate questions about any titles I talked about (i.e. you remember the description but didn’t get to write the title/author down) please leave a comment on this post or send me and email and I’ll give you the title/author you had in mind.

Now here’s the exciting update for those of you that DIDN’T make it to the pre-conference but just happen to be reading my blog!

In my time preparing for this pre-conference (I did the literature review) I read or reviewed close to 100 middle grade titles.  Most importantly, at least to me, I categorized them as well.  From “Scary Stuff” to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Readalikes” to “Magic Realism” (and many others!) I worked hard to make these reader’s advisory lists sorted by genre and theme because, in my experience, that’s the most reliable and common kind of reader’s advisory. (do you have funny books…do you have mysteries…do you have sad books?)

And I loved sharing this work with the pre-conference attendees!  But I want to do MORE with it.  So …

Starting this Monday (4/22) I am going to turn these reader’s advisory lists into entries on my blog as part of my Middle Grade Mondays.

I know there’s already an awesome round-up called Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays and I definitely plan to link up with them most times, but this is also just something I want to do for my own sake. Every Monday (well, OK, I’m going to shoot for every Monday!) I’ll post a new themed list of middle grade titles.  There won’t be full reviews of every book, but I’ll post a blurb and short review of every one, including a note about why I’ve made it part of  this particular list.  And, like I did at the pre-conference, I’ll also occasionally include some reflections about trends and themes in middle grade as a whole.  Now, the lists won’t be every single thing I presented at the pre-conference – there might be more and there might be a few less – but I want to use that work as a launching point for this project.

I fell in love with middle grade over the course of researching this pre-conference – I think it has amazing diversity, a wide breath of genre and talent, and so many new and exciting voices.  I want to celebrate, promote, and share that here.  I’m excited to get the fun started.  I hope you’ll read along, make suggestions and share your own middle grade favorites, and maybe even start posting on your blogs about middle grade!

One Response to “Middle Grade Fiction – my plots and schemes”

  1. Kerry

    Hi! I’m working on my MLIS at San Jose State University and just came across your blog! I’m taking a class called Materials for Tweens 9-14 and am so excited to follow your Middle Grade Mondays!