Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why I Write Middle Grade Fiction

Two things have been going on:

the revisions for my second middle grade novel, The New Recruit, which must be put to bed by mid-November or so

the slow drafting of an unnamed YA novel

But...then another thing happened. In the midst of the revisions, I suddenly wanted to write another middle grade novel really badly. Not that I want to stop with the YA. But I realized how much I love middle grade. I think it was this definition from the Cybils that did me in:

"The middle grade years are, in my view, the reading years with the most potential to turn a child into a reader for life. It's often the books you read between the ages of 8-12 that you remember long into adulthood as your dearest books of all. These are the years when kids really and truly start to figure themselves out as readers--their likes and dislikes and all the rest in between. It's during this time when children strike out on their own in earnest, reading for themselves and by themselves, all the while creating themselves.

In this Cybils category, we're looking for stories that capture real life in all of its wonderful messiness. So we're not talking magic or superheroes or werewolves or elves. Instead, think adventures and school stories, mysteries and stories about families, and tales that tell kids of life across the globe. Tell us which of the Middle Grade fiction titles published this year you think kids will still be talking about when they're all grown up, and still reading away."

--Kerry Millar, organizer

Nominations are open! Go quickly and nominate your favorite middle grade book!

Or once in any of these nine categories.

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