This has already been a staggeringly good year for middle grade (don't call it a comeback), with personal favourites such as Raymie Nightingale, The Wild Robot, Look Out for the Fitzgerald Trouts, and Pax garnering all sorts of buzz and attention. Here is a sampling of the new kids on the block this fall: Ghosts … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Fall 2016 Preview
Whether you're lakeside, poolside, or inside, summer is the best time to read. Silly, spooky, thought-provoking and engrossing; here are some new(ish) books guaranteed to keep you or the middle grade reader in your life occupied this summer. Wolf Hollow We all have those keystone books in our lives, the ones so deeply affecting that … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Summer Reading Picks 2016
Middle grade horror is difficult to pull off. Some authors go for camp, with lots of gore and over-the-top scenarios that are almost humorous, therefore defusing any terror the reader might experience. Governor-General award-winning author Arthur Slade is the other kind of author-genuine thrills created by uncanny situations, eerie coincidences, and a slow-burning sense of … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Flickers
Sophie Quire lives with her father, a bookmender, in Bustleburgh. Her mother died mysteriously years before. Bustleburgh is becoming a dangerous place for Sophie and her father. All nonsense, particularly that found in books, is outlawed. So when a blindfolded boy and a cat with hooves show up with one of four magical books promising … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard
What's in the bag? Do you know any young pet detectives who could help me solve a magical mystery? I've been gathering props and breaking out the vocal exercises all in preparation for events and storytimes across Ontario for IF I HAD A GRYPHON. Come join me (and maybe a magical creature or two) on … Continue reading IF I HAD A GRYPHON: EVENTS!
We are a month away from the release of my first picture book, If I Had a Gryphon (Tundra Books, February 9/16). In this primer on magical pet care, Sam deliberates the pros and cons of raising a series of fantastic beasts, including unicorns, gryphons, krakens, hippogriffs and many more! Here are what people are saying … Continue reading Giveaway: If I Had a Gryphon
I tend to recommend middle grade that falls in the 11-13 range, or "upper middle grade." It's a bit more issue-driven and appropriate for kids with a certain emotional maturity. For a great discussion of what this age group encompasses, check out the re-cap of the Middle School is Hell panel featuring Mariko Tamaki, Kate … Continue reading Middle Grade Monday: The Enchanted Egg