I have to say that as much as I stressed over my edits for CANARY, I'm so glad that I had the time to do that. It mean that I put the book I had been working on all summer aside for almost three months.
I'm now able to focus on my current book again. I've been spending some time rereading and brainstorming about it this week, and it's been amazing to come back to something with a fresh eye. I don't think I would have had the patience to set it aside if my agent would have made me do another round of edits.
One of the things that keeps nagging me is the main character and her age. I keep wondering what the book would be like if she was younger (I'm think 12 instead of 16, the age she is now). I've always loved young adult literature and think of myself as a YA writer, but the more I think about my novel, the more I want to try writing it as a middle grade novel. I feel like it would be a lot stronger if I did.
I read a lot of middle grade when I was growing up (tons of Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, The Babysitters Club, Sleepover Friends and Sweet Valley Twins), but I haven't read any lately.
That's where I need your help. Are any of you Middle Grade readers? What's big right now? What books should I read? My book is comtemporary, so I'm looking at stuff that isn't paranormal/fantasy. I'm looking for current books (maybe published within the last three years). Any recommendations would be appreciated!