Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Attention All Middle Grade Readers

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!


Paige Garrison said...

Thanks for your warm wishes to get well! And yeah, hopefully my unicorn paper will be awesome. I think 5 year old me really took over that meeting with my professor.

I don't read a lot of Middle Grades, but I feel like a lot of what pops up on the Barnes and Noble home page for the 9-12 is fantasy based books. Good luck finding some!

Tonya Fitzharris said...

"Shug" by Jenny Han is an awesome MG book...very Judy Blume-esque. I also read "The Melting of Maggie Bean" by Tricia Rayburn and it is really cute as well. I think everything in the Aladdin / MIX line is quality MG.

Naomi Ruth said...

I love middle grade and ya books and I read them All the time. One book that I read recently is DEAR ANJALI by Melissa Glenn Haber, a phenomenal book. Also MATISSE ON THE LOOSE by Georgia Bragg... Though that might've been published a little longer than 3 years ago. I'm not remembering. And you might want to check out THE PULL OF THE OCEAN by Jean-Claude Mourlevat, though I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. I hope one of those is helpful to you! Hope all goes well with your writing :)