July 23, 2017

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Karen Yingling is a middle school librarian from the Midwest. She blogs about and reviews children’s literature at msyinglingreads.blogspot.com.

Karen Yingling

About Karen Yingling

Karen Yingling is a middle school librarian from the Midwest. She blogs about and reviews children’s literature at msyinglingreads.blogspot.com.

Sue Macy on Women in Sports, Feminism, and the Impact of Title IX

Sue Macy, whose books center on the intersection of women’s history and sports, discusses the impact of Title IX, feminism, and why she writes about real-life heroines.

Ellen Oh on Her Goosebump-Inducing “Spirit Hunters”

Ellen Oh, author and CEO/president of We Need Diverse Books, talks about crafting and researching her creepy new novel, Spirit Hunters.

“Letting the Heart Lead the Way”: Ruth Behar on Writing for Middle Graders

Behar’s first novel for middle graders is based on her own childhood experiences as a young Cuban American immigrant, confined to bed for months after a terrible accident.

Gordon Korman, Prolific—and Lifelong—Author, Balances Absurdity and Heart

Gordon Korman, author of more than 80 books for middle grade and young adult readers, published his very first novel at the age of 14—and has been writing ever since.

What Changes, What Remains: Johanna Hurwitz on Her 40-plus Year Career Writing for Children

Author Johanna Hurwitz has been entertaining young readers since 1976. She shares some of her fondest memories and considers the changing trends in middle grade literature.

Lynda Mullaly Hunt On Connecting with the “Middle-Grade Psyche”

Librarian Karen Yingling chats with author Linda Mullaly Hunt about how she taps into and crafts authentic middle-grade characters.

From Speechwriter to Fan-Favorite “Stick Dog” Author: Chatting with Tom Watson

Funnyman Tom Watson is the creative force behind the laugh-out-loud illustrated novels starring Stick Dog and Stick Cat. Surprisingly, his writing career began in politics.

“A Flame in Water”: Jason Reynolds on Writing for Middle Grade Readers

Award-winning author Jason Reynolds talks about his transition from writing YA to penning middle grade stories.

Monsters, Mysteries, and Middle Grade: A Chat with Bruce Hale

The prolific author of more than 40 books talks about his life as a young reluctant reader and what eventually turned him on to literature.

Scientist, Globe-trotter, Author, Publisher: An Interview with Sneed Collard III

SLJ chats with Sneed Collard about his books, starting a publishing house, traveling the world, and the impact and importance of nonfiction for middle grade readers.

Tanita Davis’s Coming-of-Age Novels Hit the “Sweet Spot” Between MG and YA | Under the Covers

Tanita Davis crafts multifaceted and diverse tween characters who deal with relatable issues.

Six Questions for Rachel Renée Russell, “Dork Diaries” and “Max Crumbly” Author

Librarian Karen Yingling chats with Rachel Renée Russell, author of the wildly popular “Dork Diaries” series and the new “Max Crumbly” hybrid novel.

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell | SLJ Review

RUSSELL, Rachel Renée. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero. illus. by Rachel Renée Russell. 320p. Aladdin. Jun. 2016. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781481460019.
Gr 4-6-From the creator of the “Dork Diaries” comes a new series starring a lovable new hero. Max’s transition from home schooling to public school is rocky, especially since he has asthma and an irritable bladder triggered by social anxiety. His plight deepens when a stereotypical bully, Thug, harasses Max and locks him in his locker—twice. The first […]

Challenging Gender Norms with “Boys Read Pink” Celebration

The boys in Karen Yingling’s library balked at reading so-called “girl” books until she enlisted some eighth grade helpers who challenged gender assumptions during “Boys Read Pink” month.

Staying in Touch with Their Inner Tween: Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan on “Save Me a Seat”

Co-authors Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan discuss the challenges of middle school and how they tapped their inner tweens for their humor-filled new novel, Save Me A Seat.

From Comics to Board Books to Middle Grade Novels | A Chat with the Holms

Jennifer and Matt Holm, the creators behind the wildly popular “Babymouse” and “Squish” graphic novel series, are not afraid to branch out and experiment with new forms and formats, as evidenced by their recent collaboration on a series of comics-style board books.

Peter Brown’s “Wild” New Step into Middle Grade Fiction | Under the Covers

Librarian Karen Yingling chats with Peter Brown about his very first middle grade novel, The Wild Robot.

Middle Grade Author Mike Jung on Adolescence, Suburbia, and the Impact of WNDB | Under the Covers

Librarian Karen Yingling chats with middle grade author Mike Jung, whose latest work, Unidentified Suburban Object, comes out in April.