Congratulations to Ash Van Otterloo on her debut middle grade novel, Cattywampus, the story of two young witches—one grappling with the revelation that she is intersex, the other with her father's abandonment. Together, they accidentally resurrect a graveyard full of feuding ancestors, and must work to perform a counter-curse to save themselves and the rest of their Appalachian community. It's a fun read with authentic Appalachian accents and sayings like ". . . bless your [...]
Nikola Tesla was not only a genius, he was a complicated person with an interesting life that sometimes reads like fiction. Amy O'Quinn has done an amazing job capturing all the facinating stories about Tesla's life as well as his many achievments in the field of electrical engineering. Her book, Nikola Tesla For Kids is a wonderful read, and I would say it's not just for kids. We asked Amy about her inspiration and [...]
Today, we are thrilled to talk to Janae Marks from her desk in which she wrote From the Desk of Zoe Washington. We asked her about her writing journey and plans for the future. Janae has the mojo mic. Middle Grade Mojo: From the Desk of Zoe Washington, has been praised for handling the difficult topic of a parent being incarcerated. School Library Journal said it best. “A smart, necessary, and hopeful middle grade debut [...]
Congratulations to Anne Bustard on her middle grade novel, Blue Skies, a heartwarming story of a girl who has never given up hope that her daddy will return from WWII. So when the Merci Train boxcar from France is scheduled to make a stop in her Texas town, she’s certain that Daddy will come too. We asked Anne about her writing journey: Middle Grade Mojo: What do you want the reader to take away from [...]
In a time of uncertainty, as writers, we must keep writing. The characters we create, the worlds we build, the ideas we put to the page matter. Even if only a few see your words, you never know the impact those words may have. Keep writing!
Congratulations to Mae Respicio Koerner on her latest middle grade novel, Any Day with You. In this story, a creative girl named Kaia hopes that by winning a filmaking contest, she'll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines. The movie Kaia creates for her creative arts camp is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her great-grandfather tells her. It's a warm, tendor story only Mae can tell and we asked a [...]
Happy book birthday to Newbery Medal-winning author, Erin Entrada Kelly, on her new novel, We Dream of Space, a heartwarming story about three siblings who are struggling with a tumultuous home life and school anxieties. As adults, we remember where we were when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off. Although we know the spoiler at the end of the space journey, that's only a small part of the story for these three siblings. [...]
Congratulations to Ann Dallman on her deput middle grade novel, Cady and the Bear Necklace. Cady is a 13-year-old girl of Native American heritage, who recently moved from Minnesota to Michigan and attends a reservation school for the first time. We asked Ann about her unique story. Middle Grade Mojo: How did you gain insight into the world of Indian reservation? Ann Dallman: I worked as a teacher for 15 years on a Potawatomi reservation [...]
I was recently reminded of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who died in 1882. One hundred and thirty-eight years later his words still ring true and remind us that each day is a new day.
Just launched in January, Josie Booom and the Emergency of Life by Susan Hill Long, tackles tough topics in a hilarious and heart-warming story that will resonate with kids. We asked Josie about her writing journey. Middle Grade Mojo: It’s a scary feeling for anyone to have to care for an elder with dementia. I can’t imagine how scary it must be for kids, when an older adult is behaving in bizarre and unpredictable ways. [...]