4-1-1: An Interview with Author Jake Burt

I recently reviewed Jake Burt’s debut novel GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION! I especially loved the blend of humor with the life-threatening suspense as 13-year-old Nicki Demere handles a professional hitman with the same sarcastic, streetwise way as she does the bullies at her middle school. I wanted to read more of Jake’s …

From The Stacks: An Interview with Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis

Middle Grade Mafia reads a lot of books and we think we have  good taste in children’s literature, but what do we know? We’re adults. Children’s books are supposed to appeal to children. We wanted to know what kids like to read and why .From time to time, MGM will be interviewing the real experts in children’s literature…the media specialists.

Our first “From the Stacks” interview is with Jennifer Lewis, the media specialist at Indian Knoll Elementary in Canton, Georgia.

Middle Grade Mafia: How long have you been a media specialist? Why did you choose that career path?

Jennifer Lewis: This August, I will start my twentieth year of teaching and sixth in the media center.  I enjoyed being a classroom teacher, but I pursued my school library degree because my true calling is in the library.  I love exploring new technology and helping teachers use it in their classrooms, collaborating with teachers to plan engaging lessons, and of course sharing great books with students!  I believe that I have the best job in public education!

 MGM: What are some of the most popular series/authors with your students? And why do you think these books have such appeal?

JL: My students love: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis, The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, NERDS by Michael Buckley, Warriors by Erin Hunter, The Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell, and Bone by Jeff Smith.  All of these series are either humorous or full of action.  This is what my students are looking for in a great book series!

 MGM: Is there a series or author that you wish your students would read but they don’t seem interested?

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Book Release – Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe by Tricia Springstubb

We’re happy to announce another book birthday for Tricia Springstubb. Today is the release of Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe.  “Cody and Mysteries of the Universe” is the second book in this series, following last year’s “Cody and the Fountain of Happiness”. The adventures continue as irrepressible Cody and deep-thinking best friend …

The Writer’s Block: Deborah Wiles on Writing MG Historical Fiction

Deborah Wiles is an award winning author of many books for children. Today, we highlight Deborah’s 1960’s trilogy detailing this difficult time in American history. Through these stories, Deborah proves that this decade can be relevant and understood by today’s middle grade readers. She successfully immerses the reader into the time period by mixing historical …