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As far as inspirations are concerned, Sophie Cleverly was lucky enough to have an abundance of likeable and not so likeable characters to draw ideas from for her new book THE LOST TWIN. In this post, Murphy explores a list of her favorite childhood reads and characters that were always in the forefront of her mind while crafting this baffling mystery. From classics like MATILDA to the not so well known novels like MOONDIAL, Cleverly examines the dynamics of every influential villain and protagonist that lead her to Scarlet and Ivy. 
Most children are easily mesmerized by shiny new cars and toys, but for Chris Gall, the creator of the Dinotrux series, it was never about the finished product. From television remotes to tonka trucks, Gall was always more interested in disassembling the parts that made up a whole. Discovering the intricacies and mechanics of each and every pulley or wheel was vital to building something great. In this post, Gall explains however fantastical his collaberation of trucks and dinosaurs may seem, there is something masterful in building unconventionally. 
When it comes to getting feedback for their writing, authors usually go to an editor, another writer or a friend. But author Nancy Cavanaugh has the perfect reader in the form of her middle schooler daughter. In this post, Cavanaugh explains how her daughter unknowingly helped her write her new book, JUST LIKE ME --- and maybe even served as inspiration.
In this exclusive story, author Jen Calonita explores the history of Madame Cleo and how she came to Fairy Tale Reform.  For more information about Fairy Tale Reform and the rest of Jen Calonita's exciting characters, be sure to check out CHARMED, the second book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series.
Dore’ Ripley, a lecturer at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), had a better afternoon than most on January 20th. Why? Gene Luen Yang --- the recently named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and author of BOXERS & SAINTS, THE SHADOW HERO, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE and more came to visit! The CSUEB alum had a lot to say about Asian representation in comics, both today and throughout history. Dore’ recounts some of the most interesting parts of his talk, below, so read on --- your comics knowledge is about to get a lot more nuanced!
January 15, 2016


Posted by Shara
Fans of Cindy Callaghan's books --- including LOST IN ROME, LOST IN PARIS and LOST IN LONDON --- should rejoice, because she's working on a new book, LOST IN HOLLYWOOD! We're thrilled to be able to exclusively reveal the cover, below, as well as the re-release of LOST IN IRELAND (previously called LUCKY ME).   
In the much-anticipated sequel to ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY, MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY OLYMPICS, teams from across the country are competing in the most bookish competition ever created! There are library cart relay races, Dewey decimal classification games and even a Reading While Eating contest. Therefore, we thought it was only fair to ask the author, Chris Grabenstein, what he would excel at were he invited to play along. See his response, below!
October 19, 2015


Posted by Shara
Sure, being exceptional is great --- you're the best artist in your class or the star player on your basketball team. But as it turns out, being utterly mediocre --- even forgettable --- has its perks too, especially when you're a spy. We're so excited to premiere this awesome video about THE LEAGUE OF UNEXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, a the first book in a hilarious new series by Gitty Daneshvari. Check it out below, and then be sure to grab the book, which is on sale tomorrow!
October 13, 2015

COVER REVEAL! Mother Goose’s Pajama Party

Posted by Shara
You might love slumber parties at your best firend's house, but image what a slumber party at Mother Goose's house would be like! You'd get to eat cookie dough with Miss Muffet, watch a movie with Little Bo-Peep and, of course, listen to Mother Goose tell her unforgettable nursery rhymes.  
Authors have to do all kinds of research for their books --- maybe they have to travel to faraway places like India or the Netherlands, or maybe they have to go to special library archives to read through primary documents from the Civil War. What’s another helpful tool, though, no matter what authors write about? Reading OTHER middle grade books. Seriously, though --- you can realize what makes a book great (or not-so-great) and use those skills to make your own book even better. Below, SUPER FREAK author Vanessa Barger takes us through some of her own favorite middle grade novels and series. Be sure to check them out --- as well as her story (which follows a 13-year-old, very non-magical girl in a town full of supernaturals as she tries to figure out the secret behind her very creepy house).