PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

author:

Beth Mitchell

craft review by Beth Mitchell First chapters are tricky. The craft books tell us that our first chapter needs to ground the reader in the world of our story. It needs to introduce the protagonist and establish the narrative voice. It needs to sow the seeds of the internal story and the external plot. Above […]

interview by Beth Mitchell Book coach Jennie Nash, MG writer Abby Mathews, and dystopian sci-fi writer Melanie Parish host a new variety-style podcast called Mom Writes. At MG Lunch Break, we’re always excited to share resources that can help us in our middle grade writing journeys, so we’re delighted that Abby agreed to stop by […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell Lately, I’ve been preoccupied by Lisa Cron’s concept of a novel’s “third rail,” the protagonist’s inner struggle that propels the story (see my craft review of Cron’s Story Genius). As I read MG books, I ask myself: What is the protagonist’s misbelief? What is the origin of that misbelief? How […]

review by Beth Mitchell We’ve all read Middle Grade books that are good, but not great. Well written with exciting action, funny dialogue, or an intriguing setting. But somehow we don’t quite care about the protagonist. As one member of our MG Lunch Break group says about such books: “It didn’t really give me the […]

craft review by Beth Mitchell The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is a charming tale of a robot who is washed ashore on an island inhabited only by animals. ROZZUM unit 7134, or Roz, is not designed for the wilderness, but she is programmed with survival instincts and the ability to learn. At first, the […]

Craft Review by Beth Mitchell The historical setting of One Crazy Summer is what first caught my eye. The story takes place in Oakland, California in the tumultuous summer of 1968. What captured my imagination, though, are its vivid characters. One Crazy Summer is the story of the three Gaither sisters’ journey from Brooklyn to […]