PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

author:

Anne-Marie Strohman

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re sending you some books we love! These are books that have inspired us as writers and helped us to reimagine our writing processes as well as shape our writing lives. May you too be inspired.   Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It just came at the right […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Figuring out the opening for a novel can be daunting. We know we need to draw our readers in, to make them want to turn the page. And we have so many choices! Even with the myriad ways to open a novel, there are some basic strategies that underlie even […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman I was probably seven or eight when I read Harriet the Spy for the first time, and decades later, my memories of the book mostly center around how much I tried to be like Harriet the writer and failed. Three details stuck with me from childhood: the rule that clothes always […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Gary Schmidt’s Orbiting Jupiter is a sparse text–a mere 181 pages–and it sits right between middle grade and YA, with its twelve-year-old narrator, Jack, and his fourteen-year-old foster brother, Joseph, at the center of the story. In tone and feel, it’s akin to Patricia MacLachlan’s The Poet’s Dog, an incredibly […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Reviews of Amy Dixon’s Annie B., Made for TV highlight the spot-on, hilarious middle grade voice of Annie Brown’s narration. “Annie’s first-person narration is hilariously astute.” —Kirkus Review “On the last day of fifth grade, when her best friend Savannah wins every award, Annie muses, ‘the only thing I’m best […]

Hello, lovely readers! We are officially launched! We’ve been working over the past year to move our mglunchbreak.com blog to our new home at kidlitcraft.com. We’ll continue to bring you in-depth craft reviews of middle grade books, as well as conference takeaways, book recommendations, and author interviews. In the months ahead, we’ll be adding both […]

compiled by Anne-Marie Strohman Memorial Day was originally meant to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. The day was first widely observed in 1868. While some people today honor all those who have served in the military, it is primarily a remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in all American wars. On […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman As middle grade writers, we don’t have a lot of time to hook the reader. We can rarely start with three pages of setting, or with a lot of backstory. We need to start in the middle of things, but too much in the middle of things and readers get […]

We’re off for a couple weeks, as we find rejuvenation in sand and sea, on streets and in bookshops, in stepping away from the everyday. Look for new posts at the end of April! How do you relax and refresh? What kind of break gives you the energy to return to your creative work with […]

Valentine’s Day can be more than romance. It can be a celebration of all sorts of different love relationships–family, friendships, even pets. Here are some of our favorite unexpected love stories.   Unconventional Romance In this reimagining of the Cinderella story, Char, the Rat Prince, shows his devotion to Rose (Cinderella). But at it’s core, […]