PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

author:

Anne-Marie Strohman

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 official 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, this […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman The Penderwicks (as I explored here) has delightful characters, and Birdsall is a master at distinguishing between the four sisters and establishing them as a coherent unit. One of the ways she allows us to know the four sisters so fully is through close third person narration with a shifting […]

craft review by Anne-Marie Strohman Tumble and Blue begins with a sly-talking golden alligator. The opening two pages reveal an ancient story of two people who attempted to claim a changed fate under the Red Sickle Moon. What comes next is the story of two of their descendants, the cursed-to-lose Blue Montgomery and the super-hero-obsessed […]

The turn of the new year is a time to look forward (resolutions, anyone?) and to look back. We’ve perused our reading lists from the past year and picked out our favorite reads of the year–some published in 2017, some we encountered or re-read this past year. If you’re one for resolutions, you can use […]