Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.
by Caroline Starr Rose
I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.
May B. is written in verse--truly beautiful verse, full of imagery and emotion. I loved every word of it! May is such a lovable character, and we experience every hardship, every uncertainty, right along with her. You MUST read this one. I promise.
MAY B. will be released TOMORROW!!
Caroline wrote a guest post for us about her author journey. Enjoy!
Fourteen Years, Hundreds of Rejections, Eleven Books, and One Sale
Fourteen years ago this December, I started writing in earnest. I’d always heard you needed to have some magazine pieces published before writing a book, so I wrote an article and mailed it in.
I never heard back.
By the following summer, I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to learn by working on a book of my own. After two whole weeks of research (!), I wrote a mid-grade historical about the Oregon Trail, a terribly sappy, confusing thing that nevertheless taught me a lot. I sent it out into the world, starting a pattern I’d continue for years: writing, revising, submitting, and starting something new. In that time, I wrote three more novels and seven picture books and collected hundreds of rejections.
Everyday I’d wait for the mailman, anticipating word that someone, somewhere had connected with something I’d written. Some rejections came weeks after submitting; others took over a year to find their way back to me. Somehow, I held onto the belief that the next editor or next idea would be the one.
It was only after I got serious about finding an agent in the fall of 2009 that things started to happen. Within four months, my agent sold my very non-commercial, non-flashy literary historical at auction. This little book has so far earned a starred review from Kirkus and has been selected as a title for the Junior Library Guild.
Those years of submitting on my own weren’t wasted. I learned how to write, develop my craft, and stick it out. May B.’s January release will mark a lot of things for me, the most amazing being the realization I’ve taken on (and accomplished!) a task that for years seemed insurmountable.
- Joanne Fritz @ My Brain on Books
- Ben Langhinrchs @ My Comfy Chair
- Sherrie Petersen @ Write About Now
- Brooke Favero @ Somewhere in the Middle
- Myrna Foster @ Night Writer
- Ally Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy
- Barbara Watson @ Novel and Nouveau
- Deb Marshall @ Just Deb!
- Anita Laydon Miller's Middle Grade Blog
- Michael G-G @ Middle Grade Mafioso
- Natalie Aguirre @ Literary Rambles
- Ms. Yingling @ Ms. Yingling Reads
- Jennifer Rumberger
- Pam Torres @ So I'm Fifty
- Mary @ Writer's Butt Does Not Apply to Me
- The Accidental Novelist
- G.S. Prendergast @ Angelhorn
- Gina Carey