Urban Settings in Middle Grade Novels, a guest post by Sally Engelfried and Melissa Dassori

Middle grade novels are full of exploration. While families are present and often powerful forces, middle grade protagonists are discovering themselves, navigating changing friendships, and gaining independence—or wishing they could. Urban neighborhoods provide unique environments for these coming-of-age stories, and city settings are integral to both our recent debut novels. For Sally, Daphne of Learning … Read more

Writing About Sexual Harassment for Middle Grade Readers, a guest post by Catherine Arguelles

Cover art by Carl Pearce In 2016, as #MeToo trended and stories of sexual harassment rose in the media, I came across this study examining sexual harassment in middle schools. While I certainly remembered incidents of catcalls and inappropriate behavior in middle school, it alarmed me to read that nearly half of the middle schoolers … Read more

Finding the Middle Grade in “Goblin Market,” a guest post by Diane Zahler

I don’t remember exactly when I first read Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market.” It might have been in college; it might have been when my husband, a literature professor, taught it in a class and shared it with me. But as someone who has long been fascinated by fairy tales, I was immediately enthralled by … Read more

Fact Versus Fiction in Middle Grade Literature, a guest post by Frank Morelli

Believe it or not, I went to college with aspirations of becoming a doctor. And not a doctor of words and ideas with a bunch of (admittedly) cool letters after my name, either. I wanted to be a medical doctor who could wield an ordinary scalpel the way Wayne Gretzky handles a hockey stick. Wait…in … Read more