It’s a “Go Ahead, Make Us A List” Day

"Go ahead, make us a list." (Flickr photo by Jeremy Keith)

Since this place is a little Mixed-Up, we decided that today, instead of sharing something about middle-grade books, we wanted to solicit ideas from the smartest people we know: our readers.

Do you have something that you would like to see here on From the Mixed-Up Files?  Is there a topic you have been waiting for us to discuss?  A book list you’ve been dying to find?  A set of resources you’ve been struggling to locate?

Well, today is the day for you to tell us!  We’d love to know what you would like to see tackled on this blog.  Let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your wishes sometime in the near future.

So, go ahead, make us a list.

Mixed-Up Members
  1. I’m also on the lists bandwagon, though in my case it’s only for my own benefit! I know that left to my own devices, I’ll tend to stick to a narrowish band of fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, classic style stuff. I’d love a ‘So You’d Like To Try Historical…’ (or mysteries, or anything) post.

    As an aspiring MG writer, I’d also love posts on writing MG in particular–where it’s similar to writing YA/Adult, where it’s different, examples of people who handle MG aspects of writing well (eg voice, pacing).

    Love your blog, thank you for asking!

  2. Hi Cindy,
    Sports books are a particular love of mine. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street has some hilarious soccer scenes, but isn’t a sports book. Might that count? She might also enjoy Love Puppies and Corner Kicks, about a girl who has to adjust to new friends, a new culture, and a new soccer team when she moves to Scotland for the year.

  3. Collette–you bring up a topic I hear about all the time. What to do with the avid reading young grade schooler? That is definitely worth a whole post on the blog but in the meantime, if you want to stop by my goodreads page I’ve got a book list for tender hearted readers. It’s also on my website under parent resources at

    Cindy–for your non-sports loving girl, you might consider defining dance as a sport and looking for a dance book. If your girl digs science, a human anatomy book might work for looking at the underlying bones and muscles involved in sport. If she’s a numbers gal, try a sports statistics book.

  4. Cindy – I think you posted while I was writing my comment – thanks for the list!

  5. Yup, that’s the idea! Collette and Samantha, would you please list all the genres your classes will be studying? Don’t be shy! Once you list them, we can start tackling list ideas, in addition to the ones you’ve already given. And I also like the idea of lists for strong readers who don’t want the older tween vibe.

    Kay, the conventional wisdom is that your readers are no older than your characters. Whether your tween characters go would be characterized as middle-grade or young-adult depends a lot on the subject matter in the stories.

  6. I also like posts listing and describing great books in various genres. My 10 year old daughter is a voracious reader and always looking for new books (as am I!) Her class is doing a year-long project to get kids reading in different genres than they normally do— and some are a challenge. (Plays??? What MG plays? Apparently they can be books that were eventually made into plays, like Wizard of Oz/Wicked, etc. But I’d love some more suggestions.) Other genres include Folk Tales, Poetry, Non-fiction, Biography, Autobiography, and just about all fiction genres including Fantasy, Mysteries, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, etc. All books have to be at least 100 pages long.

    Sports books were the hardest challenge for her because she has zero interest, but I got a nice list of books that count as sports but aren’t too hard care from Verla Kay’s Blue Board. I’d love a fuller post on the same topic here.

  7. I second the lists idea…my seventh graders must read historical novels one month, sci fi the next, and so on every year. They sometimes struggle to find a good book, so if you have lists of good books in each genre, I could direct them to read your site!

  8. I’ve always really liked the posts along the lines of “Best Mysteries for Middle Grade Readers” or “Best for Turning Boys Into Men”. My 4th grader has a book project due each month involving a different genre. Lists of good books in each genre would be wonderful and really help me guide his search.

    Also, I’d love to see books for girls that my 7 year old daughter (who is a strong reader) can read that have more age appropriate themes. For example, she wanted to read “Dork Diaries” but I felt that the typical Jr. High attitude considering parents and mean girls and those who buy clothes from Target was more than I wanted her to know about at this time. She’s liked the Mallory books and Ramona books and I’d love some other ideas of books and series for her.

  9. Where do the “tween” books fit in age-wise? In other words, my main characters tend to be around 12-14.