Happy Mixed-Up Anniversary!

Flickr photo by PiKm

I can’t believe it has been a whole year!

One year ago today we began our journey to celebrate and bring attention to middle-grade books. And it’s certainly been a busy year here at From the Mixed-Up Files.  We’ve interviewed 30 authors, illustrators, agents, editors, and other industry professionals.  We’ve hosted our 32-book Summer Giveaways, our 75-book Great Library Giveaway, our current 20-author Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype Tour giveaway, and countless other book giveaways donated by us or other middle-grade authors and publishers.  We’ve highlighted hundreds of middle-grade titles, old and new.  We’ve dabbled in technology by creating YouTube videos for the 2010 holiday season and our Skype Tour.  And we’ve sat back in awe as nearly 100,000 visitors and over 550,000 page views have been logged in the last twelve months.  It’s been a truly remarkable year.

The middle-grade book industry has been busy, too.  We’ve shared 90 news snippets in our OhMG News! column this year, and I’m certain we missed some along the way.  We’d like to think we’ve had something to do with the increased attention to middle-grade books and their authors, though I suspect it has more to do with the legions of middle-grade readers clamoring for new titles than with our efforts.

But I do applaud all past and present Mixed-Up Authors for the hard work they have put into this site.  They’ve managed to write new posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and most Tuesdays and Thursdays, too) while maintaining their assigned sections of the site and working behind the scenes to plan new ways to get middle-grade books into the hands of our readers.  And in the process, they’ve launched 15 of their own middle-grade books into the world, contracted at least a dozen new titles, and have kept up with their other work and family life. I’m not sure how they did it all, but I am amazed at their willingness to make my vision a reality.  I am honored to call them my friends.

I also want to thank you, our dear readers.  Without you we would not be where we are today.  We’ve read every single comment (all 3,975 of them!) and each private email we’ve received, and have appreciated the outpouring of support from parents, teachers, librarians, writers, industry professionals, and those that matter most–the kids themselves.   We’ve also pondered each suggestion and have tried our best to make this site useful and informative.  Thank you for taking the time to read, comment and share our site with others.  We truly appreciate it.

And last, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank E.L. Konigsburg, who hasn’t yet called to tell us to stop making references to her Newbery-award-winning book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  Thanks, Ms. Konigsburg, for the inspiration your book has given all of us.

In honor of her, we here at From the Mixed-Up Files would like to celebrate our first anniversary by giving one of our readers a gift basket full of E.L. Konigsburg-inspired paraphernalia.  It includes three titles written by Ms. Konigsburg:

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World (hardcover)

The View from Saturday (paperback)

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (paperback)

The rest are items to keep you busy if, like Claudia and her younger brother Jamie in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, you decide to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (though I suppose any museum would do).  The items we’ve included are:

  • Blank journal
  • Sketch pad
  • Water colors
  • Colored pencils
  • Package of pens
  • pencils
  • pencil erasers
  • Flashlight
  • Bookmarks
  • Deck of cards
  • Jelly Belly candies
  • Hershey Almond bars
  • Crayons
  • Colored index cards
  • Mini pad and pen
  • Fashion notebook (tiny)
  • The Everything Brain Strain Book (puzzles, riddles, mind-benders)
We’ve tried to think of everything, but you’ll have to bring your own trumpet case or violin case to carry your clothes.

Please leave a comment below letting us know what you’ve enjoyed most from us this past year, or a suggestion for future posts or giveaways, and you’ll be entered to win.  You can earn extra entries by linking to this post on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, or by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the right. Don’t forget to mention each link in a separate comment so our random generator will properly add your extra entries. The winner will be chosen and announced on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.  Sorry, but we can only ship this to US/CAN residents.

Happy Anniversary, and here’s to another year of Mixed-Up fun!

Elissa Cruz