of Middle-Grade Authors

Oh MG News

SLJ Best Books 2021

Oh MG News Critter Logo

‘Tis the season of giving and gratitude, and we at MUF are grateful to spy several of the authors we admire most make the School Library Journal Best Middle-Grade Books of 2021 list.

school library journal logo

The prestigious list includes 139 titles from seven categories, this year including “a breakout list of poetry.” (SLJ)  Many congratulations to all the authors. We’ve been lucky to feature two of them on our We Need Diverse MG Mixed-Up Files series and we’d love to feature more stars from the rest of this list in the coming year.

Chad Lucas

WNDMG Letting Boys Be Boys

Thanks A Lot, Universe Book Cover

Saadia Faruqi

Saadia Faruqi author photo

9-11 Book List and Yusuf Azeem is not a Hero book cover

Chrystal Giles

Take Back the Block book cover Chrystal D. Giles author photo


Shakirah Bourne

Josephine Against the Sea book cov erShakirah Bourne author photo



Remembering Gary Paulsen

Author Photo Gary Paulsen
Author Photo Gary Paulsen

Copyright: Brian Adams

Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen died suddenly last week. The prolific Paulsen, who wrote more than 200 books for children and adults, was 82 years old. His recurring theme–survival–echoed a hard childhood marked by parental abuse, alcoholism, and abandonment. In spite of his traumatic upbringing, Paulsen was able to transform those experiences into work that encouraged and inspired young readers to find their own strength and believe in themselves.

Hatchet Book Cover (Gary Paulsen)

His final book, NORTHWIND (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux Books for Young Readers), will release in January 2022.


2021 NBA Longlist

2021 National Book Award Longlist

The 2021 National Book Awards longlist is out– and the young reader’s list features a blend of truly impressive work, both fiction and nonfiction:

Safia Elhillo, “Home Is Not a Country”  Make Me a World / Penguin Random House

Shing Yin Khor, “The Legend of Auntie Po
Kokila / Penguin Random House

Darcie Little Badger, “A Snake Falls to Earth
Levine Querido

Malinda Lo, “Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

Kyle Lukoff, “Too Bright to See
Dial Books / Penguin Random House

Kekla Magoon, “Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
Candlewick Press

Five finalists will be announced on October 5, and the winner will be named on November 17.

To see the entire longlist, click here.



Mission Statement

From the Mixed-Up Files is the group blog of middle-grade authors celebrating books for middle-grade readers. For anyone with a passion for children’s literature—teachers, librarians, parents, kids, writers, industry professionals— we offer regularly updated book lists organized by unique categories, author interviews, market news, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a children's book from writing to publishing to promoting.

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