Skype With Your Favorite Middle-Grade Author!

It’s that time again! The Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour bus is heading out! If you haven’t heard, Skype is a fantastic way to connect your class, book club, library or just about any group of kids with their favorite books and authors. Here at the Mixed-Up Files we’ve gathered the most incredible group of Middle-Grade authors and for the last year we’ve brought them to you, right into your school, home, clubhouse or library. Now it’s time to launch our winter writers tour!

Each week for the next six weeks we’ll profile a different middle-grade author. By leaving a comment you’ll get a chance to meet that author live! You’ll have a week to round up as many friends as you can to comment and enter. Retweet and repost for more chances to win but be sure to let us know you’ve spread the word by commenting here. The next Tuesday we’ll draw a winner and announce the next author up for a Mixed-Up Middle-Grade Skype visit. Here are the full rules and frequently asked questions.

Without further ado first up is WENDY SHANG! Wendy is not only a Mixed-Up Files group member. Her debut novel THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU

is the brand new winner of the American Library Association’s prestigious 2012 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature! Hooray Wendy! Would you like Wendy to visit your classroom or book club? It’s easy. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Skype visit. The drawing will be next Tuesday February 14! What a great Valentines gift!

Wendy dropped in to talk to us about writing, visiting, and all things middle-grade. Hi, Wendy! In a couple sentences please tell us about you and your book.

Sixth-grader Lucy Wu *thinks* she’s about to have the perfect year. Her annoying big sister is moving out of their shared bedroom, and her basketball team looks terrific. Her plans are turned upside-down, though, when her father announces that a long-lost aunt is coming from China, and is moving into Lucy’s bedroom! Like the Chinese saying that events that appear to be bad luck are often good luck (and vice-versa), though, Lucy discovers that she can still have a great year.

What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?

I think that middle-grade readers have great minds, big hearts and an enormous sense of humor. I love writing to appeal to all of these qualities.

What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?

I had lots of favorites, but one series I remember vividly was The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald. The books are set in late 19th-century Utah, and I loved reading about lives that were so different from mine. My father read part of one book and said it was teaching me how to get into trouble. (Not true, I had figured that out by myself.)

What makes your school visits special?

My visits are funny and informative; I like to show kids that the writing process you learn in school applies to writing books. I talk to kids pretty much the same way I talk to adults – except that I tend to assume that the kids will catch on more quickly.

Thanks for coming Wendy!

Don’t forget to comment to win a visit! If you suffer from Skype-phobia or you’re just a neo-Skyper we’ll be happy to help with technology questions.

Tami Lewis Brown is driving the Skype Tour bus when she’s not speaking to middle-grade readers about her novel THE MAP OF ME or trying to write her next runaway success!

Tami Lewis Brown