April 15, 2010

Thinking on Thursday

On Thursdays I take time to step back and just share my thoughts on things related to reading. Sometimes these may be my personal thoughts or thoughts I've gotten from my students. It depends on the Thursday. It depends on the topic. It depends on the week!

This week I'm thinking about:

Why I Might Change My Overall Focus on the Blog

Lately I've been thinking a lot about middle grade vs. young adult lit.  I haven't been thinking that one is the better than the other.  Instead I've been thinking about where my heart is.  Is it in YA or is it in MG?  I've come to the conclusion that my true passion is for middle grade lit.  I've read some fantastic YA books (Hunger Games, Before I Fall, The Line etc), but when I really think about what books make me excited to promote - it's middle grade books.  Then I looked around the blogophere and I was kind've saddened to see the lack of promotion for these great middle grade books I read.  There are so many great YA blogs that do an awesome job getting the word out on all the wonderful amazing YA books being published.  I want that for middle grade books as well! I mean here are some great books I can't wait to share:

Owl Keeper
The Red Pyramid
Powerless (well ok I reviewed this one but I want to do more!)
Kid & Squid
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
A Whole Nother Story
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z
Mamba Point

And many, many more! I want people see these as more than just "kids' books" or "childrens' books".  They are wonderful stories.

So what does that mean for the blog? Over the next few months I will be converting over to about 90% middle grade books.  Yes I'll still read YA (I love the stuff!), and I'll be sharing the YA that can easily appeal to, and is appropriate for, middle schoolers.  But the main focus will be on book specifically geared towards kids "In the Middle"!  I mean after all this is The O.W.L. Outrageously Wonderful Literature From the Middle Grades!

My one fear:  I'll lose followers.  BUT that said I completely understand if people leave. They followed under one idea, and I'm changing that idea.  I just hope you'll stick around because I promise to share with you some fantastic books.


  1. To quote Sarah Prineas (author of the MG series, The Magic Thief), "Middle grade rocks!"

    I was thinking about this last night at a presentation by the staff of the middle school my daughter will be entering in the fall. There are so many changes going on at that age, so much self-discovery. It's an intense time of life. It reminded me why I love MG fiction.

    I have a picture in my mind of PB and chapter books being about walking along on a flat surface, YA being about falling off a cliff, and MG being about that moment at the edge of the precipice. Now that's what I call edgy.

    Go for it! MG needs more attention!

  2. You're right. There are so many YA blogs and not many MG. I would love you to focus on MG books. That way I can pinch all your ideas and stock them in my library. I'm always looking for recommendations that will appeal to my 8 - 12 year olds.

    So this is one follower who is right behind you!

  3. While I will probably comment less (because I don't have children and don't really read middle grade) I will definitely NOT stop following you. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for any great books I can recommend to my ten year old nephew. Good luck! You rock! And in the end you have to stay true to your vision :) *high five*

  4. That's a nice idea. You're right that there aren't a lot of blogs for mostly middle grade books and that is a shame so it will be nice to see more of that.

  5. Yeah! I know so little about *true* middle grade books. I just discovered your blog, and now you're my go-to resource. Thanks for all you do!

  6. What a great idea! It's nice because I feel like there's definitely a lack of this in the "blogging" community of book reviewers, but there are for sure tons of middle graders out there. I will definitely be back. Great idea and keep it up!

  7. Yay! I'm actually thrilled to hear that because most blogs out there feature YA. The MG reviews are much more difficult to find. :-)

  8. I think this is a wonderful idea, and I'll definitely stay on as a follower. I have been trying to diversify my own reading, and I know that I really fall short in the middle grade area. Would love to read some more reviews for this age group!

  9. Thanks everyone! I'm feeling really good about this decision. Especially after I was reminded of another great MG book I need to highlight!

  10. you know, I say I love YA, but I have found that I read more MR too. Like in the Shelf Discovery Challenge, all but one of the books I read was a MR,and I really had to force myself to not have that last one be a MR too. I am doing a YA Challenge this year too, and that's tthe first one I've read. Need to read 12, I've read on, it's April, not good! Go for it. You gotta do what floats your boat.

  11. You might actually gain more followers/readership by focusing on a niche that doesn't have an established community yet, especially since you already have quite a few people following you. I'd definitely still tune in because I enjoy MG, too. Kudos for following your heart on this one!