Monday, October 4, 2010

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--and a Giveaway!!!

So...I've decided that I'm on a crusade. A Middle Grade Crusade. (hey--that rhymes!) :) Because when it comes to the Blogosphere, Middle Grade is kind of...forgotten.

And I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with YA. I love YA--and will continue to read YA and talk about YA on my blog. But as a Middle Grade writer--I've realized that I'm really not doing enough to give Middle Grade the attention it deserves. It's a huge category with a ton of amazing books and writers--and it's all kind of flying under the radar at the moment (online at least). So I'm going to do what little I can to change that. Starting today!

First of all, I'm happy to announce that I was lucky enough to be accepted as one of the new contributing members for The Mixed-Up Files Blog!!!! Not sure if you've heard of it, but it's a fabulous group of middle grade writers who have teamed up to spread the news about all things middle grade related. I highly recommend you check it out when you have the chance. (Here's hoping I don't drive them all too crazy with my trademark rambling ways and get myself booted off the team) :)

Secondly, I've decided to feature more middle grade on my blog. Which means you'll definitely be seeing more Middle Grade Spotlights, like I did last Thursday. And I'm also introducing a new meme I've cooked up: Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. (hehe, I love alliteration--if you can't tell)

What is Marvelous Middle Grade Monday?

At least once a month I'll feature a fabulous Middle Grade book or series on my blog on a Monday. It might be a review. It might be an author interview. It might be a giveaway. Or maybe it'll be some combination of all three. The important thing is, it'll shine a light on Middle Grade, hopefully showing people that it's NOT just for kids (or adults who are large children). It's for everyone who loves fun, well-written books.

And I thought I'd start today with a series that's kind of the gold standard for Middle Grade writers: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.


Honestly, this series doesn't necessarily need my help--it's sold like a bazillion copies and has the full support of the Disney-Hyperion promotion team (I've never seen such an elaborate book tour in all my life--Disney doesn't play around). But I wanted to start here because this was one of the first MG series I discovered as an adult, and is a big part of the reason I ended up as a Middle Grade writer.


Basic premise: 12-year-old billionaire and super-genius Artemis Fowl has discovered the truth about fairies. Namely that they live in a secret, high tech society deep underneath us with a special task force--the LEPrecon--and all kinds of rituals and rules. And he's decided to exploit them, in various schemes to prove his superior intelligence and secure the Fowl family fortune. 


The plots keep you on your toes, never quite sure what scheme Artemis is working this time, or whether he's the good guy or the villain. And the way Colfer has reinvented fairy lore and magical creatures is fantastic. Not to mention they're hilarious. Even my husband--who I barely convinced to read MY book (he's not much of a reader, le sigh) has read and loved this series. The books may be sold in the children's section, but they are very adult friendly. Think Pixar movies. (I swear adults love those movies more than kids do.)


And because the books are so very awesome, I'm giving one lucky commenter a SIGNED copy of the newest book in the series: THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX, along with a special flash drive Disney put together with all kinds of cool extras (I'm telling you, Disney's not playing around with their promo for these books).



Yes--that's right! This is going to be one of my simple contests. Meaning there's only two rules: be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post by Friday, October 8th. International entries are welcome. And you only have to tweet or blog about the contest if you want to. Easy Peasy. I'll post the winner on Saturday, October 9th.

And if any of you want to start having Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays on your blog, let me know. I'd be willing to link to your posts when you do. Middle Grade Bloggers Unite!!!! :)

Oh, on a Shameless Shannon Self-Promotion Side note (how's THAT for alliteration?): I've done a keynote blog commencement speech thingy (wherein I tried to be inspiring. The odds of me actually pulling that off aren't good) for the end of Iggy&Gabi's DIY-MFA. If any of you would be so kind as to pop over there and leave a comment so it's not like, her most unpopular post ever, I'd be VERY grateful. *bats eyelashes*

And don't forget to leave a comment here to enter for the signed copy of THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX. Good luck!

67 comments:

  1. Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is an awesome idea!

    This book sounds fabulous and if I don't win it, I'll probably be buying it.

    DreamyCowgirl@hotmail.com

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  2. I love the idea of drawing more attention to middle grade novels! I'm probably one of the few people on the planet who hasn't read this book and your blurb has convinced me I should.

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  3. This is a great new feature. And congrats on being invited as a blogger on the Mixed Up Files Blog. I periodically read it & will start checking it more.

    I'd love to win. I've read all the other books in this awesome series.

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  4. My students (8th graders) and I LOVE Artemis! He's so bad he's good. And, now that I have student reviewers (finally) on my blog, I should have a lot more MG book reviews. MG Rocks!

    Congrats on your joining The Mixed Up gang--they've got wonderful reviews over there (plus, I LOVE From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler! Great story.)

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  5. What a great contest! I love it that you plan to do more for middle grade books.

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  6. Count me in for the contest! If I were you, I'd never part with that signed copy - I LOVE Artemis! Ok, I'll admit it - I have a bit of a Butler crush. Can you blame me?

    thanks for the awesome contest! I'm at caitie.darrell@gmail.com

    :D

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  7. What a great idea! And Artemis is a fantastic place to start! I love this series!

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  8. Middle Grade books are Awesome!! I have noticed the lack of middle Grade awareness on the blogosphere myself. I have founds some great ones to read.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Stormi
    booklady2007@gmail.com

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  9. Love that you're spotlighting MG. Go Shannon....GO!

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  10. Artemis Fowl is one of those series that when you go to describe it to someone it sounds super cheesy but when you read it, the writing is so tight and completely believable. It's my GO TO series when I'm recommending books for my middle school boys. I LOVE THIS IDEA.

    Thanks for the giveaway

    Erinn

    fussymonkey2@gmail.com

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  11. Great idea! And there's so few plugs for middle grade books for boys, too.

    wolferock AT earthlink.net

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  12. Good on you! As someone who isn't familar with middle grade, I'd love to learn more and that book looks awesome! I'm in!

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  13. Thanks, this is a great giveaway. Awesome idea!!! You can count me in =D

    Following your blog with my twitter acc (Tiemi - @Tibiux)
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/Tibiux/status/26359856246
    And put link in my blog sidebar: http://bookingpromos.blogspot.com/

    tibiux at yahoo dot com dot br

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  14. I love the idea of Middle Grade Mondays.

    and I adore Artemis Fowl!!!

    Nice way to start a week.

    shelley

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  15. Holy sheesh, Shannon. You're so awesome! I'm on the Middle Grade bandwagon with you. It's about time someone took some action. This is definitely needed. Thank you for your fantastic efforts.

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  16. Sounds like an interesting book--I'll have to give it a try some time.

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  17. omg, I adore the AF series and I haven't even read the most recent book yet, so this is an awesome contest! Yay! *crosses fingers* Hope I win!!

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  18. My son and I both love this series. It's smart & a lot of fun!

    booksake(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. Ooooo, middle grade! I think you might already know this, but there's a group of authors over at Project Mayhem (project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogspot.com) that are all dedicated to the genre as well. I can't wait to read a bunch of their books!

    Thanks for the contest :)

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  20. My son loved these, but hasn't read the last one yet.

    I also write middle grade. My first writings were for a middle grade audience. The transition to YA was kind of an accident.

    And I read plenty of middle grade. I'm glad you gave the genre a shout out!

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  21. Awesome, Shannon! I plan to write my first MG next year so I'd love to get started with this series as a kind of study.

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  22. I have to admit that I've not read any of the books in this series, but they do sound interesting. Cool contest. Please count me in. Thanks!

    I look forward to reading more blog posts about great MG books!

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  23. You were very, very inspiring, Shannon. :) DIY MFA has been an amazing 4 weeks, and it brought me to your blog.

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  24. Oooh, Artemis Fowl is much beloved in our house! Definitely count me in!

    Also, I picked up an MG novel off the library shelf the other day, inspired by your MG post. To my surprise and delight, I was enthralled from cover to cover: SAVVY, by Ingrid Law, is a MG book definitely worth reading!

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  25. LOVE MG! The kids and I all read it, so I'll be following along faithfully on your awesome alliteration adventure.

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  26. I agree with you. MG is often the little unsung hero of kidlit. Those MG's probably don't get enough light shed on them. ;) I wrote a MG that needs re-working. Someday....someday.
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

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  27. I must admit, I've been doing more research on the YA side of kidlit than the MG stuff. I'm sure there's much I don't know about that particular corner of the book store. Middle Grade Monday sounds like the perfect way to find out about it!

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  28. I know my daughter likes this series and I'm thinking I need to get my son started on it too! Anything to get him to read more.

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  29. I'll definitely have to check out the new blog. Lately, I've been having some MG story ideas. Never wrote MG before so it should be fun!

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  30. I have kids hounding me for this book, our library orders won't come in for another 6 months. I love this series and it would rock to have a signed copy!!

    I'm an old follower, please sign me up for this bad boy!

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  31. I love The Mixed-Up Files!! Awesome. Looking forward to it. Great post, as always. Caught you over on iggi U. Nice post, too.

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  32. WOW!! Please count me in! I'd love to read this!

    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

    old follower!

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  33. This sounds so good! I would love to have it!!! and I'm so glad that you will be featuring more middle grade! I also seem to be ending all my comments with exclamation marks but I can't stop!!!lol

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  34. As a middle grade author with a new book out, I can only say, "Yay!" Middle grade books are overlooked in the blogosphere for the most part. Their primary audience doesn't blog at the rate teens do, and their books don't get made into movies as often. But I read middle grade more than anything else. The books are fresh and fun and have an innocence that often gets lost with sarcastic YA narrators. I'll be checking in.

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  35. This sounds great! I'd love to be entered: melissa.wideen@gmail.com

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  36. Don't enter me. i've got my own copy (though I love this cover!).

    So thrilled you're a part of Mixed-Up Files and that your heart is with mid-grade. IMHO, mid-grade books are the most important out there (though I love all other reads, too).

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  37. Sounds like a great idea! I've been trying to read more middle grade books lately. I've got a few in my TBR pile, and I'm actually reading a couple right now.

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  38. Artemis rocks. I read the first book in two sittings -- only because I could not stay up past 2:30am reading it the night I started it.

    I'd love to win this one!


    -- Tom

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  39. I loved the first Artimes Fowl book! I read it forever ago, I'm not entirely sure there were other books in the series at the time, but I know I loved it. You're so right - MG is amazing and under-represented.
    :)
    And Disney NEVER plays around. (dundundunnnn)

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  40. I LOVE the ARTEMIS FOWL series. One of the funniest set of books I ever read. I first discovered him while living in England and ordered all the books that were out after reading the first.

    Congrats on joining the new group, Shannon! Busy, busy! :D

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  41. Oooh! What a fabulous contest. I started the AF series but haven't kept up with it. Please include me in the drawing.

    Congrats on contributing over at Mixed up files...I've been following and enjoying them for a bit now. Will be fun to see a new face that I've already followed. :)

    Have fun. :)

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  42. Middle Grade Crusade-- I love it! Can I be a crusader too? I'm so happy you'll be highlighting and posting resources about this niche market. Can't wait. And Artemis Fowl ain't bad for a first Marvelous Monday. I look forward many more. Cheers!

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  43. Holy awesomeness! My flash drive just crashed (yes, I lost some - but not all - of my book stuff) and Artemis Fowl is one of Wyatt's big-time favorites!! You know how I feel about MG, #1, so I'm thrilled that you're planning to feature more of it. Woo-hoo! :-)

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  44. Yay for Middle Grade books!! I haven't a clue what age range this is (I think this is a US term or else there's a British equavilent that I'm not aware of!!) Anyway!!!!

    Thanks for this fab intro to this stunning looking book! Good luck to everyone entering!

    Take care
    x

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  45. I can't believe I have so many Artemis Fowl books in my classroom but I haven't read even one yet! I'll have to fix that :)

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  46. I think this is a great idea. I love mid-grade books! They have some of the best series. Great for all ages and usually lots of fun. Artemis Fowl is a great series. I have not read The Atlantis Complex yet and would love to win a copy. Thanks!

    seescootread[at]gmail[dot]com

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  47. LOVE THIS, Shannon!!! I've been a follower of From the Mixed-Up Files for a while (I won a contest there in August!) so I was really happy to see your name when they announced the new team members! Congrats!

    I appreciate middle-grade books even more as an adult. Now I understand all the nuances I missed when I was younger. I bought "The Mysterious Benedict Society" over the weekend! I saw it by accident at Target and knew I had to get it since you had just reviewed it. :)

    I'm looking forward to your Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays!!!

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  48. Hello other Shannon. I'm back from my summer hiatus and looks like I popped back in just for the contest. Not true! I wanted to pop by and say hello.

    HELLO!

    I love the blog's new look!

    Hope things are going well.

    The other other S

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  49. hi miss shannon! mostly all i could say is HOORAY FOR MIDDLE GRADE! :) thats me for sure! and for sure im gonna be here on mondays so i could learn what books im gonna like to read. that grey griffin book you sent me is soooo cool! now i got nightshade city by miss hillary on my birthday list. maybe you could make a review for it. its a big help for my age (im gonna be 11 in just only 16 days!) to read review stuff about cool books. now i cant wait til next monday!
    ...smiles and hugs from lenny

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  50. Middle grade books are my second love :) I love that you're bringing more attention to them.

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  51. I should definitely read more middle age books... Thank you for the giveaway! :)

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  52. I'd love to play please.

    Already a follower.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  53. Yay! Congrats on getting selected to be on the Mixed Up Files! That's a great blog, and they're lucky to have you.

    I'm going over to check on the other post.

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  54. Go MG!
    Great idea to highlight Mg. I need more ideas. I tried to find one at home for my daughter tonight. She's going to see if "The Mysterious Case of the Origami Yoda" works for her.


    I'm a follower!

    taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

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  55. Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays is a terrific idea, and I'd love to join forces. ;)

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  56. Hooray for Middle Grade! And three cheers for Artemis Fowl!

    Enjoying your blog, Shannon.

    I've been saying for a while now that Middle Grade is the new YA. It's inevitable.

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  57. Oh, YEAH! Great prize, and great idea!

    And since you like MG, can I plug one of my favorite middle grade books, ZORGAMAZOO, by Rob Weston? Read it if you haven't. It's like Dr. Seuss meets Roald Dahl.

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  58. Yay! for middle grade, which I just recently rediscovered my love for. Thanks so much!

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  59. I'm a follower and thanks for the giveaway!

    I love this series!

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

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  60. I love Middle Grade books :D
    And I love this series.

    How COOL would it be to win this?!

    kemendraugh at gmail dot com

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  61. Wow. 61. That's a lot of comments to compete with. I would love to win this book.

    Both Artemis and Eoin Colfer rule. This is the first MG series I've read as an adult. Please sign me up.

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  62. Firstly, congratulations on the new gig on Mixed-Up Files. I check them out every day--great group of writers, and I can't wait to read your entries! I can't wait to read your MG spotlights here, either. I completely agree there's not enough attention paid, but it's up to us MG devotees to fix that!

    I absolutely love the Artemis Fowl books. I actually first discovered them on audiobook. When I was a student my share house was moving house after a few years of nesting, so the whole place had to be cleaned. We ended up with all four of us listening to the CDs in turn, so if you didn't keep moving you'd have somebody banging on your door to hurry you up so they could have it! Eoin Colfer's just something else.

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  63. what a fun giveaway, thanks for sharing. I follow.

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 at aol dot com

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  64. Thank you for this giveaway I would love to read this book:-)

    I'm a follower: Mysteriousrose

    forceofstars(at)yahoo(dot)dk

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  65. Yay! Thanks for this post! I'm writing a middle grade novel right now and have also realized how under-represented MG is in the internets. I've even been having a difficult time finding recommendations for great MG books to read. I will definitely check out this series and look forward to more middle grade-related blog posts from you!

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  66. I love Artemis Fowl :) I think it was one of the reasons I started writing, as well as the Alex Rider series.

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3