Monday, December 12, 2011

The History of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--and linkage!

I get asked a LOT of questions about MMGM.

What is it? 
How did you come up with it? 
How can I be a part? 
Why are you such a genius?*

*Okay... it's possible I made up that last one...

So I thought I'd use this week's post to give a quick history of MMGM, and explain how it works for those who don't already know. (I swear--this has nothing to do with me being behind on my reading) (okay, fine, it does) (but I do actually get asked those questions a lot) (so there!) (hee)

Okay, so... MMGM stands for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, and it's a meme I created to help spread the love for middle grade in the blogosphere. If someone wants to be a part, all they have to do is blog on a Monday about a middle grade book they love--ANY middle grade book they love--and email me a link to their post so I can add it to the master list on my blog. Then everyone can hop from blog to blog, soak up all the awesome book recommendations, and connect with other middle grade fans. Simple, easy--and a whole lot of fun.

And I came up with the idea because... well... honestly? I'd realized that I was being a HORRIBLE middle grade supporter. 

No really--I was.

Not only had I noticed that middle grade didn't get a lot of attention in the blogosphere, but ... I'd noticed that whenever I blogged about anything middle-grade related, it was my lowest trafficked post--by far. And since I was working hard to build up my following and increase my traffic, I'd started avoiding talking about middle grade as much as possible. Especially on Mondays--which were my peak traffic days. 

And then, about a year ago, I realized: WHAT AM I DOING??????

I am a middle grade writer and I'm avoiding talking about middle grade?????? 

So I decided I needed to change that--stat. If my middle grade posts weren't popular that just meant I wasn't trying hard enough. I needed to make them more exciting--and I needed to find other people who loved middle grade and connect with them. And so MMGM was born.

I chose Monday specifically because it was the day I'd previously given an "absolutely-no-middle-grade-mentions" policy. Plus, I figured if I wanted to give the books a PROPER spotlight, they deserved my highest traffic day. (And of course, it had that handy alliteration). 

I decided to focus on one book (or series) a week, and to try and feature them in a way that made it clear who would best appreciate them, which ones were more adult friendly, etc. I also decided that my features would always include a contest--partially to generate more traffic, but mostly because I couldn't think of a better way to spread the love for a book than to help someone else read it. (though contests are not required for other people who participate. That's up to each individual blogger). And then... I decided I would TRY and encourage other bloggers to join me.

I'll admit--I was terrified no one else would. And for the first few weeks, it was just me.

But then... it started to grow. Little by little, my list of links slowly got longer. And every week it grows a little bit more. 

Sure, it's no Waiting on Wednesday or In My Mailbox--and it probably never will be. But it's an awesome group of bloggers with a serious passion for middle grade posting about books they love every Monday. To me, that's a huge victory, and I'm amazed every week when I put the list of links together and see all that middle grade love. It's proven that there IS a place for middle grade in the blogosphere.

So I now proudly present... this weeks awesome MMGM links!

- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!

- Joanne Fritz has chills for WINTERLING. Click HERE to see why.

- Sherri Larsen has a special treat: a character interview and a giveaway of THE MAN IN THE CINDER CLOUDS. Click HERE for all the fun.

- Pam Torres takes us to WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. Click HERE to read her review.

- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is in love with MOST WANTED Click HERE to see why you should be too.

- Sheila Calderon Blankemeier reminds us why we shouldn't miss THE UNWANTEDS. Click HERE for her review.

- Deb Marshall is featuring DOGSLED DREAMS--with an author interview AND a giveaway! Click HERE for all the details.

- Danika Dinsmore has a lovely multicultural read for us this week: HABIBI. Click HERE to learn more about it. 

- Gabrielle Prendergast is championing a classic about a kid, a farm house, and a blue ribbon. Click HERE to see what it is.

- Myrna Foster falls in love with DRAGONSDALE. Click HERE see why you should too.

And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!

Happy Monday!


  1. I'm glad you created this meme, Shannon. It's always great to highlight specific areas of children's literature and join others together. Thanks for the link!!

  2. Awesome that you started Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays. I always love them even when I'm not posting about a middle grade book.

  3. Well first off you are a genius and you are so right on the MG love.

    When I used to work at the bookstore my favorite section was 9-12 because there was _always_ someone there looking for good books to keep the reading kid going, get the non-reading kid started and get more books for the kid who loved "insert Harry Potter, Ranger's Apprentice, Fablehaven, Dear Dumb Diary, Diary of... and any number of other contemporary fiction titles, history, mystery" and books for the just out of chapter books and stepping up to mg. That section is HUGE HUGE in terms of what if offers and nothing gave me greater pleasure that filling a customers (grandparent, teacher, aunt,uncle, kid and parent) bag with books (cause they tended to take most everything you'd recommend, in my experience anyway).

    Okay, kind of rambled on there, but yeah...MG deserves its light in the blog! And just think, you are going to be part of it soon with your own book (eek!).


    Deb "keener" Marshall :P

  4. MMGM is my favorite blogging day of the week! I love it that you started it and that it has caught on so well! :-)

  5. That's a totally inspiring post, makes me want to come back next Monday :)

  6. You know I love your MMGM idea because I've been participating for more than a year now! So glad you started it. And, as always, thanks for the linkage.

  7. I feel really grateful to you, not just as a MG writer but as a reader, I don't have time to search out books to add to my TBR pile, so it's nice to check out what the MMGMers are hightlighting. So thank you!

  8. Thanks, Shannon! I love reading MMGMs.

  9. This is such an awesome deal! :) Middle Grade definitely doesn't get enough attention, good for you for fixing that. :D
    And seriously, why ARE you such a genius? :)

  10. You have NO IDEA how excited I was when I stumbled upon MMGMs for the first time (I think I happened upon Brooke Favero's first) and then sped through the links and then tweeted Brooke saying, "How can I be part of this?" I have LOVED being part of MMGM, so a huge thank you for starting it and linking me each time I have a feature!

  11. I definitely need to start doing MMGM. I love all the middle grade titles I do - I don't read nearly enough, but I find myself always drawn to the MG fantasies :)

  12. Shannon, Thanks for the post. I'm going to put a link on my blog for those who would like the background on MMGM. I LOVE being a part of MMGM! I'm so glad I found it and have made some great writing friends because of it. I would have to say, you ARE a genius! :)

  13. Thanks so much for creating this meme! I read a lot of MG books with my kids and I enjoy it very much. Will look forward to sharing my reviews with others through MMGM.

  14. Yay! I LOVE middle grade and am so glad I found your site! I need one more week to observe the group and then...I AM IN!!! Thanks so much for giving me more motivation to finish my stack of MG books in a timely fasion! P.S. I would love for you to check out my site on the ups and downs of becoming a writer...

    (I am trying to help you with your procrastination efforts of course!)


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