I am excited to announce a new monthly (or potentially bi-monthly) feature on In the Garden of Eva!
As many of you know, I am an aspiring novelist. And though I never quite intended it, nearly every time I write a novel these days, it comes out as middle grade. For now, I’m just going with it!
My friend Meagan Boyd is also an aspiring middle grade author. We have a mini writing group in which we give each other feedback and discuss books we’ve read… And naturally we read a lot of middle grade books. Hence, the idea for Meagan & Eva’s Middle Grade Bookshelf was born.
At first, it was going to be a podcast. (And it might be someday!) But Meagan has a toddler, I’m about to have a baby, and neither of us is particularly savvy in the technology department. So instead of figuring out a new medium, we decided to use the tried-and-true blog format for now.
Below is more info about this new feature. And you can look forward to reading our first full-length post tomorrow, in which we will examine Rebecca’s Stead’s Goodbye Stranger.
MEAGAN & EVA’S MIDDLE GRADE BOOKSHELF
Who Are Meagan & Eva?
Two aspiring novelists currently writing middle-grade books and hoping to get them published. We are also both former teachers and graduates of The College of William & Mary (which is how we met). Meagan has a degree in English, and I have an MFA in Fiction Writing.
What Is a Middle-Grade Book?
A book written for the 8-12 age range. Think Harry Potter, Charlotte’s Web, and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Except those books are old news. If you’re interested in writing (or reading) middle grade fiction, you should be checking out new stuff! And Eva & Meagan’s Middle Grade Bookshelf will help you decide what new MG novels to read.
What Is This Bookshelf Exactly?
In an attempt to learn how to write middle grade fiction, Meagan and I have been reading A LOT of (relatively) recent MG books. We then discuss what we notice from a writer’s perspective. For example: “this book has an interesting point of view” or “this book is a great example of a character-driven plot.”
We wanted to share what we’ve been noticing and learning with other middle grade writers (both aspiring and established). I think this will also be helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for their kids/students. Our hope is to create a resource of sorts; writers can use our posts as a way to find books they’d like to read as well as books that are good examples of whatever area of craft they are working on.
What Will I Find in Each Bookshelf Post?
Each Middle Grade Bookshelf post will discuss one book and include following:
- A brief summary
- A list of important topics and themes in the story
- Our thoughts and comments (but no spoilers!)
- A few short excerpts to give you a taste of the writing style
- What “classic” children’s book(s) the novel reminded us of
- The areas of writing craft that this novel is a good (or interesting) example of
- News and resources for MG writers
- Our final take-aways on the book overall
Meagan & Eva’s Bios:
Meagan Boyd studied English and Theatre as an undergraduate at The College of William & Mary and has her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from The George Washington University. A former fourth grade teacher, Meagan is now a full-time mom of a toddler and an aspiring novelist. She loves middle grade books with a passion she can never quite muster for a adult books. Some of her favorites are A Wrinkle in Time, Coraline, and Ender’s Game.
Eva Langston received her MFA from the University of New Orleans, and her fiction has been published in many journals and anthologies. She is the Features Editor for Compose Journal and the leader of an adult writing workshop about YA and middle grade fiction. A former math teacher for students with learning disabilities, she now tutors part-time. Two of her favorite middle grade books are Holes by Louis Sachar and Blubber by Judy Blume.
Come back soon to read our first full-length feature!