Tag Archives: middle grade

7 Reasons You Will Love Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

Good news! There may be a minimum age for reading middle-grade but there’s no maximum age.

Why will you love middle-grade historical fiction?

  1. Well-crafted novels – Charming characters and captivating settings are needed for quality historical fiction. Literature has standards, no matter the target age.
  2. Loads of action – Children are in front of screen an average of 5-7 hours per day (stat from Medlineplus.gov). Authors use action to grab and hold a middle-grader’s attention.
  3. Surprises – Who doesn’t love a good plot twist? Authors use this writing tool to keep readers guessing.
  4. Heart-wrenching scenes – A terrible accident leaving a character devastated or an unexpected kind gesture from an unexpected source. Childhood can be intense and confusing. Fictional childhoods are no different.
  5. Informative details – Historical fiction writers at all levels are serious about historic details.
  6. Fast-paced plots – Middle-grade novels keep the stakes high. Try to keep up!
  7. Smaller word counts – Smaller word-count plus fast-paced action makes most middle-grade historical fiction a quick read.  alittlewicked_williamsburgrl

Have a favorite middle-grade historical fiction novel? Please leave it in the comments.

Fun Lesson Plan for Middle-Grade Historical Fiction

Use historical fiction in the classroom as a tool for honing writing skills. This plan is useful after the class has read a middle-grade historical fiction novel together.

♦ Objective: Broaden students’ understanding of character motivation

♦ Activity: Create and compare two Motivation Maps

  • Draw the outline of a person on the board or with an overhead projector. You can use craft paper and make it life size.
  • Ask students to write personality traits of the main character inside the outline, one at a time.
  • Ask students to write outside influences on the main character outside the outline, one at a time. Include influences specific to the time period.
  • Have students draw the outline of a person on their own large sheet of paper.
  • Have them copy all the outside influences from the class outline to their own.
  • Ask students to write their own personality traits inside the outline.

♦ Discussion: Ask students how they would react differently than the main character did to the outside influences and why.

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Find more lesson plan ideas at Marcie Colleen’s website. Share your experiences in the comments.

Put Yourself on the A Little Wicked Reader Map!

Put Yourself on the A Little Wicked Reader Map! Follow these simple steps to add yourself!

  1. Click on the link to the map.
  2. If asked for a key, type in IREADIT! (no spaces) and click the “Unlock” button.
  3. In upper left of the page, hover over the “Additions” button.
  4. Choose Add Marker – Simple
  5. In the pop-up window add your FIRST NAME, NICKNAME, or simply put “Me!No last names or anything with personal identification!
  6. In Location, type in the name of your town or city. Do not enter anything in the other boxes.
  7. Choose a color for your marker and hit Submit!

https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1544776

ZeeMap

Thank you for reading A Little Wicked!

If you haven’t read it yet, ask about it at your local library!

The A LITTLE WICKED Library Network – Thank You Libraries!!

Librarians and Teachers:

Is your library part of the A Little Wicked Library Network? If your library holds a copy of A Little Wicked (thank you!) it should be listed on this map. The list was found at www.WorldCat.org. Please contact me with any changes.  Thank you!

ZeeMap

https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1544576

You may need the key! If prompted, enter ViewTheM@p and click the “Unlock” button.

Readers:

If you have read A Little Wicked (thank you!), stay tuned for another blog post with a map where you can add your city and state to let everyone know Who Has Read A Little Wicked!

Curriculum Guide

A Little Wicked Guide – free PDF download

“…readers will learn a lot about resilience and Scottish identity.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Now that A Little Wicked is available in libraries across the country (and a little in Canada!), it’s a good time to repost the link to the FREE A Little Wicked Curriculum Guide written by Marcie Colleen.  It is an excellent resource for homeschool families, librarians, book clubs, teachers and other educators.

Remember the multi-talented and effervescent Marcie Colleen has written many amazing curriculum guides for picture books as well as middle grade. Take a look!

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The Big Announcement: A Guide for A Little Wicked!

Teachers!  Librarians!  Book Club Members!  The Big Announcement came early!!

A Little Wicked now has a curriculum guide!!

The guide includes discussion points, activities, and writing prompts to help educators use A Little Wicked as a classroom read aloud or as a selection for independent reading.  Great for book clubs, too!

Get the guide for FREE:

A Little Wicked Guide

Many thanks to Marcie Colleen for creating the guide!  Be sure to check out her upcoming books!

What is Middle Grade?

There has been much discussion lately about the difference between MG (Middle Grade) and YA (Young Adult). In fact, it was the topic of last Thursday’s #MGLitChat discussion on Twitter. Many people jumped in with their ideas about what attributes of a novel cause it to be placed in which category. Some found the presence or absence of romantic or sexual content to delineate between categories. Others thought length was the most important determinating factor.

My response was content. MG readers struggle with the world, YA readers struggle with their place in it. What does that mean? Children from ages 9-13 are trying to reconcile the rules they were taught as young children with the real world where not everyone says please and thank you, and some people get away with being mean or bad. They are making the transition of choosing to do the right thing because it is the right thing and not just to avoid negative consequences.

What does this mean for MG writers? This life transition is a complicated and difficult process that allows for faults and stumbles to shine, making characters relatable. It is a wonderful time when readers are exploring reality but still willing, eager even, to engage in the most fantastical fantasies authors can spin.

One last word about age classifications. Adult readers should ignore them. Children’s literature can be well written, exciting, surprising, heart-wretching, and informative. They are also sometimes shorter! Don’t let the kids have all the fun! Pick up a middle grade or young adult novel and enjoy the ride.