The Children's Book Council hosted the second in this year's Forum series on July 12 at Penguin Random House. Moderated by Francesco Sedita, president and publisher, Grosset Group, Penguin Young Readers, the panel explored the recent growth in the middle grade demographic, and current and future trends.Panelists Susan Marston, editorial director at the Junior Library Guild; Lauren Tarshis, editor of Scholastic’s Storyworks and author of the I Survived series; and Angela Ungaro, librarian at Brooklyn Friends School shared their insight on the defining features of middle grade — both in fiction and nonfiction. Though it is difficult to pin down the precise age of target readers, one unifying quality in middle grade is a spirit of optimism and self-discovery.
The panelists agreed that the future is bright for middle grade, with books of increasingly exceptional writing quality coming down the pike. (Publishers Weekly)