Thursday, October 29, 2015


I opened Middle Grade Mania's book blog directory in 2012, three years ago. During that time I have had lots of grandiose ideas of what I wanted this blog to become and to offer its readers. But the reality is that I just don't have time to do any of that.

I will not be offering blog tours. I will not be posting regularly with links to other blogs. I will not be comparing book covers. Middle Grade Mania will remain, simply, a directory of book blogs about middle grade books. 

My life is just too filled with other things right now--writing and editing my books, editing Middle Shelf Magazine, homeschooling my kids, volunteering at my church. Soon, hopefully, I will also be teaching at my local city college. There just isn't much time left over for blogging.

But the directory will remain, and I will keep it updated every few months. If you are a new blog or know of a blog that isn't included, feel free to send me the link. It may take a while, but I will do my best to add it to the list.

Thanks so much.

-- Laurisa

Friday, June 19, 2015

CIRCUS MIRANDUS Reviewed by Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books!

The Circus is coming to town under a magical veil of mystery, magic and intrigue. This is a fantastic story that has been picked from the publisher that has wings and will easily soar into the heart of the reader through the emotionally charged energy that it holds. It is sensitively told; tackling some of the challenges of life and the sadness of dealing with hope and death. 

Micah's beloved grandfather is gravely sick and close to death. His elusive past brings a magical world of Circus Mirandus to his grandson (Micah) which is stunning and rich in detail. It will have you engrossed from the first to the very last page. The rights have already been sold to be made into a film, even before publication. This story should easily translate to the big screen in cinematic quality. 

Read the complete post at MR. RIPLEY'S ENCHANTED BOOKS.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


In an attempt to set more time aside for writing, I will be spending more time doing that and less time posting here on Middle Grade Mania.

So instead of posting 3-4 times a week, I will be posting only once a week.

However, Middle Grade Mania is now offering book tour services for middle grade authors. If you are a blogger and would like to be contacted about future book tours or cover reveals, or if you are an author interested in promoting your book, please email me at lwredits at gmail dot com.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

IT HAPPENED ON A TRAIN - Audio Book Review

If you've followed this blog for a while, you'll know that I am a HUGE fan of the Brixton Brothers mystery series. They're funny, they're hip and they have some really good mysteries in them. And good action scenes too. So I was very, very glad to see the library get audiobook copies of them! And I was very, very, very glad to see that the great Arte Johnson was the person reading them!. Now you may or may not know who Arte Johnson is but guys who grew up when I did are very familiar with him and knew how funny he could be. He's the perfect guy for these audiobooks and he did a great job on this one.

Read the complete review on BOYS RULE BOYS READ.

It Happened on a Train (Brixton Brothers Series #3)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



This week, we are tackling cover that rely almost entirely on text for the cover. This is a common technique used for wordy titles or titles with powerful, self-explanatory words. Today we're looking at two books with wordy titles.

Designers often minimize graphics with long titles because if there are too many graphics or the images are too dominant, they run the risk of people not taking the time to actually read the title. When the title itself is the main graphic, that isn't so much of a problem. However, there is a greater risk of the cover failing to fully convey the theme and/or genre of the book.

Let's take these two for example:


The titles both suggest humor, particularly Stauffacher's book. There are few scattered "fun" images of a fish on a line, a sewing dumming, and an unhappy fork & knife. Fits with the idea of etiquette and the cartoonish illustrations support the humor in the title. The solid blue background helps to unite the otherwise (intentionally) messy colors & fonts of the title.

The first cover for Jen White's book presents a slightly more dramatic effect, while still erring on the side of humorous. Using cut-out maps for the font along with the tracks, car, and seemingly disconnected images strongly suggest a story about a journey of some kind. This may be a funny book, but the white background hints at something a little deeper.

The question is, do these covers succeed at grabbing the reader's attention? Do you want to open the book and read it? Do the images tell you enough about the story to hook you?

Comment below and let us know what you think.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I must admit that I was drawn to this book initially by its lovely purple colour. The more I looked at it the more I wanted to know about the characters depicted on it. The blurb drew me in too, this Cinderella-esque tale was definitely something I wanted to read.

The book is a fairly slim one, and it has plenty of illustrations, done by artist James Brown, dotted throughout. I found that this made it a quick read, I think it will mean that younger readers will find it manageable too - in interest terms it will appeal broadly.

Read the entire review at MIDDLE GRADE STRIKES BACK.