Tag Archives: Newbery Medal

Can Your Faith Be Seen?

“Can Your Faith Be Seen?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Can you see, smell, touch, hear, or taste your faith in yourself? There are positive effects of getting an object to represent your dream coming true. This object will symbolize your goal in the completed state when it becomes reality. Visualize an object that you think symbolizes one of your goals. Can you buy it or create it?

A writer/illustrator can visualize winning the Newbery Medal or the Caldecott Award. She can see herself being declared a New York Times Best-Selling Author. When authors see these awards in their minds, it will help them achieve the praise-worthy awards.

Let me explain further. For instance, Joel Osteen said a woman and her husband bought a baby’s outfit. They didn’t have a baby yet. They were “hoping” to have one. Every day they looked at the outfit and thanked God for the baby He was sending him. Funny thing about this. The couple did have a baby many years later.

It reminded me of a few times when I’ve used as an object as a symbol of my belief:

When I was caring for my Mother in the year 2000, I was distressed because during the previous five years, she had been in the hospital two times for a long stay. I wanted to keep this from happening again. I created a mini-hospital bag: a gift bag filled with bandaids, Neosporin ointment, and gauze. I told Mother and Carl I was going to keep this as my mini-hospital so it would keep Mother from having to go into the hospital to stay. It worked. Mother never had to stay in the hospital again until a month before she died. My mini-hospital-being able to furnish my Mother’s needs worked. I believed it would work. It worked.

When Carl and I went to Colorado this summer in the midst of all the fires they were having, we were terrified.  I told him that just because we stayed home wouldn’t mean there wouldn’t be problems. I told him I asked God if we could take rain to Colorado. I also told him I was going to buy N-95 Particulate Masks to protect us from the smoke, if we got into it. I told him that the masks would work sort of like having an umbrella to keep the rain away. We did take rain with us. It rained in Colorado and put out a lot of the fires while we were out there. God answered our prayers and the prayers of all the people in the world who have prayed for rain in drought filled areas.

Sometimes I cut words and/or pictures out of magazines to represent what I wish for…my dreams. Funny about it, when I look back on them later, many of those dreams have come true. In 2004, I cut out a picture of a house I liked.  In 2006, the house Carl and I bought was similar to it. John Assaraf, in the movie, The Secret, put a picture of a beautiful Hollywood home on his “Vision Board.” Five years later he discovered that he not only got a house similar to the one in his picture, but he had actually purchased the exact same house and was living in it.

Believe that you will receive what you wish. The universe has an abundance. God has an abundance for you. Expect and declare what you desire. Choose words or an object to represent your dream. I believe in you. God believes in you. Believe in yourself. You are more than worth it.

Thanks for reading my blog. Please leave a comment. Share symbols you have for your dreams. I’d love to hear from you.

Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright 2012 © Joan Y. Edwards

What Are Middle Grade Novels?

“What Are Middle Grade Novels?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Read Kristi Holl’s Right-Writing.com article “Writing the Middle Grade Novel” http://www.right-writing.com/middle-grade.html. She is an instructor for The Institute of Children’s Literature.  It gives a good comprehensive overview of what Middle Grade Novels are. I read a lot of posts. Her explanation was simple and clear. It was the best one that I read.

After reading all of the sources below, I combined their knowledge and mine to give you a good idea to answer the question, “What are Middle Grade Novels?”

Criteria for Middle Grade Novels

  • Written for 8-12 years old – Grades 3, 4, 5, 6
  • 30,000 -45,000 (120  – 180 pages) pages may vary.
  • Chapters 7-10 pages each (may vary)
  • Unlimited Chapters
  • Contains Words with any number of syllables.
  • Any structure of sentences
  • Episodes stand on their own in each chapter and lead up to a big crescendo at the end.
  • Humor
  • Strong Voice

Main Character in Middle Grade Novel

  • experiences problems with school, friends, neighborhood, siblings, pets, and people in authority
  • realizes that adults make mistakes, including his own parents
  • leans more heavily on opinions and advice of friends, rather than parents.
  • his parents may be missing from the story or not needed to make the story believable
  • may be opinionated and doesn’t think there’s any room for people to have a different opinion from his.  (I believe it might be a good time to teach him debating skills.)

Middle Grade Students

  • want to please
  • worry about being wrong or doing it wrong.
  • place things in an all right or all wrong category.
  • want to belong
  • show interest in opposite sex by teasing, joking, and showing off.
  • sometimes verbally abusive of classmates: name-calling and nasty put-downs.
  • learn how to handle bullying.

Middle Grade Students Enjoy

  • clubs
  • secrets
  • rules, rituals, routine
  • games
  • hobbies that develop interests and talents like music, art, dance, sports

Anita Gurian, Ph.D. and Alice Pope, Ph.D. say “They (kids) learn how to set up rules, how to weigh alternatives and make decisions when faced with dilemmas. They experience fear, anger, aggression and rejection. They learn how to win, how to lose, what’s appropriate, what’s not. They learn about social standing and power – who’s in, who’s out, how to lead and how to follow, what’s fair and what’s not.”

Examples of Middle Grade Novels

  1. Amazon Best Selling Middle Grade Books https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-8223722010-Middle-Grade-Ages-12/zgbs/books/7782727011
  2. Good Reads.com “684 Popular Middle Grade Fiction Titles http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/middle-grade-fiction
  3. Seira Wilson. “Best Children’s Middle Grade Books of the Year.” http://www.omnivoracious.com/2011/11/best-childrens-middle-grade-books-of-the-year.html


1. About.com. Children’s Books Top Picks “Historical Fiction for Middle Grade Readers:” http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/toppicks/tp/Award-Winning-Historical-Fiction-For-Middle-Grade-Readers.htm
2.  Babette Reeves, the Passionate Librarian. “Middle Grade or Young Adult: What’s the difference?” http://babetter.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/middle-grade-or-young-adult-whats-the-difference/
3.. Barnes & Noble. New York Bestsellers Middle Grade and Young Adult Books http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/childrens-books-ny-times-bestsellers-chapter-books/379001074/
4. Good Reads.com “684 Popular Middle Grade Fiction Titles http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/middle-grade-fiction
5. Kristi Holl, Right-Writing.com. “Writing the Middle Grade Novel” http://www.right-writing.com/middle-grade.html
6.  Seira Wilson. “Best children’s Middle Grade Books of the Year.” http://www.omnivoracious.com/2011/11/best-childrens-middle-grade-books-of-the-year.html

Wow! It’s a bunch to get a handle on, but step by step, we’ll make it. I recommend checking out 25 Middle Grade Novels and compare them with the ideas on this page. You may find they coincide with the ideas on this page. You may find ideas that disagree with my findings. Be true to your characters and their voice from within. The editors will decide where it goes. Make your best guess.

I hope that this helps you understand what makes a Middle Grade Novel. Ask me questions. Give me answers. Tell me your favorite Middle Grade Novel. What’s missing from my criteria? I’ll do “What are Young Adult Novels?” next in this Genre series.

I am honored by your presence here. Thanks for reading.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards