Kami Kinard’s The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister was re-released in paperback in July 2016. Middle Grade Mafia is excited to talk to Kami about her publishing experience and learn more about Kara McAllister’s quest for a boyfriend.  Kami is graciously offering to give away a free copy of The …

I believe that you can’t learn to write good books without reading good books. So, I’ve been working my way through the Newberry award list. Recently I read the 2009 Newberry winner, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and it was the highlight of my summer reading. The story starts with a …

Jennifer Lewis

Middle Grade Mafia reads a lot of books and we think we have  good taste in children’s literature, but what do we know? We’re adults. Children’s books are supposed to appeal to children. We wanted to know what kids like to read and why .From time to time, MGM will be interviewing the real experts in children’s literature…the media specialists.

Our first “From the Stacks” interview is with Jennifer Lewis, the media specialist at Indian Knoll Elementary in Canton, Georgia.

Middle Grade Mafia: How long have you been a media specialist? Why did you choose that career path?

Jennifer Lewis: This August, I will start my twentieth year of teaching and sixth in the media center.  I enjoyed being a classroom teacher, but I pursued my school library degree because my true calling is in the library.  I love exploring new technology and helping teachers use it in their classrooms, collaborating with teachers to plan engaging lessons, and of course sharing great books with students!  I believe that I have the best job in public education!

 MGM: What are some of the most popular series/authors with your students? And why do you think these books have such appeal?

JL: My students love: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis, The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, NERDS by Michael Buckley, Warriors by Erin Hunter, The Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell, and Bone by Jeff Smith.  All of these series are either humorous or full of action.  This is what my students are looking for in a great book series!

 MGM: Is there a series or author that you wish your students would read but they don’t seem interested?

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