19156898As soon as there is a goal or an assignment, I am among the first to sign up — and the one who knows all along that I won’t meet the goal. I’m pretty sure I have this all figured out, but this post is about READING, not about therapy. So let me say that I hate book clubs because I hate required reading, I hate that Goodreads encourages readers to set a number goal for reading (a happiness algorithm based on emotions when reading would be a better goal, I think), and I hate feeling like I’m letting library patrons down by not reading what they do. So hello 2014 — and goodbye to all that other silliness and guilt about reading.

Each year I read a lot of middle grade, but I go through it so quickly and read so much that I rarely keep track of titles. I lead a library book group that meets twice a month to talk about the books we’re all reading, and I’ve sadly stopped talking about children’s and YA in this group because I see people check out as soon as I say it’s not an adult book. I love this book group format and the people who participate, but I somehow let it stop me from reading what I want to read.

This year my focus is going to be on middle grade (no afterthought) and I’ll track it on goodreads with this middle grades read in 2014 shelf. As of today, there’s only one book on the shelf, but that’s okay because it’s the fantastic The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm. (It’s not out yet, but you can see the cover reveal and read all about it in this blog post from Mr. Schu.)

Several years ago, I read  100 middle grade novels in a period of a few months. I was immersing myself in children’s literature not only as an aspiring writer (this was pre Hannah West mystery drafts) but as someone toying with the idea of going to grad school to be a children’s librarian. THAT, my friends, was the best reading year of my adult life. And this year is off to a great start.

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