Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yay for Middle Grade Books: Guest Post From Gail Nall!

Today on the blog I'm happy to present a guest post from Gail Nall! Ms. Nall is the author of the Middle Grade books Breaking the Ice, and the RSVP books with Jen Malone. She is also the author of the YA book Exit Stage Left. Her newest MG book, Out of Tune, releases November 8th! :)

Here's her guest post!

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked as an author is, “Why do you write middle grade?” And it's the one question for which I don't have an easy answer. (Well, besides which celebrities I'd cast as my characters – I'm horrible at that question!) When I sat down with a story idea te n (!!) years ago, it just came out as middle grade. I didn't know what middle grade was, but I didn't question it. I just wrote the story.

But once I thought more about that question, I did find some answers. Mostly, it's because of the role that middle grade books played in my own life. Like most bookish kids, I was quiet (not shy, just introverted). I had friends, but sometimes I preferred the friends in my books. Books were, in a weird way, my best friends. I loved coming home to Laura Ingalls, Nancy Drew, Anne Shirley, all the girls in the Baby-Sitters Club, the Sleepover Friends, and Elizabeth and Jessica from Sweet Valley Twins. They never changed, they lived in fascinating places, and they had adventures I could only dream about. And they were all so much braver than I thought I was. I mean, Jessica once sneaked out to see a concert. And Laura tricked mean old Nellie into getting in a leech-filled creek!

I like to think that some of that literary bravery rubbed off on me, just a little. Maybe I never got the mean girl in school covered with creepy little bloodsucking critters, but I did run for Student Council, I went to a winter sports camp in Michigan all by myself, and I picked a high school where I knew absolutely no one as a freshman. So, I guess it makes sense that when I grew up, I'd write books about girls being brave, and having adventures, and living in fascinating places. My greatest wish is that somewhere, a kid is reading one of my books, and is inspired to make a change, to do something different – to be brave.

(Just don't drive any Zambonis, kids. Please.)

Love this! A lot of the characters you mentioned also had an impact on me when I was younger. (The Nancy Drew books were some of the first big books I ever read, and I wanted to be like Nancy!) :)

Thank you for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the middle grade novel, BREAKING THE ICE (Aladdin/S&S, 2015) and the co-author of YOU'RE INVITED (Aladdin/S&S, 2015). She is also the author of the young adult novel, EXIT STAGE LEFT (Epic Reads Impulse/HarperCollins, 2015). You can find her online at and on Twitter as @gailecn.

Here are a few links:


  1. Great guest post! I love the idea of book characters helping readers be braver!!!


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