Seven Podcasts for Middle-Grade Maniacs

While we’re celebrating #MiddleGradeMania all month long, let’s face it: being mad about middle grade tends to be a year-round affliction. The following is a list of podcasts that regularly cover middle-grade books and authors, ideal for busy grown-ups who need to feed their love of middle grade and want to keep up with the ever-changing industry.

Books Between Podcast


Books Between

Hosted by Corinna Allen, a wonderfully cheery fifth-grade teacher and mom of two, this biweekly podcast aims to connect kids to great middle-grade books, but it’s equally useful for the grown-up middle-grade lover, often featuring new book reviews and in-depth interviews with prominent authors.
Average episode length: 50 minutes.

Candlewick Press Presents


Candlewick Presents

Despite its sporadic release schedule, this show, presented by Candlewick Press, features engaging interviews with the house’s various authors and illustrators, covering the full breadth of children’s literature. Recent guests include Kate DiCamillo and Meg Medina.
Average episode length: 40 minutes.

Children's Book Podcast


The Children’s Book Podcast

While picture books tend to be the primary focus here, the occasional middle-grade spotlight is very much worthwhile. The earnest enthusiasm of host Matthew Winner, a school librarian, will win you over as he offers in-depth interviews of authors and illustrators, making a conscious effort to feature artists of color or other marginalized backgrounds.
Average episode length: 45 minutes.

Lifelines Podcast


Lifelines: Books That Bridge the Divide

Jointly hosted by middle-grade author Ann Braden and author, activist, and cultural trainer Saadia Faruqi, this show typically features conversations between librarians, educators, authors, and readers about the children’s books that can bridge our cultural divides. This one often focuses on middle-grade books and sometimes includes recommended reading lists.
Average episode length: 40 minutes.

PW Kids Cast


Publishers Weekly KidsCast

Our friends over at PW produce this long-running podcast, providing regularly scheduled author interviews at a convenient length. Hosted by associate children’s book editor Emma Kantor, this show covers a wide array of children’s literature.
Average episode length: 20 minutes.

Remember Reading? Podcast



Remember Reading?

This show, released monthly, breaks the usual mold, pairing up current authors with classic works of children’s literature (usually middle-grade lit). In conversation with Lindsay Jacobsen, social media and marketing manager at HarperKids, authors discuss their favorite classics and the influence of those titles on their own work.
Average episode length: 25 minutes.

The Yarn Podcast


The Yarn

Produced by librarian Travis Jonker and schoolteacher Colby Sharp, this podcast from School Library Journal takes a more stylistic approach to in-person author interviews. Cutting out questions in favor of atmospheric music, each episode features an author describing their journey to a fitting soundscape. While this podcast often covers middle grade, it also includes picture books and YA.
Average episode length: 15 minutes.

Know of any other podcasts that can feed our #MiddleGradeMania? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out Booklist’s brand-new podcast, “Shelf Care,” which brings you all things readers’ advisory, including conversations with rock-star librarians and discussions on can’t-miss books.

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About the Author:

Ronny Khuri is an associate editor for Books for Youth at Booklist. He has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. His dæmon is a Siamese cat named Tiger Lily.

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