September is the start of school, new notebooks, opening the first pages of books, and a fresh supply of pens and pencils. The fall season renews our affection for reading. If you ask lifelong readers when they fell in love with books, most will tell you about a book they read between the ages of 8 and 12, or third through seventh grade. The middle-school years are formative in many respects but test results show students in the Fox Cities start to fall behind in reading scores in fourth grade. This year we made it a priority to focus on this future generation of readers and share more love of middle-grade books.

Fox Cities Book Festival 2018 has big plans to celebrate reading and connect young readers to writers. There will be school visits by several featured authors. These are special events which do not appear on our public schedule but are the result of our partnerships with local school districts and educators to instill the love of books with today’s students.

Get excited for the featured authors for Fox Cities Book Festival – The Middle Years.

The market for middle-grade fiction is not exclusive to young readers and it’s some of the best writing in contemporary American literature.

Crystal Chan grew up in Oshkosh, she graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, and you might have heard her stories on Wisconsin Public Radio.  Her debut novel, Bird, was published in nine countries and is available on audiobook. Her new novel, All That I Can Fix, is set in Zanesville, Ohio, in 2011 in the midst of an exotic zoo outbreak.


Brenda Felber is the author of the Pameroy Mystery Series with each book set in a different state. Travel to a haunted house in the Wisconsin forest with 12-year-old Lillia Pameroy to discover the truth about the old man who lives there in Locked Doors.



Sean Jensen worked as a sports reporter including covering the Green Bay Packers for the Milwaukee Journal before he moved back to the Twin Cities. He hatched the idea for a book series on famous athletes with inspirational childhood stories. Sean has written four books in the Middle School Rules series. His most recent book is The Middle School Rules of Jamaal Charles.


Gordon Korman has written 80-something books for kids and teens. His books have been translated into 32 languages and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. His most recent releases for middle-grade readers include Supergifted, Restart, Slacker, and Whathisface.



Kurtis Scaletta is the author of four novels for young readers. His most recent novel, Rooting for Rafael Rosales, is about two brave kids who beat the odds: one a budding environmentalist determined to expose the truth about her father’s employer, a pesticides manufacturer whose products have been linked to colony collapse; the other, a gifted baseball player living in San Pedro de Macrois, the Dominican Republic’s “Cradle of Shortstops.”


Larry Scheckel taught science in Tomah, Wisconsin and his book, I Always Wondered About That: 101 Questions and Answers about Science & Stuff makes science interesting and fun for kids of all ages. The second book in the I Always Wondered series of middle-grade nonfiction comes out on November 1. I Wondered About That Too: 111 Questions and Answers about Science & Stuff.


We hope readers in the Fox Cities enjoy these books and students are encouraged by meeting these inspirational authors of books to pursue their own interests and write their own stories.