Welcome to our channel surf, where we highlight our favorite writing, publishing, and/or book-related posts of the week by middle grade authors! For some crazy reason, we’ve got a few holiday-themed posts this week. Hit the pause button for a sec and check this out…

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou

by Lehua Parker, author of The Niuhi Shark Saga

Thanks to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, everyone my age knows Mele Kalikimaka is how you say Merry Christmas in Hawaiian. But can you wish everyone a happy new year, too? Lehua breaks this phrase down.

The Voice of the MG Teacher

by Matt Daly

Over on Project Mayhem, 8th grade teacher Matt Daly offers great insight into how the new CCCS standards devalue creative writing – and, more importantly, what authors can do to help. (Not sure what the standards are all about? Check out the initiative here, an NYT opinion page on the subject here, and my own opinion on the president of the College Board’s dismissive attitude towards the importance of fostering self-expression in schools here.)

Christmas Themed Books from Australia

by Christopher Cheng (guest post on Cynsations)

Christmas isn’t snowy everywhere! These cool recommendations feature everything from surfing Santas to star-swallowing old ladies – all published by Australian authors and illustrators.

Cozy Winter Reads

by Elissa Cruz

The best thing about winter is curling up in front of a fire with hot chocolate and a good book. (Just like the best thing about summer is lounging out in the sun with lemonade and a good book, right?) Elissa put together a great list of middle grade books with icy, chilly settings.

Read any other great kid lit posts in the blogosphere this week? Share a link in the comments, and we’ll tweet up a storm!