Middle grade sits awkwardly in the space between effortlessly adorable picture books for young children, and effortlessly trendy YA for teens. Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing it so much – because it reminds me of how I was at that age. I was a gawky, awkward kid with a nose that was growing too fast for my face, a mouth full of braces, and giant glasses that made me look like an even bigger dork than I already was. But much like the protagonists of many middle grade novels, I wasn’t yet jaded by the reality of life. I still believed in magic, and more importantly, I still believed in myself.