It’s Cybils Time!

I’m a Cybils panelist again this year!

The Cybils are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, and I’ve served as a panelist or judge several times before, but took a break when I was on the Newbery committee. Now I’m excited to take up the cause again.

Being on the Newbery committee was a once-in-a-lifetime peak experience. But there are some things I like better about being a Cybils panelist:

  • It only absorbs three months of your life.
  • It is much more targeted, with several different categories. This year I’m serving on the Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction panel, reading only science fiction and fantasy for children. This is a category I love, so I get to focus on my favorites.
  • The task is more defined, finite, and attainable. We know how many books are nominated and make sure that at least two people read every nominated book, enough to evaluate it. And we keep track. With the Newbery, so much is eligible, you’re always afraid that something wonderful might get missed.
  • It’s less top secret. I can still blog about the books I read. I still won’t tell you what the committee thinks, but I don’t have to stop reviewing books while serving.
  • Best of all, a Cybils first round panel does not have to choose only ONE book! We get to put forward a list of top books in our category. How I wish I could have done that with the Newbery! The hard part of that was all the wonderful books I read that could not receive awards. (Don’t get me wrong — I love our winner. But there were so many good books published last year! It’s so hard to limit the award as much as we need to.) With the Cybils first round, our goal is to make a list — and it makes me happy to get to recognize more books.
  • How will I get the reading done? I don’t know the answer to that yet.

    Last week I took an amazing trip with childhood friends to Prince Edward Island. So for the last several months, I have been rereading my L. M. Montgomery books in publication order. Today I finished up Rilla of Ingleside, so I finished the first thirteen, but have many more to go.

    But now it’s Cybils time! So here’s my plan:

    Cybils books through December.

    After we make our decision, I’m going to try to madly read books from the 10 to 14 reading group for Capitol Choices until it’s time to make that decision in January.

    Then I get to go back to L. M. Montgomery! I’m reading her books with a whole new visualization of the landscape of the stories. I’d never thought much before, for example, about the fact that you can see a sliver of the sea from Rainbow Valley!

    Oh, and the other important thing to note: It’s time to nominate books for the Cybils!

    Anyone can do this! Everyone can nominate one book in each category during October 1-15. If you’ve read any children’s books this year at all, please give me some great books to read and nominate for the Cybils!

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