Now that I’ve posted my own favorites read in 2011, I can stand to read the lists of Cybils Finalists! I’m very proud to be a book blogger, part of the Kidlitosphere, the people who do the Cybils Awards. With the Cybils Awards, the judges (book bloggers) try to balance literary quality with Kid Appeal. They want these to be award winners that kids and teens will actually want to read. I think they achieve this goal.
Another cool thing about the Cybils is the philosophy behind the Finalists. There are two rounds of judging, Finalists, and then one winner in each category. I’ve talked with some Cybils panelists, and they try to come up with a representative group of books for that category. You won’t find all historical fiction with girl protagonists, as sometimes happens with the Newbery. They are looking for a well-rounded list of the top books, and I think they also achieve this goal.
This year, I tried to nominate early, because last year all my favorite books had already been nominated. To my delight, three of my nominees are Finalists!
Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George, in the category of Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction;
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, in the category of Middle Grade Fiction;
Dodsworth in Rome, by Tim Egan, in the category of Easy Readers.
These are all great books, and I honestly hope each one wins, though at this point, I’m simply excited that they are Finalists!