Monday, October 1, 2018

CYBILS 2018!

I am happy to announce that it is Cybils time once again.  For those who aren't familiar with this award, here is the description right from their website:

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

I am pleased to say that once again I have the privilege of serving as a judge.  I will be serving as a Round One panelist for the Junior High/Senior High Nonfiction category as I did last year.

The description for my category is as follows:

Novels may get all the glory, but we know that truth is stranger than fiction any day of the week.

We’re currently in a golden age of nonfiction. Forget the dry stuff they used to read in school to help with homework–today’s authors understand how important a great nonfiction piece of writing is to both students and teachers, both for the learning opportunities in school and outside school walls. Great nonfiction can sweep readers away to far off lands, different time periods, and have you walk the shoes of someone else’s life as easily as fiction–for in our case, these people, lands, and events really took place. Young adult readers do not need to be lectured, they want the information presented to them so they can make informed decisions for themselves. Because of this, authors have the ultimate responsibility of bringing truth alive to these discerning readers–do not try to sugar coat, lie, or belittle or you will lose them instantly. Young adult nonfiction readers will not and should not shy away from controversial topics, they rely on accurate and up-to-date information to help them form opinions on what matters most to them. While some topics are not easily discussed, we need these resources so they have a safe place to turn to for the information they seek.  

What we are looking for in Junior High/Senior High Nonfiction category is the best of the best in nonfiction. At least 50% should be narrative nonfiction–something that “reads like a story.”. It might include informational graphics, pop out boxes, an index, good citations, and more.  While how-to nonfiction and textbooks are fantastic in some cases, for CYBILS purposes, that is not what we are looking for so please do not nominate them. If you have read or written an engaging narrative nonfiction book for those in fifth through twelfth grades, we would love for you to nominate them for Young Adult Nonfiction!

We’ve broken YA into two age categories and are awarding Junior High and Senior High separately. How do I decide which category to nominate in?
  • Junior High Nonfiction: Intended for readers in 6th-8th grade
  • Senior High Nonfiction: Intended for readers in 9th-12th grade

Here are my fellow panelists:

Round 1:

Anne Bennett
My Head is Full of Books

Rebecca Aguilar
Mostly About Nonfiction

Laurie Thompson
Laurie Thompson Blog

Heidi Grange
Geo Librarian

Jennie Rothschild
Biblio File

Round 2:

Adrienne Gillespie
Books and Bassets

Katy Manck

Terry Doherty
The Reading Tub

Wendy Gassaway
Falconer’s Library

Karen Yingling
Ms. Yingling Reads



1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change Edited by Marc Aronson
Crash: The Great Depression and the Fall and Rise of America by Marc Favreau
Blacklisted: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner
Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal
Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O'Connell Pearson


Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo
Capsized: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster by Patricia Sutton
In Harm's Way: JFK, World War II, and the Heroic Rescue of PT 109 by Ian Martin
The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb
Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chesnut Tree by Sally M. Walker
More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War by Kenneth C. Davis
Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Tonya Bolden
March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals
Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin

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