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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Cybils, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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476. Time for 2008 Cybils award nominations

It’s time again to nominate your favorite books for the Cybils Award, the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards. This year, awards will be given in nine categories including poetry, of course. Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English).

To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th. A separate post is available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread is also be available. The Cybils were founded by Anne Boles Levy and Kelly Herold in 2006. This year's winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

Kelly Fineman reminds us: When deciding if something belongs in the poetry category, ask yourself "Is this a collection of poems?"
* A picture book that is written in rhyme belongs over in the picture book section, not here.
* Poetry collections for older kids and teens belong here as well.
* A novel written in free verse belongs with all the other novels for the appropriate age range.

I have been honored to participate in this process each year in the poetry category. Interestingly, poet Joyce Sidman has won the poetry award BOTH years for:
*Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)
*This Is Just To Say; Poems Of Apology And Forgiveness (Hougton Mifflin, 2007)
Who will be next?

If you’re looking for poetry to nominate this year, I’ve been trying hard to compile a comprehensive list of this year’s poetry for young people (and review each title here—although I’m behind!) and will share my list-in-progress. Please let me know if you spot any poetry books that I’ve missed. (NOTE: My list is very inclusive and embraces verse novels and poetry-linked books that aren’t eligible in the poetry category, but are eligible in other categories. FYI)

Poetry for Young People 2008 (so far)

1. Adoff, Jaime. 2008. The Death of Jayson Porter. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion.
2. Alarcón, Francisco X. 2008. Animals Poems of the Iguazú / Animalario del Iguazú. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
3. Ardelius, Gunnar. 2008. I Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You to Bits. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
4. Ashman, Linda. 2008. M is for Mischief. New York: Dutton.
5. Ashman, Linda. 2008. Stella, Unleashed. New York: Sterling.
6. Beck, Carolyn. Buttercup’s Lovely Day. Custer, WA: Orca Books.
7. Bryant, Jen. 2008. A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams. New York: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
8. Bryant, Jen. 2008. Ringside 1925; Views From the Scopes Trial. New York: Knopf.
9. Cheng, Andrea. 2008. Where the Steps Were. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
10. Dickinson, Emily. 2008. My Letter to the World. Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. New York: Kids Can Press.
11. Elliott, David. 2008. On the Farm. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
12. Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
13. Fehler, Gene. 2008. Beanball. New York: Clarion.
14. Field, Eugene. 2008. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. Illustrated by Giselle Potter. New York: Schwartz and Wade Books.
15. Frank, John. 2008. Keepers: Treasure-Hunt Poems. New York: Roaring Brook.
16. Frost, Helen. 2008. Diamond Willow. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
17. Gerber, Carole. 2008. Winter Trees. Ill. by Leslie Evans. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
18. Ghigna, Charles. 2008. Score! 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire. New York: Abrams.
19. Giovanni, Nikki. Coll. 2008. Hip Hop Speaks to Children. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
20. Greenberg, Jan. 2008. Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World. New York: Abrams.
21. Greenfield, Eloise. 2008. Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins.
22. Harley, Avis. 2008. The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
23. Harrison, David. L. 2008. Pirates. Ill. by Dan Burr. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
24. Herrick, Steven. 2008. Naked Bunyip Dancing. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
25. High, Linda Oatman. 2008. Planet Pregnancy. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
26. Holbrook, Sara and Wolf, Allan. 2008. More Than Friends; Poems from Him and Her. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
27. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2008. America at War. New York: McElderry.
28. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2008. Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees. New York: HarperCollins.
29. Iyengar, Malathi Michelle. 2008. Tan to Tamarind: Poems About the Color Brown. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press
30. Katz, Alan. 2008. Oops. New York: Margaret K. McElderry.
31. Larios, Julie. 2008. Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
32. Lawson, Jonarno. 2008. Black Stars in a White Night Sky. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
33. Lewis, J. Patrick, and Janeczko, Paul B. 2008. Birds on a Wire. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
34. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2008. The World’s Greatest: Poems. San Francisco: Chronicle.
35. LeZotte, Ann Clare. 2008. T4. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
36. Maddox, Marjories, 2008. A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
37. Michael, Pamela, Ed. 2008. River of Words. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed.
38. Mora, Pat. 2008. Join Hands! The Ways We Celebrate Life. Photographs by George Ancona. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
39. Nelson, Marilyn. 2008. The Freedom Business. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
40. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2008. Honeybee. New York: Greenwillow.
41. Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face and Other Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
42. Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. My Dog May Be a Genius. New York: Greenwillow.
43. Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry; How to Write a Poem. New York: Greenwillow.
44. Reibstein, Mark. 2008. Wabi Sabi. Ill. by Ed Young. New York: Little, Brown.
45. Rovetch, Gerda. 2008. There Was a Man Who Loved a Rat; And Other Vile Little Poems. New York: Philomel.
46. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Lettuce Introduce You: Poems About Foot (A+ Books). Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
47. Sanderson, Ruth. 2008. Mother Goose and Friends. New York: Little, Brown.
48. Sierra, Judy. 2008. Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark. Ill. by Brian Biggs. New York: Knopf.
49. Singer, Marilyn. 2008. First Food Fight This Fall. New York: Sterling.
50. Singer, Marilyn. 2008. Shoe Bop! New York: Dutton.
51. Smith, Hope Anita. 2008. Keeping the Night Watch. New York: Henry Holt.
52. Soto, Gary. 2008. Partly Cloudy; Poems of Love and Longing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
53. Wassenhove, Sue Van. 2008. The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
54. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2008. Becoming Billie Holiday. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
55. Wesiburd, Stefi. 2008. Barefoot: Poems for Naked Feet. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
56. Weston, Robert Paul. 2008. Zorgamazoo. New York: Razorbill/Penguin.
57. Winters, Kay. 2008. Colonial Voices, Hear Them Speak. New York: Dutton.
58. Wong, Janet. 2008. Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
59. Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2008. 42 Miles. New York: Clarion.
60. Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2008. Steady Hands: Poems About Work. New York: Clarion.

For more this Poetry Friday, go to Two Writing Teachers.

Picture credit: http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/

6 Comments on Time for 2008 Cybils award nominations, last added: 10/7/2008
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477. Mix 'n' Match

Sometimes my posts seem but a faint echo of the clamor all over the Kidlitosphere... but hey, for the sake of posterity, I'll chime in anyway.

First, the second annual Kidlitosphere Conference has come and gone. For a taste of what you (and I) missed, check out the numerous wrap-ups by attendees.

Second, nominations are now open for the third annual Cybil Awards. This is your chance to nominate your favorite books of 2008 for these blogger-run children's and YA literature awards. Jen Robinson explains in further detail. Nominations are only open until October 15, so make sure your favorites get on the list for consideration!

And for something completely different: I love the Chicago Tribune's online historical photo galleries. Hundreds of fascinating photos, some idyllic, some brutal, evoke eras past in the Windy City.

The current feature is Stroll the White City, photos from the Chicago World's Fair a whopping 115 years ago. What a spectacle! It's pretty much impossible to imagine Chicago putting on such an extravagant show ever again—all the beautiful (temporary) buildings, the amazing artifacts from all over the world, the throngs of people! Then again, there's that whole 2016 Olympic bid.

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478. Sci Fi Fantasy Cybils fun

I am going over to the Cybils site many times a day, to excitedly read the nominations for the category I'm involved in--Sci. Fi./ Fantasy.

I realized during the summer, as Cybils season approached, that this was the category I wanted to be part of, and (perhaps foolishly) decided not to focus my reading efforts fantasy-ward (although I cracked on a few, such as The Hunger Games, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Chalice, and a few others). Result: there are lots of books I'm looking forward to reading in the coming months! (but a few that I want to read haven't been nominated yet...so if you haven't nominated one in this category yet, ask yourself--"What would Charlotte like?" (tongue in cheek here, in case that's not obvious).

One thing I that is dawning on me (joke, keep reading) is that I have a lot of reading of non-nominated books to do. For instance, Breaking Dawn is nominated, but I (gulp) haven't read any of the earlier books. I feel as though I have, but it's just not true. There are several others like that--second, third, or even higher in a series. So I have come up with a Plan to help me clearheadedly and calmly navigate the reading waters of the coming fall.

Happily, I am home sick with a cold today. This will help me implement today's part of the Plan:

1. finish reading and writing reviews of all the books that need to be read and have reviews written of them (to do today). Write to all the publishers who sent me books giving them links to all my reviews.

2. check Twilight out of the library (today), read Twilight (today?).

3. clean and remodel house, split and stack 3 cords of wood, go to grocery store, trying not to be a Vector of Disease (my children scold me all the time for not coughing into my armpit, the way they are taught to in school these days. But it's hard to learn new tricks), prepare cheap but nourishing food for my young (and my husband too, unless he's doing the cooking), explain (again) to my 8 year old why I got so cross with him yesterday when he very meanly told my 5 year old that Santa didn't exist (today).

4. check Cybils website again. Re-read list of nominations in sci. fi. fantasy. Read YA nominations, noting which ones we will probably get in our category. Muse about the fact that they had something like 93 nominations in sci.fi/fantasy last year. Decide to make tidy list of our books to post here when the dust clears. Wonder if we will get more nominations than YA gets this year (to do repeatedly).

5. rest.

7 Comments on Sci Fi Fantasy Cybils fun, last added: 10/3/2008
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479. Go! Nominate a Book! CYBILS Nominations Are Now Open!

The third year of the CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards) has just begun! Nominations will stay open until Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories
Easy Readers
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Graphic Novels
Middle Grade Novels,
Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books
Non-Fiction Picture Books
Young Adult Novels

From Jen Robinson’s blog:

“Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be:

**published between January 1st and October 15th of this year

**the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English).

To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th. A separate post will be available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children’s and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

I am leaving the poetry category this year and will be on the Non-fiction Picture Book Panel.

 So what great books published in 2008 have you read?  Go! Nominate a book!

Happy Reading.



Authored by msmac. Hosted by Edublogs.

2 Comments on Go! Nominate a Book! CYBILS Nominations Are Now Open!, last added: 10/5/2008
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480. Have a favorite children’s or YA book of the year?

It’s October, and that means its Cybils awards time.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Cybils, they are “the premier Web awards for children’s literature.  You, the public, nominate the books.  Then we, the bloggers, read them and hand out prizes.” You can nominate any book published between January 1 and October 15 of this year in the following nine categories:

One book per category, please. (Complete rules here.)

I’m especially pleased to see that I’ve already read some of the nominees in the YA category. Why? Because I’m lucky enough to be on the nominating panel again! I wrote about being on last year’s panel back in January, and can’t wait to get started this year.

And here are the YA Fiction committees for this year.

YA Fiction Panelists
Leila from Bookshelves of Doom
Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews
Amanda from A Patchwork of Books
Trisha from The YA YA YAs (hey, that’s me!)
Kate from Author2Author
Jocelyn from Teen Book Review
Abby from Abby (the) Librarian

YA Fiction Judges (Round II)
Jackie from Interactive Reader
Sarah from Finding Wonderland, Readers’ Rants
Allie/Little Willow from Bildungsroman
Lili from Inside a Dog
Casey from Avid Teen Reader


2 Comments on Have a favorite children’s or YA book of the year?, last added: 10/2/2008
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Nominations are now being accepted for the third annual Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards

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482. The Cybils and a HUGE giveaway!!!

So the yearly Cybil Awards are once again beginning and the blogs are hopping with info and opinions on nominations! Head over the the Cybils blog to nominate your favorite books of the year in a bunch of different categories...but remember...you can only vote once between today and October 15th, so choose your nominations wisely!! I am probably going to wait until the end of the nomination period to put my choices in. I read so many great books this year, it's so hard to decide!

I'm lucky enough to have been chosen to be on the YA panel this year, with some awesome ladies! Last year I was on the Middle Grade fiction panel and loved it...can't wait to get started reading some of these books!

In honor of the Cybil Award nominations beginning, I'm going to host a huge contest for one of my absolute favorite picture books of the year. I have 5 SIGNED copies of Willow, written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan and beautifully illustrated by Cyd Moore. I loooved this book and you can read my review here. That's 5 SIGNED-by-the-author copies, all up for grabs. How to enter? Follow these easy rules:

1. Go nominate at least one book for the Cybil Awards. It can be in any category you want, but the more you nominate, the more entries in the contest you get! Leave a comment telling me what you nominated. If you've already nominated a few, go ahead and leave a comment now. If you nominate more by Sunday night, leave another comment telling me of the additions.

2. If for some (odd) reason you would rather not actually nominate a book, simply tell me your favorite book you've read this year, preferably children's related, but not necessary.

3. Do this by Sunday night at 12:00am and you're entered for this fabulous contest!
Just a note on some rules often overlooked in nominations, don't forget these important ones:

1. Do not nominate a book someone else has already nominated. It does not get counted twice. We read everything that gets a nomination! Don't waste your vote on something that doesn't count!

2. You can only vote for ONE title. Not 5. I wish it could be 5, but then I would be reading until next October, so please, only 1.

3. Be careful the genre you nominate a book for. Even if a graphic novel is considered young adult content, it should still be nominated in the graphic novel category, not the YA category. If you have questions as to where your book should go, there is a special section on the Cybils page to ask those questions.

16 Comments on The Cybils and a HUGE giveaway!!!, last added: 10/7/2008
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483. Nominate your favorite children’s and teen books

Do you have a favorite picture book, children’s book, or YA book from 2008? Do you want to have your opinion be heard? Then head on over to the Cybils 2008 awards, where YOU–yes, you!–can nominate one book in every category–any category–you want. There are nine categories you can nominate a book in–Fiction Picture Books; Non-Fiction Picture Books; Easy Readers; Middle Grade Fiction; Non-Fiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult; Young Adult Fiction; Graphic Novels; Poetry; and Fantasy and Science Fiction.

The book/s you nominate must have been. published between Jan. 1 - Oct. 15 this year.

Nominations are open from now (October 1st) til October 15th, 2008. Please consider nominating a book you love!

The Cybils children’s and young adult bloggers’ literary awards are web awards that children’s literature bloggers give to outstanding children’s and YA books each year.

Love books? Please help spread the word.

0 Comments on Nominate your favorite children’s and teen books as of 10/1/2008 11:26:00 AM
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484. Cybils Nominations are Open!

As of this morning, everyone should stampede on over to the Cybils website and nominate your favorites!

In a nutshell:

On Oct. 1, we publish all nine genres* as separate posts. You leave your nomination in the comments section of each post.

Having trouble? Feel free to email anne (at) bookbuds (dot) net with questions or complaints.

*The genres: Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels.
Here are the rest of the rules.

I was a YA judge last year and it was a great experience. This year, I'm on the Fiction Picture Book judging committee, so find some great books for me to read!

Why are you still reading this? Off you go!

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485. The Cybils 2008: Let the Nominations Begin!!!

Nominations are now open for the Third Annual Cybils Awards.

Some important dates to keep in mind:

  • Oct. 1-15: Nominations are open.
  • Jan. 1: Finalists announced.
  • Feb. 14: Winners announced.

Read more about the Cybils nomination process here and here.

0 Comments on The Cybils 2008: Let the Nominations Begin!!! as of 10/1/2008 10:09:00 AM
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486. Cybils Nominations Open October 1st: How Can You Participate?

The Press Release: Nominations for the third annual Children's and Young Adult Bloggers'Literary Awards (the Cybils) will be open Wednesday, October 1st through Wednesday, October 15th. The goal of the Cybils team (some 100 bloggers) is to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal. The Cybils were founded by Anne Boles Levyand Kelly Herold. This year, awards will

1 Comments on Cybils Nominations Open October 1st: How Can You Participate?, last added: 10/1/2008
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487. Third Annual Cybils Awards

The Cybils begin today! This year I'll be serving as a judge on the Fantasy/Sci-Fi panel. For the past two years, I've always been on the nominating panel (the panel that reads the majority of the books and creates the shortlists) so I'm excited to be on a judging panel for the first time. (I'll pick The Winners. Woo-hoo!)

My fellow Fantasy/Sci-fi cohorts:


Laini Taylor Growing Wings
Charlotte Taylor Charlotte's Library
Alyssa Feller The Shady Glade
Em Em's Bookshelf
Lynette The Puck in the Midden
Tizrah Price The Compulsive Reader
Amanda Blau Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


Tasha Saecker Kids Lit
Anne Boles Levy The Cybils
Erin Miss Erin
Eisha Prather Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Tanita Davis Finding Wonderland, Readers' Rants

Here's a breakdown of everything:

Oct. 1-15: Nominations are open.
Jan. 1: Finalists announced.
Feb. 14: Winners announced.

In between, we publish excerpts of book reviews from around the kidlitosphere of the titles you nominated.

Just a few rules:

1. One nomination per genre per person.
2. The book must be published between Jan. 1 - Oct. 15 this year.
3. English or bilingual books only (the second language doesn't matter).

Here's how you nominate:

On Oct. 1, we publish all nine genres as separate posts. You leave your nomination in the comments section of each post.

8 Comments on Third Annual Cybils Awards, last added: 10/19/2008
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488. Cybil Nominations Now Open

The fifteen-day nomination period for the Cybils starts today. I'll be judging one category, but the announcement hasn't been made at their site yet, so I'll just sit on that news for a bit. Sort of.

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489. Vote early, vote often!

I've just done my civic duty over at the Cybils blog. My personal crop of nominees this year:

by Jon Scieszka

Ringside 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial
by Jen Bryant

A Curse Dark as Gold
by Elizabeth Bunce

by Laura Kasischke

She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer
by Sally Hobart Alexander and Robert Alexander

Becoming Billie Holiday
by Carole Boston Weatherford

I would have nominated The Adoration of Jenna Fox too, but SOMEONE NAMED JACKIE PARKER beat me to the punch. Good thing she's so cool, or I'd have to grumble a little. Now I'll have to sit back and cross my fingers in hopes that the books I consider sure-thing frontrunners will make the cut.

And I still wish there was a historical fiction category. *hint, hint* Yeah, I'm biased on the subject, but not nearly so biased as I was last year.

Now, GO NOMINATE. One kick-butt book per category. And remember, a double nomination does no favors for anybody, so read the list before you add your favorite to the running.

ps: WHY didn't I get off my duff this year and volunteer as a judge?

3 Comments on Vote early, vote often!, last added: 10/1/2008
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490. Why I Write Middle Grade Fiction

Two things have been going on:

the revisions for my second middle grade novel, The New Recruit, which must be put to bed by mid-November or so

the slow drafting of an unnamed YA novel

But...then another thing happened. In the midst of the revisions, I suddenly wanted to write another middle grade novel really badly. Not that I want to stop with the YA. But I realized how much I love middle grade. I think it was this definition from the Cybils that did me in:

"The middle grade years are, in my view, the reading years with the most potential to turn a child into a reader for life. It's often the books you read between the ages of 8-12 that you remember long into adulthood as your dearest books of all. These are the years when kids really and truly start to figure themselves out as readers--their likes and dislikes and all the rest in between. It's during this time when children strike out on their own in earnest, reading for themselves and by themselves, all the while creating themselves.

In this Cybils category, we're looking for stories that capture real life in all of its wonderful messiness. So we're not talking magic or superheroes or werewolves or elves. Instead, think adventures and school stories, mysteries and stories about families, and tales that tell kids of life across the globe. Tell us which of the Middle Grade fiction titles published this year you think kids will still be talking about when they're all grown up, and still reading away."

--Kerry Millar, organizer

Nominations are open! Go quickly and nominate your favorite middle grade book!

Or once in any of these nine categories.

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491. Roundtable, Part 1 of 2: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

In 2006, the young adult novel Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan quickly became a bestseller. Right away, it won the hearts of readers, then won literary praise and honors, including the first-ever Cybils Award for YA Fiction. Jackie and I (Little Willow) served on the Cybils YA panel that inaugural year, and will do so again this year. Now that Nick & Norah has been selected to be the book of the month at readergirlz, it has given us another excuse to talk about this fast-paced story. (Come back next week to find out what each of us thought about the movie.) We had fun collaborating on this piece. We hope you'll enjoy the ride. Time to turn up the Playlist.


Are you more like Nick or more like Norah?

Little Willow
Nick, maybe. Like Nick, I write songs (but my music is unlike his) and I'm against drinking or doing anything that would harm my body or alter my awareness. Like Norah, I want to have full control over my life and my decisions.

Jackie: You know, I've been thinking about this question for awhile now, and I don't know the answer. I think maybe Nick, just because he seemed more awkward and unsure of himself, which is definitely something I can identify with.

Have you ever taken an impulsive trip to or through a big city?

Little Willow:
I can't say that I have. I don't have an impulsive bone in my body! This book let me travel through a night in New York, somewhere I've never been. (Someday, Broadway! You're gonna hear from me!)

Jackie: OOO. One of the BEST road trips I've had was with my best friend in high school and college. We just got in the car and drove east. No destination. No reservations. No expectations. Some camping gear and maps. I think I have more crazy memories from that one trip than many other trips combined. We started in Grand Rapids, MI and ended up in Boston, but didn't really spend any time there before we had to come back. We also hit Albany, Toronto, Niagra Falls, and Quebec (which was very disarming). Not in that order, though. All in one week. It was fantastic. I should plan LESS, now that I reminded about how impulsive that was.

What was your favorite part of the book?

Jackie: Well, I've thought a lot about Borscht since reading the novel. Haven't broken down and had it yet. I blame my childhood horror of beets.

Little Willow: I have never had borscht, though I like beets. I bought a can of shoestring beets today, in fact.

Jackie: I'm less afraid of beets these days. Especially the non-red ones I see at the farmer's markets.

Little Willow:
Seriously, though, my favorite moments include . . . 

. . . the Absolution of Nick, the consideration and explanation of tikkun olam, the rain, and the very end.

My most vivid memory of the book is of the ice machine scene, but overall my FAVORITE is simply the sense of how amazing, unexpected, and life-altering one night can be. I think it is actually the contemplative moments near the end that really capture that. It was so well done.

Have you read any other books by Cohn or Levithan?

Jackie: I've read their other collaboration, Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List (which didn't quite live up to the admittedly high bar of N&N). I've also read Cohn's Cupcake and You Know Where to Find Me. I've been meaning to read more Levithan for ages, but haven't managed to get around to it, so I've only read the modern classic that is Boy Meets Boy. I know that I'd love them all, but, well, time. Sigh.

Little Willow: I know that you have a huge stack of books to read, Jac, but I hope that you'll add more books by these authors to the top of that pile. If you liked Cupcake, then you simply must read Shrimp and Gingerbread, the other two books in the CC trilogy by Rachel Cohn. I've read all of their individual novels plus their two collaborative novels. Rachel's books feel real. David's writing has this amazing poetic quality, and he tends to employ very thoughtful narrators. Levithan has also contributed to or edited a number of anthologies.

Jackie: I really want to read Wide Awake and Marley's Ghost, but I just haven't picked them up. I want to see Cohn do a graphic novel. Of course now that MINX is gone (boo! hiss! you didn't give the line enough time DC!), that seems less likely.


Little Willow: Oh, I would love to see what she would write for a graphic novel! Have you seen David's contribution in the anthology First Kiss (Then Tell)?

Jackie: No. I tend to avoid things with Kiss actually in the title. Also, not a huge anthology or short story reader. I'm always disappointed I can't spend more time with the characters I love so quickly in short stories, so I avoid the inevitable pain.

Little Willow: Tell is fun, and it has a lot of authors you know and love . . . Nudge, nudge.

Do you have any personal anthems?

Little Willow:
Since I'm the music-obsessed person who put forth that question, let me tell you how I define personal anthems: favorite songs that capture something that happened to
me or something important about me. One of my personal anthems is "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World, which conveys my optimism and patience:


It just takes some time

Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride

Everything, everything will be just fine

Everything, everything will be all right, all right

Jackie: When I drove across country, alone, to move to a new city where I knew no one, I had most of my friends and family create mixed CDs for me to listen to on the way out. I found my personal anthem for that period of my life in the first mixed CD I listened to. It's "Extraordinary Machine" by Fiona Apple:

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

I'm seeing some similarities between your song and mine, LW.


If you had to create a playlist that captured the feeling and events of 2008 so far, would you know what to put on it? Name one of the songs you'd use.

Jackie: Oh, that's a tough one. I don't know if I can only pick one... So... I won't. Here are two:

- "Wow and Flutter" by April Smith because there has been a lot of personal change for me this year, and I think there's something in Smith's lyrics that reflects all those changes. Plus, it's just totally fun to listen to.

Ingrid Michaelson. Not one song. All of them. Every last one of them means something to me this year.

Apparently, I've got something for singer/songwriter chicks from NYC. Huh. I wonder what that says. At least that part matches the book some... *grin*

Little Willow: I like making playlistsI made one for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, in fact. For my personal 2008 playlist, I might select "Too Much To Live For" by Lucy Woodward.

N&N is definitely for older teens. Have you seen or heard any opposition to the book? Does it make you cautious
when recommending it?

Jackie: I honestly haven't had any personal, real life, objections to the book, but I've heard a lot of complaining online about the language. Since I swore a lot when I was N&N's age, I can't say that I'm really one to critizice on that front. It isn't a book I'd give to just anyone though. I'd really have to have a feel for them. This is, of course, if the book was ever on the shelf, which it hasn't been since the movie trailor started to play.

Little Willow:
I don't swear. I'm not kidding when I say that I live a G-rated life. N&N is no less than PG-13. Due to language and
certain situations and scenes, I tend it give
N&N to people over, say, 15 years of age.  I haven't had any customers respond negatively to it after reading it. I've had some good chats with readers about this book. In fact, I now know of at least four different teens that have become Levithan followers. We passed around How They Met earlier this year and discussed that as well.

How do you feel about the new cover for the paperback? It's a lot different from the original?

Jackie: I'm pretty "meh" about it. I think way fewer guys will pick it up now with that heart on it. And that's a shame.

Little Willow: I like both covers. I think the first one is more gender-neutral and suited to the punk-rock blurred-night fast-happenings feel of the book. However, I love purple and I love cityscapes, so I really like the look of the paperback cover. The movie cover is cute, too. I wish that the flyers and posters had the proper name beside the proper person! Michael's name is beside Kat, and Kat's name is beside Michael. Speaking of which...

Do you plan on seeing the movie? How do you think the movie will compare to the book?

Jackie: I'm so there. I'm braced for significant change, but I'm hoping since it's been some time since I've read the book that it will simply be true to the SPIRIT of the novel. That'll probably be good enough for me. What I fear is that all the best parts are in the preview, and that there's nothing else to see... 

Little Willow: I saw a screening towards the end of September. I knew in advance some of the things that had been changed - the trailers and casting gave some of that way - but I don't want to spoil anything for you. Would you like to talk about the movie after you've seen it and compare it to the book?

Jackie: Yep.

(Little Willow grins.)


Tune in next week for our reactions to
the film version of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Prepare yourself for spoilers, applause, and other stuff. 

Related Posts and Fun Times: 
Nick & Norah featured in the October 2008 issue of readergirlz
The Cybils 2006 YA Nominations
The Cybils 2006 YA Finalists
The Cybils 2006 YA Hall of Fame
Interactive Reader Book Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Bildungsroman Book Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Bildungsroman Book Playlists
Bildungsroman Book Roundtables
Bildungsroman Interview with Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

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492. Nominate Your Favourites of 2008: The Cybils Start Today

Nominations are now being accepted for the third annual Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards so pop over to www.Cybils.com and nominate your favourite book of 2008 in each of nine categories from picture books up to young adult fiction.

Nominations close on October 15 2008 so do it today, since, as Horrid Henry says, later often happily turns to never

This year, I have the honour of joining the following fabulous KidLit Bloggers on the Non-Fiction Picture Books committees :

First Round Judges:

David Judge of Adventures at Wilder Farm
Tricia Stohr-Hunt of The Miss Rumphius Effect
Becky Bilby of In the Pages
Debbie Nance of Readerbuzz
Jone MacCulloch of Check It Out

Final Judges:

Fiona Bayrock of Books and ‘Rocks
Candice Ransom of Ellsworth’s Journal
Andrea Beaty of Three Silly Chicks
Andrea Ross of Just One More Book!
Emily Mitchell of Emily Reads

so be sure to nominate some great non-fiction and make our job a tough one!

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493. Literacy Evangalist

Cybils nominations open tomorrow, October 1st. How can you participate?

Jen Robinson, Literacy Evangalist for the 2008 Cybils award, has several ideas.
This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th. A separate post will be available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.
The Cybils were founded by Anne Boles Levy and Kelly Herold. This year's winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

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494. Cybilly goodness

Ooh, cool! I'll be on the judging panel for the Cybils' nonfiction picture book category this year. After two years doing middle-grade/YA nonfiction, it'll be nice to look at shorter books for a change. And I get to be led by my favorite bubble expert, Fiona Bayrock!

(Of course, I harbor a secret wish that I'll have to recuse myself, since the finalists will surely all be Charlesbridge books . . . )

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495. Cybils

The Cybils is the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. It is now entering its third year!

In a nutshell: during the fall, various genre and age committees are formed. Books in various genres are nominated: poetry, science fiction, middle grade, etc. One panel reads all the nominations and selects five books. The second panel then reads those five books and picks one winner. Panelists are made up of people who blog about children's and young adult books. The specific rules are at the Cybils website.

I have been asked, why the Cybils? Why a need for yet more awards when there are so many other ones out there?

And here are my reasons for liking the Cybils, and seeing them as important. They are in particular order. They represent my opinions, not the official opinions of the Cybils. And yes, I was involved with the Cybils for the first two years. Other commitments made it necessary for me to not be involved this year.

1. Not everyone who is interested in books is a librarian; there is a world outside the ALA awards. Yep, I love the ALA awards, obviously -- I'm on this year's Printz Committee. But ALA and librarians is not the start and end of children's and YA books. Book bloggers in this neck of the woods include many varied types of people, not all librarians, and not all want to join ALA. That said, I would hope that some people who get involved with the Cybils consider joining ALA and getting involved with them. It's like Cybils fun, but year round!

2. It's as much about the process as it is about the award. It pushes participants to think about books beyond "what I liked" and "what I didn't like"; to do more than accept genres at their face value. It's about obtaining and circulating copies of books and making sure each book gets read. I'm a firm believer in that we learn as much from doing something as we do from the end result. Being involved in any aspect of the Cybils is a wonderful educational opportunity for anyone involved.

3. It provides a ton of opportunities for participation. While the Cybils cannot say "yes" to everyone, it can say "yes" to a lot of people. With coordinators, two sets of panels of five to seven individuals, and nine categories, well over 100 people are involved.

4. It pushes readers to read beyond what they 'want' to. We book bloggers are a "me me me" lot. We don't answer to anyone else when we blog, so we blog what we want to. We read what we want to. You don't have that luxury with the Cybils, and that is a great thing! When I am pushed to read outside of my own choices, I can discover some real gems.

5. We don't all think alike. While our blogs are like conversations, they aren't really. And this soon become apparent as the Cybils panelists and judges discuss books, when real conversation happens. And this means discovering the book you love is the book someone else hated, and now having the discussion to see hash out the book, and apply more objective rules than love/hate. Blogging is about talking; the Cybils is about listening.

6. It forces you to be more articulate. As you discuss the books, emotional reactions and whether you personally like or don't like a book just won't cut it. You have to dig deeper and encourage others to dig deeper as well.

What about you? What do you like best about the Cybils?

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496. The Cybils

Anticipation is building for the third annual Cybils awards. For newcomers, “Cybils” stands for The Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards, and it still seems that it’s the only book award of any sort from the blogging community. So, yeah kids’ lit!

Nominations open to the public on October 1 at cybils.com. Anyone 13 or older — authors and publishers included — may nominate a book in one of nine genres. But note that there is a one-book-per-category rule for nominations. Books published in English between January 1 and October 15, 2008, are eligible. (Books that come out later than October 15 will be eligible next year.) The books will go through two rounds of judging. Finalists will be announced January 1, 2009. Winners will be announced February 14, 2009.

I’ll be organizing the category of Fiction Picture Books and serving as a first-round panelist. I’m excited to be part of the Cybils team this year. Start thinking of your best book choices now. Yes, right now.

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497. 2008 Cybils Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Committee

It's official!  I'm returning to the Cybils Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Committee, and looking forward to discovering all the great non-fiction books out there published in 2008.  

Nominations for your favorite books start October 1st over at the Cybils blog. Be sure to cast your vote!

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498. Cybils time!

I'm quite excited to be judging the Cybils, once again, as one of the poetry judges. I can tell that the first round judges are gonna hand us fabulous books, but then it'll be up to me, John Mutford, Sylvia Vardell, Jama Rattigan, and Liz Garton Scanlon to pick the Cybil winner. I can't wait, frankly, as it's always invigorating (and good reading, too!).

Nominations open October 1st, so get yourself ready to be part of the process, too.

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499. Red Glass being given away....

About a year ago, I found out (to my great excitement) that I was going to be on the nominating committee of the Cybils Awards in the YA category (it got even more exciting as it became clear that we would have well over 100 books to read).

One of the first that I read was Red Glass, by Laura Resau (here's my review). Many of the books nominated were generously sent to us by their publishers, but for whatever reason, we didn't get our own copies of this one. So I read my library's copy three times.

But now I might win a Signed Copy! Yes, a signed copy is being given away at the blog of Yat-Yee Chong, as a follow-up to her great interview with Laura Resau.

nb: the deadline has been extended till October 8.

And speaking of the Cybils, nominations will be opening in October...anyone is welcome to enter their favorite books in a variety of categories!

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500. Banned Books Week, the CYBILS, and a creepy Jack & Jill poem

First, the Jack & Jill poem. This is one of those strange blog serendipities that I love. A few months ago, I wrote a post in which I was lamenting my tendency to complicate everything I write. As I said recently, "Give me a ball of yarn and I will tangle it." Well, in that post I said this:

I could take Jack and Jill and turn it into an epic with interweaving storylines, and then decide I need to learn ancient Greek in order to do it justice, and that it needs to be told alternately from the perspective of the hill and the pail. In five volumes. You know. I just can't help it.

And yesterday I got an email from someone who took that as a challenge, and wrote a poem (luckily not in ancient Greek), and now it is published at Strange Horizons. It's the darkest, creepiest retelling of Jack & Jill imaginable -- how cool is that? You never know when you throw something out on the internet what will happen. So, cool! Thanks for the heads up, Mary!

Now, Banned Books Week. This event, started by the American Library Association in 1982, is a celebration of our precious freedom of expression, and a nose-thumbing to all the Sarah Palins of the world who would like to control what we put into our minds. How to celebrate it? Flaunt your freedom: read a banned or challenged book! (Sheesh, they're still trying to ban The Chocolate War??? That book was published when I was two years old. Get over it, already! Forget that: Huckleberry Finn! The unfathomable depth of ignorance it takes to try to ban this important and perfect book. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in those people's heads.) Also, according to Maureen Johnson, book banners will eat your hamster!

And now, the CYBILS! That is: the Children's & Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards! If you haven't heard of them, basically these are book awards in 9 categories, and they were started because of a perceived need to fill the gap between the Newbery Award (which goes for books with high literary merit, though not necessarily the most child-beloved) and the Quills (pure popularity). This is the 3rd year and I volunteered and was selected as a panelist in the Fantasy & Sci-Fi category (yippee!) which means: I will be reading a lot of books in the next few months. I read a lot of books anyway, but now for the forseeable future they will be sci-fi and fantasy which, well, to be honest, they mostly are anyway. (Though I just finished this at breakfast and it was a great read. I love stories of naturalists in the Amazon, and this one has mystery and murder and lots of sweating and Englishmen wearing inappropriate clothing in the jungle!)

So here's the cool thing about the Cybils: YOU nominate the books. You can nominate one in each category, and we panelists will read them and select a short list to hand on to the judges, who will then select the winners. So, come on over to the blog to nominate your favorite books of the year, between October 1 and October 15. Jen Robinson has more details on nominating HERE. Please help spread the word to teachers, librarians, and young readers to get their favorite books nominated and be part of the process. (And please, for my sake, only select really good sci-fi and fantasy!!!)

One last things: Pushing Daisies starts tomorrow night! Get some pie to eat while you watch it!

(Did you know there's been a mobile Pie Hole traveling around the country serving free pie? Why the heck didn't it come here??)

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