I love the Cybils awards (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards). I was pleased to be a part of the very first round of awards, as a MG/YA nonfiction judge. I took a couple of years off, but last year I returned to that same role, and this year I'm branching out with Round I for Middle Grade Fiction. It's been a blast!
Even though this blog Snapshot is mostly a personal blog, once I got into the world of blogging, I found myself visiting kidlit blogs and other blogs that celebrated reading, and thus writing about what I was reading, and what I was reading with my kids.
Cybils nominations close on October 15 at midnight. Find out more HERE. Each person can nominate one book in each category. There are many many worthy books that haven't been nominated, so the Cybils Challenge was born on 10/10/10. Here are some titles that I am hoping get a nomination, because they were my 2nd or 3rd pick, and I only got one. Last I checked they still hadn't:
NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS
These are both exceptional:
Looking Closely in the Rain Forest
MIDDLE GRADE FICTION
Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee -- I've only read a few chapters of this book, but how often do you see a children's book with an Indian family featured by an Indian author? Not often. I love South Asian writers' adult novels (to make a positive stereotype), so when I saw this book in two different libraries, I had to pick it up the second time.
Oh someone please pleeease nominate I Didn't Do It. I had already submitted my nomination when I got this book, but it's really lovely.
Another poetry collection we enjoyed this year was Let's Have a Bite.
The poetry nominations seem slim. I know that the panelists would love more books to consider.
I'm going to jump on my friend Dawn's bandwagon for Jon Skovron's debut novel Struts and Frets. I haven't read it, but I trust her.
FICTION PICTURE BOOKS
Dawn is also the picture book expert, and there are some that she loved and is still hoping that they will get a nomination, so I'll put them out there:
Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya
Calvin Can't Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie
Eight Days: A Story of Haiti by Edwidge Danticat
Hope Vestergaard's Potty Animals
There are also some links to lists that have already been posted if you want to see if any of those catch your eye.
And now -- 10 Kidlit blogs worth visiting:
When I started blogging, I was drawn to these adult kidlit bloggers who wrote about what kind of kid's lit they enjoyed. I couldn't believe it. I got so many ideas about books to suggest to my daughter, and got pulled into the loveliness that is kid's lit all on my own as well.
Jen Robinson is the best. If you're looking for Middle Grade and YA recommendations, this is the blog to read. Though I've never met her, she and I corresponded some especially in those early years, and I consider her a blog friend.
Mitali's Fire Escape is author Mitali Perkins blog. She is a great supporter of community and brings up issues of race in a thought-provoking and discussion-inspiring way. She's great on twitter as well.
Mother Reader is hilarious. Carrie and I met her at Book Blogger Con, and honestly, I thought she might be a bit standoffish, because she's definitely one of the cool kids! But she was great, and her book reviews are a lot of fun.
LizB is also great on twitter and her A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy explores book reviews and a bit more with self-assured "I know what I'm talking about" style.
Maw Books is written by Natasha, who invites you into her space. There's just something about her that is warm and welcoming. She focuses on picture books and has recently been reading old Newbery winners as well.
Who doesn't love Betsy Bird's Fuse 8? I don't get to blog hop as much as I used to, but whenever I end up there, I go from page to page to page. She's longwinded and funny and her love of children's books oozes through.
Green Bean Teen Queen is a fairly new find for me. She focuses on literature for teens and tweens, which is very helpful to me, since my 12-year-old might read me out of house and home.
The Literate Mother is also a new find. These are reviews of middle-grade and YA books from a panel of moms. They let you know what is in a book content-wise, which is great if you aren't sure about sex, violence, or language that your child might encounter.
Amy at Hope is the Word is a homeschooling mom who just loves books. She hosts Read Aloud Thursday, and is a thoughtful poster and commenter.
Carrie at Reading to Know writes "book reviews from a Christian worldview." She's a riot. I dare you to read one of her reviews and not know where she stands on it. She reviews a lot of picture books, but has been the source of some great recommendations for older kids too. She is a
Whew! Is your feedreader full now?? Seriously, if you are a parent (or teacher or librarian), reading kidlit blogs is a great way to find excellent books.
Speaking of libraries, we were also invited to give a shout-out to our favorite independent bookstore or library. I love my library. It's big and old and beautiful and we have so many titles for a town of only 25,000 or so. Yay CH Booth Library!
Also, there's an independent bookstore in the town that neighbors mine that focuses on kid's lit. I knew it was there, but I didn't realize how awesome it was and how strong her passion for kids' lit is until I met her and interviewed her for a story. It's Linda's Story Time (linked to my article).
The Cybils is a fantastic resource as well. All of the finalists are worth a look, and even the nomination lists give you a wonderful place to start. So browse, and nominate, nominate, nominate, so they'll be the best they can be.