Posts Tagged ‘Cybils’
October 13, 2014 @ 6:08 pm | Filed under: Books
If you, like me, missed Kidlitcon this past weekend, Leila has a delicious recap & link roundup for you at Bookshelves of Doom. I haven’t been since 2010, the Minneapolis gathering, and I had many a pang of longing as the tweets and FB updates came rolling in. But it was delightful to see so many of my blog-pals having what was clearly a Very Good Time.
One reason I couldn’t be there is because I was engaged to speak at SCBWI-San Diego on Saturday. (The other reason is because I have a hundred children and am therefore Always Broke. You know how it is.) I’m happy to say my SCBWI talk seemed to go over very well. The topic was Middle-Grade and Chapter Books, two categories of children’s publishing I can speak about with considerable enthusiasm. What’s more fun than speaking to a full house about your very favorite books? The crowd was wonderful, with really smart questions afterward. The only thing that could have made it more fun would have been having the Kidlitcon crowd there. 🙂
Sunday felt amazingly luxurious: nothing was required of me but to read. This was convenient, as the nominee tally in my CYBILs category is currently 100 novels, with more contenders coming in every day. Only two more days, guys, until the public nomination period closes. People are starting to compile lists of worthy books that haven’t yet been nominated; you can find links to those posts here.
Speaking of piles of books, the younger set and I finished The Boxcar Children over the weekend (it’s a mighty quick read) and today it fell upon to me choose the next readaloud. Sometimes I know EXACTLY what book I want to reach for next, and other times I have option paralysis. Today was the latter sort of occasion. I got Rose to go around the house with me, pulling likely candidates off shelves, and when we had a comfortable stack, I decided on a Jane-Rose-Beanie favorite, Rowan of Rin. Chapter one was well received. I’ve never read this one aloud before, and there’s always a risk—some great books just don’t make great readalouds. But so far, so good. So gripping!
September 17, 2014 @ 8:26 pm | Filed under: Books
So I wrote this really long post about YA fiction on tumblr, and then I was like ARGH, maybe it should go at Bonny Glen instead, what am I even doing? So now you know exactly how decisive I am.
Well, it’s there, and I’m leaving it there, but here’s a piece of it, and if you have trouble commenting on that site you’re welcome to bring the discussion here.
Something I’ll be thinking about as I gorge is what stories these writers are telling and why. (Not just how, which is a primary measure of a book’s merit—how is this story being told? How well? How vividly? How compellingly? How convincingly? How searingly? Does it leave something behind? A scar on the mind, a rune engraved on the heart? A face you can’t ever forget? How? How?)
In an endeavor like this, selecting a Cybils shortlist, the what and why questions are equally pressing. What makes this book stand out from the crowd—and a crowd it will be. Why this plot, this narrator, this voice. Why verse, or why prose? When you read a lot of books at once you can’t help but spot patterns and trends. Small details, perhaps, like the naming of cars—in 2010 we had a gaggle of them, including not one but two cars named “Holden,” (totally by coincidence I have no doubt). But larger trends as well, clusters of books exploring similar subject matter. In realistic YA fiction this very often means suicide, addiction, medical or mental disorders, sexual or physical abuse. And that, I think, tells us a great deal about what the world is like for teens. And is why the best YA is both gripping and probing—that’s what teens do: they grip tightly to each other, to ideas, to hopes, to identity, to music, to fears; and they probe and dig and ponder and search. In this light the naming of cars makes perfect sense—the quest for identity, the assignment of personality to objects of significance, the search for the real, true meaning of things. Naming a thing helps define the thing. Naming it Holden—oh there’s so much to unpack there. Holden Caulfield, the original teen gripper and prober.
You can’t read a book that is gripping without being gripped, and that’s what I’m preparing myself for. To have my mind shaken, my heart squeezed.
It’s that time of year again: Cybils Award season. The judge announcements went out this morning. I’m delighted to be serving on the First-Round panel for YA Fiction. My last stint on this panel was in 2010, aka The Year I Read a Million Books. (I’m sure it’s a TOTAL COINCIDENCE that that was also the year I began to need reading glasses.)
My appointment to this panel spurred me to make a move I’ve been considering for some time, which is to dust off my tumblr (again) and try using it for my YA-related content. I’ve got a new YA of my own coming out next year, and tumblr seems a better fit for connecting with teen readers. I’ll add a link to the sidebar, or if that topic interests you enough to want to follow it in a feed reader, here’s the RSS. (I also use tumblr for reposting interesting articles and art I’ve come across, so fair warning.)
Disclaimer: I consider all platform changes to be experimental until they’ve proven themselves convenient, so this may or may not be a long-term shift. I just really like keeping things in different boxes. But if you’ve seen my garage, you know there usually comes a point where I get annoyed by the clutter and dump everything into one big container. (Believe me, you don’t want to see my garage.)
I believe this post may have set a new record for ending paragraphs with parentheticals. (Yeehah!)
October 2, 2013 @ 3:32 pm | Filed under: Cybils
Time to nominate your favorite children’s and YA books of the year (published October 15, 2012-October 15, 2013) for the Cybil Awards. Here’s how. I’m on the Fiction Picture Books first-round panel, so every book you nominate in that category, I’ll be reading.
Nominations close on October 15, so don’t miss the window!
Tomorrow (Feb. 14), the winners of this year’s CYBIL Awards will be announced. I had a wonderful time serving on the Book Apps round 2 panel and am honored to have been a part of the selection process once again. If you haven’t checked out the Cybils shortlists from this year and years past, you’re missing out on some truly excellent booklists.
This afternoon, Huck and I were playing an alphabet game. What starts with P, what starts with F, etc.
Me; What starts with D?
I am also informed that he would like a puppy named Jellycar Jellycar Three.
November 12, 2012 @ 7:15 am | Filed under: Cybils
I greatly enjoyed this funny, frank Nerdy Book Club post by teacher William Polking about the woes and joys of serving on the Cybils YA Fiction first-round panel: The Trouble With Cybils. I served on the same panel two years ago and experienced the same combination of overwhelming reading load and exhilarating discussion with a really crack team of fellow panelists.
Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to Little Nemo in Slumberland—one of their best Doodles ever, a tribute to Winsor McKay. Don’t miss it! And be sure to click the tabs. GeekMom has a nice post up with some background.
New Thicklebit! Me love that boy.
I worked alllllll weekend on the book recommendations master list, but I still have a long way to go. Happy with its progress, though!
Last day to nominate books and book apps for the CYBILs! The Book Apps team would especially appreciate your help—lots of great apps still waiting to be nominated.
Semicolon reviews The Prairie Thief: “a delightful little tale.”
I also like the fact that this story for young readers doesn’t shy away from those wonderful, challenging vocabulary words that my young readers at any rate relished and gloried in. Ms. Wiley uses words like “obfuscating” and “predilection” and “amenities” and “laconically” just as handily and appropriately as she does the shorter, also vivid words like “pate” and “mite” and “frock”, all of which might enrich a child’s vocabulary as well as delight her mind.
(Amy at Hope Is the Word liked that part too.)
Fox and Crow Are Not Friends is reviewed in this month’s School Library Journal:
Children eager to move beyond easy readers and older students requiring simple text in a chapter-book format will find this title a good choice. As in many familiar folktale themes, Fox and Crow are trying to outwit each other….“That will teach you not to steal my cheese,” says Mama Bear, whose presence in the earlier chapters will be noted by astute observers of Braun’s lively, colorful cartoon-style illustrations. With its crisp writing and short sentences, this is a solid addition.
It also gets a mention in this SLJ piece: “Fresh and Fun Books for Emergent Readers“:
Melissa Wiley retells and expands upon an Aesop’s fable in Fox and Crow Are NOT Friends (Random House, 2012; Gr 1-3). Three entertaining chapters describe how these two enemies repeatedly—and humorously—try to outwit one another to earn bragging rights along with a tasty piece of cheese. Sebastien Braun clearly depicts the animals’ antics with lighthearted artwork in sherbet hues. The straightforward text, amusing illustrations, and hilarious rivalry will encourage developing readers to persevere.
More reviews here.
October 11, 2012 @ 8:30 am | Filed under: Links
Four more days to nominate books and book apps for this year’s CYBILs! Lots of suggestions for possible book-app nominees in the links in this post—please nominate them so I’ll have an excuse to play with them!
New Thicklebit today: Lunacy. I blame the father.
Simon & Schuster has put up a sneak peek of my next Inch and Roly book: Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place. (They’ve also got a pretty substantial chunk of The Prairie Thief there, if you’d like to preview it before you commit.) 😉
1) Thanks so much to everyone who turned out for the launch party on Saturday! I had massive amounts of fun. The Yellow Book Road was a perfect venue—what a gem of a store. San Diego-area folks, if you haven’t been down to Liberty Station to visit it, you really should make the trip. Lovely location and the kind of children’s bookshop you can fall into and never fall out. 🙂
2) It’s CYBILs time again! The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards public nomination period opens today. Visit the site for all the details and nominate your favorite kids’ and YA books and apps of the past year in a variety of categories. I’m serving as a Round 2 judge in the Book Apps category this year—looking forward to it! Would love to hear about your favorite book apps of the year, too. (One of the many wonderful things about the CYBILs is that all the judging panels are self-contained, so that you may serve on one panel even if you have books eligible in another, as long as you have no conflict of interest with the specific panel you’re on. Whew!) Nominations are open through Oct. 15. Check out the CYBILs sidebar to see what titles have already been nominated.
3) New Thicklebit today!