In case you missed it, the Cybils finalists were announced January 1! I’m excited to be judging round 2 of graphic novels this year, which means I get to help select TWO winners – one for Elementary/Middle Grade and one for YA. I haven’t read any of the finalists this year (due to having basically read Nothing last year), so I’m excited to dive into these great books. For a look at the graphic novel finalists only, go here.
While I and my fellow judges read and discuss the finalists, we have to be pretty hush hush about our thoughts on them, though I hope to have reviews of them up here after the winners are announced February 14. But I can talk all I want to about the finalists in other categories.
I’m particularly pleased to see that Yasmin the Gardener by Saadia Faruqi is a finalist in the Easy Reader category. We love Yasmin at my library, and this series is one I recommend to early readers all the time. The same goes for Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business in the Early Chapter Book category; Lyla Lee’s series is one that’s consistently good and a great pick for kids just getting into chapters.
I’ve been a frequent panelist or judge in the Young Adult Speculative Fiction category, so I was especially curious to see what books the panelists chose this year. While I haven’t read any of them yet, many of them are on my to read list: Burn by Patrick Ness, Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, and Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.
I actually think the announcement of the finalists is more exciting than the winner – the seven books chosen as finalists are always a surprise, and they’re often under the radar titles that deserve more acclaim. My to read list always grows after the announcement; I hope yours does too.