Thursday, January 1, 2009

Finalists for the Cybils have been announced!

Hey! Go over to the Cybils website, and check out all of the finalists that were announced this morning! My reading list just got bigger!

I had the honor of serving on the Nonfiction Middle Grade/Young Adult panel with the following awesome bloggers:

Kathy M. Burnette The Brain Lair
Sarah Rettger Archimedes Forgets
Carol Wilcox Carol's Corner
Vivian Mahoney HipWriterMama

Out of 59 nominated books, we came up with the following finalists:

2008 Non-Fiction MG/YA Finalists

11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System
written by David Aguilar
National Geographic Children's Books

My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants (10-year-old Maryn Smith's winning entry for the National Geographic Children's Book Planetary Mnemonic Contest). So begins this engaging introduction to the newly classified solar system. Stunning artwork, cool facts on how the planets are named after different gods and goddesses, simple explanations and an informative glossary make this a book young astronomers will enjoy reading.
--Vivian Mahoney, HipWriterMama

Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry
written by Scott Reynolds Nelson
National Geographic Children's Books

A field trip into the mind of a historian. Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson invites readers to follow him as he uses artifacts, photographs, and other documents to put together the pieces of a real- life historical mystery.
--Carol Wilcox, Carol's Corner

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers
written by Nancy Amanda Redd
Gotham Books

Leave your embarrassment at the door, because this book combines refreshing candor with no-holds barred topics, untouched photos, and information backed by a leading physician to help empower teen girls. The photos are somewhat shocking, but important for girls to see so they know their body is normal. Don't let your teens get the wro ng information from their friends...let them get empowered with real information and love the body they're in.
--Vivian Mahoney, HipWriterMama

King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
written by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook

Historian and textbook author Steve Sheinkin provides a factual, fun chronicle that traces the American Revolution from start to finish. Humorous chapter titles and illustrations, entertaining facts, and labeled maps make learning history lots of fun.
--Jill Tullo, The Well-Read Child

Lincoln Through the Lens
written by Martin Sandler
Walker Books for Young Readers

John F. Kennedy may have been the first television president, but Lincoln Through the Lens makes a strong case for recognizing Abraham Lincoln as the first photographic president. From the earliest known photo of Lincoln to the only one taken after his death, Martin Sandler shows how the sixteenth president was captured on film, and how he used the images to his advantage.
--Sarah Rettger, Archimedes Forgets

Swords: An Artist's Devotion
written and illustrated by Ben Boos
Candlewick Press

Ben Boos' well written and visually stimulating book was a pleasure to read. The illustrations were detailed and the history fascinating. Children of all ages will pore over this book as they trace the sword designs through the ages. Ben relayed the use of the sword throughout the ages including the Middle Ages and the age of the Samurai. Ben's drawings illuminated not only the variety of swords used but his love for this "formidable tool".
--Kathy Burnette, The Brainlair

The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir
written by Cylin Busby
and John Busby
Bloomsbury USA

In summer, 1979, Cylin Busby was nine years old, living with her parents and two older brothers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts when her life changed in a matter of minutes. Cylin's father, John Busby, a policeman, was on his way to work when a car pulled up next to him and shot off the bottom half of his jaw. THE YEAR WE DISAPPEARED is a memoir, told by Cylin Busby and her father John, in alternating chapters, of the terrible year following Busby's shooting. A terrific real life crime read!
--Carol Wilcox, Carol's Corner

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball
written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson connects with readers in his history of Negro League baseball told from the first person point of view of an "everyman" player. The engaging narrative combined with stunning oil paintings capture the joy and passion of the players who were surrounded by hatred and inequality.
--Jill Tullo, The Well-Read Child

These are all amazing books, each in their own way, and I can't wait to see which one the finalists pick as the winner. Winners will be announced on Valentine's Day.

As for being a panelist, it was a wonderful experience. I read all but one of the books that were nominated, and though I spent lots of late nights reading, it was well worth it.


  1. I have so many of these on hold at my library! I'm so happy that
    We Are The Ship is one of the finalists. Great job, Jill!

  2. Thanks Vasilly! There were a lot of great books, so narrowing it down was a challenge. I plan on featuring some of the ones that DIDN'T make the list soon.