CYBILS: Children’s and YA Bloggers Literary Awards Announced

Oh. My. Gosh. In all the excitement about the Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards (aka Cybils), I actually forgot to schedule this! Better late than never ,,,

I know I say the same thing every February 14, but I can’t help myself … and I know without even going to Twitter I am not alone.

cybils 2012The official announcement came at 12:01 PST [February 14]. I know there are some (*cough* Sheila Ruth *cough*) who stayed up to wait and celebrate. I confess, I’m old. I was asleep!

The panelists for the Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books did NOT make it easy for the judges:

What makes this category fun – and challenging – is the breadth of the audience. We have emerging readers who are still sounding out words and decoding, and we have transitional readers who are just about ready to make the leap into the middle grade genre.

CYBILS Easy Reader Winner

Toon Books Cybils winner 2013A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse
written and illustrated by Frank Viva
Toon Books, 2012
A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse is a modern day rendition of the “Are we there yet?” story. A mouse and a boy travel by boat to Antarctica, all the while seeing fun and interesting things. Alas, Mouse just wants to get there and then once there, wants to go back home.

The story is told in graphic novel format through speech bubbles and gorgeous illustration. While a fun read for children of all ages, the writing works perfectly for children just beginning their adventure as readers. There are plenty of decodable words, many sight words and lots of opportunity for the pictures to help out when the words are unfamiliar. There is a limited amount of text on each page and the font chosen is big and clear. A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse is the perfect trip to take with a new reader. Enjoy!

Blurb by Stacey Loscalzo,

CYBILS Early Chapter Book Winner

Cybils Early Chapter winner 2013Sadie and Ratz
by Sonya Hartnett; illustrated by Ann James
Candlewick, 2012

When Hannah’s 4-year-old brother sneaks into her room, changes the TV channel, or uses all the colored markers, Hannah takes matters into her own hands. Literally. Her hands, which she’s dubbed Sadie and Ratz, seek revenge by trying to rub Baby Boy’s ears off.
Harnett’s subversive chapter book doesn’t shy away from children’s dark side, which is one of its strengths. It isn’t long before Baby Boy figures out a way to retaliate–he accuses Sadie and Ratz of his misdeeds, like spilling milk and scribbling on walls. Hannah, stumped by this turn of events, sends Sadie and Ratz on vacation, but the pair continues to get blamed.
How Hannah and Baby Boy resolve this conflict of hand warfare will delight readers, and quite possibly dismay parents hoping for a tidier ending. James’s expressive charcoal illustrations further dramatize the children’s swirling emotions. This powerful book about the murky underbelly of sibling rivalry deserves a big hand!
Blurb by Catherine Nichols, The Cath in the Hat

CYBILS Non-Fiction Middle Grade / YA

In addition to being the Organizer for the Easy Reader / Early Chapter Category, I also served as a judge for the NonFiction Middle Grade / YA group. Here’s our winner …
bomb-sheinkinBomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin
Flash Point 2012
A taut, real-life spy thriller, Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin is the true story of how the United States, Hitler’s Germany, and the Soviet Union each sought to build the world’s first nuclear weapon by whatever means possible. A first-rate page turner that has impeccable research, Bomb is the perfect example of how nonfiction can be everything fiction is — and more.
To read about all the winners, visit