CYBILS – Voting Is Now Open

We’re going to try something new this morning: a simulpost on both of our blogs. So here goes …

Nominations for the Third Annual Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literacy Awards (Cybils) have now opened. This is an awards program where YOU get the chance to tell us about your favorite book in up to nine categories. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I have pulled all the important information you need to know about the Awards.

  • Anne Boles Levy and Kelly Herold founded the award to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal.
  • The Nomination process lasts only two week: October 1 to October 15, 2008.
  • Anyone can nominate books in these categories
  • You can nominate only one book per category.
  • Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English).
  • Between October 16th and January 1st, the Cybils panelists (children’s and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009. [There are about 100 bloggers on the Cybils team.]

To help you, we are providing a brief synopsis for each category. The Category organizers, who wrote the descriptions, have made it easy for you to understand where a book fits. Click on the link so you can add your favorite to the ballot.

  • Young Adult Fiction You’ll find no dragons or magic, robots or vampires here. Just real people, in the real world, in real situations. Historical, humorous, or contemporary, they must have literary merit AND a lasting effect on their readers; something teens will press into their friends’ hands with fervor in their eyes and say, “You HAVE to read this book.”
  • Poetry Poetry collections for younger kids, older kids, and teens belong here. Poetry collections can be fiction or nonfiction; they can have a single author or be an anthology that includes the work of many poets. The poems can be in rhyme or not, and can be in any form, including no real form at all (which is to say, free verse is very welcome, as are shape poems).
  • Nonfiction Picture Books Science, art, history, sports, current events–and more–are all fair game, from slice-of-life biographies and other true stories kids will read beginning-to-end, to list books and other compendiums of information that will delight the browsers in the crowd. Non-fiction picture books will be 48 pages or less and aimed at younger readers.
  • Nonfiction Middle Grade/Young Adult (MG/YA) Books Middle Grade and Young Adult Nonfiction covers a wide swath of territory: from history, biography and science to sports, astronomy and dinosaurs. Kids of all ages are seeking out books that unwrap the mysteries of the world around them If the book’s more than 48 pages, has more text and seems geared for somewhat older kids … put it here.
  • Graphic Novels We’re looking for those compelling stories that won’t let you go; stories in which word and image are inseparable; stories that will endure in readers’ minds long after they’re put away. From ordinary kids to superheroes, from the everyday to the fantastical we want to read your nominations for the best graphic novels published this year for children and young adults.
  • Fiction Picture Books A good picture book is a pleasing merger of text and artwork. A great picture book is a celebration of story and illustration, with lasting appeal for kids and/or adults. The best picture books completely excel in art, story, kid-friendliness, and adult appeal. In message, in world-view, in connection, in humor, in reach, a book with “It Factor” rises to a higher level.
  • Fantasy and Science Fiction Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, said “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.” That sentiment is at the heart of this category’s best novel for children and teens. The winning novel will be a book that speaks for its genre but also exceeds it, blasting beyond into greatness.
  • Easy Readers Easy readers are books with simple words and short sentences for children who are learning how to read. These are the books they are meant to be read by the child himself. Easy readers range from 8 page books with a single word or a simple phrase on each page to 64 page books divided into chapters. ou’ll know you’ve found an easy reader when you see the words “read,” “reader,” or “reading” on the cover.

If you have questions, please go to the Got Questions? post on the Cybils blog. The Cybils team is happy to answer your question, because we want you to participate. Jen Robinson Literacy Evangelist for the 2008 Cybils said it best: “The Cybils nominations will be of interest to parents, teachers, librarians, writers, and teens.” Be sure to vote … and invite your friends to partipate, too.

2 responses to “CYBILS – Voting Is Now Open

  1. This is excellent, Terry!! Thanks for taking so much time to include all of the right links and category descriptions and rules. I think that we’re going to get an amazing response this year, thanks to people like you!

  2. I’m happy to help … and anyone who wants to cut/paste the annotated version to help advertise the awards is most welcome.

    I’m so excited to be part of the new Easy Reader panel.

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