Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Personal Cybils Favorites 2012

I've shared my favorite books of 2012, and the finalists for my category of the Cybils, but there are still a few more books to mention. Listed below are Cybils nominees across several categories that I have not already recognized. These are books I love that didn't make it to their respective short lists, but which are worth reading and sharing with kids nonetheless. (The ones I've posted about, however briefly, have links.)
  • Ballet Stars by Joan Holub (Easy Reader)
    This easy reader might look like just another ballet book, but it's tightly written, brightly illustrated and promotes gender equality as well as hard work.
  •  Following Grandfather by Rosemary Wells (Early Chapter Book)
    A quiet book about loss, this story is ideal for kids who have lost a grandparent, and for others of the chapter book age group who like to read tearjerkers.
  • I Don't Believe It, Archie by Andrew Norriss (Early Chapter Book)
    This zany story of a boy whose life contains no dull moments is a great one for boys who like to laugh but want to avoid toilet humor.
  • The Year of  the Book by Andrea Cheng (Early Chapter Book)
    I don't know that this book will appeal to every  reader, but there are surely some special bookworms out there who  will see themselves in it and be changed by reading it.
  • Jinxed by Kurtis Scaletta (Early Chapter Book)
    Another great one for boys, Jinxed is everything kids want in a sports book - humanized heroes, a close-up view of home plate, and  good sportsmanship.
  • Audition and Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy (Middle Grade Fiction)
    This book is obviously going to appeal  to tween girls more than anyone else, but it was so true to the middle school experience, it made me cry just a little bit at the end.
  • The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers (Middle Grade Fiction)
    This book is another tween title likely to appeal to fans of "chick lit" but despite its fluffy, contemporary tone, it's got some good emotional experiences and life lessons.
  • Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani (Middle Grade Fiction)
    I understand some of the problems in this book, but the strengths far outweight the weaknesses. Kids will learn about two cultures and begin to understand what it means that we all live under the same sun.
  • Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Fiction Picture Book)
    This is the perfect preschool book for kids who need to learn independence, and it's laugh out loud punny, too!
  • French Ducks in Venice by Garret Freymann-Weyr, illustrated by Erin McGuire (Fiction Picture Book)
    I love this book because it reminds everyone that picture books are not just for kids under five. This is a great one for older readers with an unexpectedly positive moral.
  • Red Sled by Lita Judge (Fiction Picture Book)
    This is on my list for an upcoming story time, and I just can't wait to share it! The onomatopoeia really drives home the crunching sound of the beautifully illustrated snow.
  • Tell Me About Colors, Shapes, and Opposites by Delphine Badreddine and AurĂ©lie Guillerey (Fiction Picture Book)
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher but have to review it. Like Seasons by Blexbolex, it's a great one for little guys who don't read yet who have short attention spans. It's informative for kids, but entertaining for adults as well. (I said "Awww" a lot while reading it.)
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Young Adult Fiction)
    I am truly stunned that this didn't make the cut, which is why I'm recognizing it a second time. Even though it's not my absolute favorite YA title of the year, it's hard to imagine one that's better written. I will need to read the finalists, though, so I can understand what I missed!
  • Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk (Young Adult Fiction)
    This is a laugh-out-loud funny guy-friendly book with real heart and a loveable protagonist.  Librarians who do story time will especially love the reference to The Wheels on the Bus that occurs in a wonderful exchange between Guy and his mom.
  • Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker (Young Adult Fiction)
    This book is a personal favorite because it captures exactly how I felt after my break-up with my high school boyfriend. I think it will speak to lots of other girls, too.
  • Bill the Boy Wonder by Marc Tyler Nobleman (Non-Ficton Picture Book)
    I've had great responses from elementary school classes with whom I have shared this book. The author's presentation at my library this summer was one of the highlights of our summer reading program!
  • Here Come the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey (Non-Ficton Picture Book)
    I was a Girl Scout and not too crazy about it, but this book does a wonderful job of bringing Juliet Lowe to life. This book might not appeal to everyone, but it would be just perfect for a Girl Scout Troop.
  • Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger (Middle Grade Fantasy)
    This is probably my favorite Angleberger book of them all. It's wacky, funny, and equally appealing to boys and girls. I can imagine it makes a fun read-aloud as well.
  • Losers in Space by John Barnes (Young Adult Science Fiction)
    I nominated this book before I even finished it, so drawn was I to the premise and characters. I know the text is a bit dense for some, but I enjoyed slowly reading through it all. 

I would also like to express my joy about seeing BookSpeak and Unbeelievables on the Poetry list. Both are just brilliant and perfect contenders for the Cybils. I can't wait to find out if one of them comes out the winner!
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