October 20, 2006

Something new: The Cybils, the first annual children’s book awards, blog edition

Kelly at Big A little a announced earlier this week,
"This month we’ve seen a spate of book awards, some of which have left us wondering: couldn’t we, the intelligent, savvy members of the kidlitosphere do better? Or, at least, differently?

"So, we’re inaugurating our own book awards, honoring books published in English for children in 2006. Anne Boles Levy, of Book Buds, will launch a site this week and administer the awards process."
The new awards are the Cybils, created by Kelly and Anne, and you can read all about them here. Because I'm old and crotchety, and not one of the savvier or even more frequent blogging members of the kidlitosphere, I have to admit that a) I hadn't even realized the existence of a spate; b) I have a hard time remembering which books (and movies and music) are current and which came out a year or more ago; c) I'm not quite sure how I ended up involved in this when in 2006 the Farm Schoolers have probably read more out-of-print children's books rather than brand spanking new offerings published this year; and d) the award name reminds me of everything from ancient oracles to a children's book I didn't particularly care for, an adult book that scared the pants off me more than 20 years ago, and Peter Bogdanovich's sneaker-wearing ex. But then I'm old and crotchety.

The eight categories of children's literature under consideration are Middle Grade (I keep thinking this should be Middle School, because Middle Grade brings to mind middling) Novels, headed up by Betsy at Fuse #8; Nonfiction Picture Books, headed up by Chris Barton at Bartography; Young Adult Novels, headed up by Jen at Jen Robinson's Book Page; Picture Books, headed up Cybils co-creator Kelly at Big A little a; Graphic Novels, headed up by Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy; Middle Grade and YA Nonfiction, headed up by Mindy at Propernoun; Fantasy and Science Fiction, headed up by Sheila at Wands and Worlds; and Poetry, headed up the clever, charming, and talented Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.

I found out about the awards because Susan was kind enough to drop me a note earlier this week, before I had read even word one about the new awards, asking me to volunteer myself (I told you she's clever, charming, and talented) for either the Poetry nominating or judging subcommittee. I chose the former, because although we read lots of children's literature around here, I tend to get most books well after they've been published through interlibrary loan, and I can't be sure I'll be able to get my mitts on all of the finalists when the time comes.

I believe there are still some open slots on the subcommittees for each category, so step right up and volunteer, possibly before you, erm, get volunteered. For those who are committee- and commitment-shy, you can still participate by nominating your favorite 2006 titles (just one in each category, please) here, by November 20.

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