The official announcement has been made over here, at the Cybils blog. You can find the remaining short lists up today, too, including Nonfiction Picture Books, one of our family's favorite categories.
In alphabetical order:
Marie Curie (volume 4 in the Giants of Science series) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Boris Kulikov; Krull's Isaac Newton made it to last year's short list
The Periodic Table: Elements With Style! created (and illustrated) by (Simon) Basher, written by Adrian Dingle
Smart-Opedia: The Amazing Book About Everything, translated by Eve Drobot
Maple Tree Press
Tasting the Sky: a Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion (from the Scientists in the Field series) by Loree Griffin Burns
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas by Russell Freedman (whose Freedom Walkers won this category last year)
Getting down to brass tacks now is the Judging Panel, comprised of
Tracy Chrenka at Talking in the Library
Emily Mitchell at Emily Reads
Camille Powell at Book Moot
Alice Herold at Big A little a
Jennie Rothschild at Biblio File
* * *
It was a wild ride. Five panelists, one newborn baby, a couple of holidays over several months, and 45 nominated children's nonfiction books published in 2007 -- on the subjects of history, science, mathematics, reference, biography, memoirs, humor, how to, essays, popular culture, music, and more. Much more.
What an absolute delight to work on the MG/YA nonfiction nominating panel alongside Susan at Chicken Spaghetti, Vivian at HipWriterMama, Mindy at Proper Noun Dot Net, and KT at Worth the Trip, all under the leadership of master wrangler and organizer Jen Robinson. The other panelists made the job of distilling the 45 nominated titles down to seven as easy as possible under the circumstances, and I continue to be amazed at how smoothly our negotiations and jockeyings went. Thank you each, thank you all for several marvelous months.
While we had a fraction of the books some of the other panels had to read (though more than I had to deal with last year on the poetry panel), our hunting and gathering skills were put to work tracking down titles for which review copies weren't furnished. So I'd also like to thank the patient and quick-working libraries in our system that sped books to me, often shortly after processing. And lastly, a big thanks to my kids, who put up with a good deal of questioning, poking, and prodding about what they liked and didn't about the the books they read, with and without me.
And special thanks, again, to Anne Boles Levy and Kelly Herold for coming up with the idea of the Cybils and organizing everything.
One of the reasons I wanted to serve on this particular panel is that for our family, and so many other home school families we know, high quality nonfiction titles are the backbone of our curricula, as well as our some of our children's favorite free-time reading. I wanted, through the Cybils, to be able to publicize some of the best of the bunch, so you and your kids can include these new gems on your "to read" lists.
The other reason is that I realize, sadly, that for many non-home schooling families, nonfiction children's titles are considered the second rate, second tier, B List, utility grade, inferior choice when it comes to children's books, and I wanted to be able to use an opportunity like the Cybils, with such a terrific short list of books of marvelous depth and range, to show that children's nonfiction is not only chock full of superior choices, but every inch the equal of fiction.
I'd like to encourage other readers and fans of children's nonfiction, especially those who are concerned about what children's nonfiction author Marc Aronson calls "nonfiction resistance", to keep up with the subject on Marc's blog, Nonfiction Matters
And one final note -- a raft of terrific children's 2007 nonfiction titles didn't make it to the list of nominees to be considered for the above short list. If your favorite wasn't nominated, it's because you didn't speak up for it. Don't let that happen next year.