Yes, it's Valentine's Day. But Valentine's Day is kind of commercialized, don't you think? A holiday that is not at all commercialized (though you are certainly welcome to use it to buy books) is Cybils Announcement Day, today, February 14th.
Today, the hard-working Cybils category organizers, together with Anne Levy, Cybils Overlord, and Sarah Stevenson, Cybils Blog Editor (and me, Literacy Evangelist for the Cybils), are pleased to announce the winners in 10 fabulous categories of children's and young adult literature (including some categories with multiple selections by age range).
1373 eligible books were nominated. All but four of these books (99.7%) were read by at least one panelist. 98.6% of the books were read by at least two panelists. 73 Round 1 judges undertook this massive quantity of reading, and whittled the 1373 books down to 78 short list titles across the 11 categories, announced on New Year's Day. Since then, 55 Round 2 judges (including myself) have spent time assessing and discussing the shortlist titles, to come up with the winners in each category. All 128 of these panelists are bloggers, people who read widely, think critically about books, and have expertise in their particular categories.
The goal of the Cybils organization is that these winners are all well-written and kid-friendly. This doesn't necessarily mean that the winners have to be popular and well-known. Rather, this means that the various committees, by whatever criterion they applied to their particular category, believed that kids would love these books.
When I think of Cybils winners in general, I think of books that fly off the shelves of libraries, and that librarians are happy to put into their hands (because they know quality when they see it). I think of books that kids ask their parents to read to them again and again, and that the parents are happy to read (because they are so well-written). I think of books that kids want to tell their friends about, and about which teachers and bloggers are also happy to spread the word. These are the cream of the crop - the Cybils winners. What better Valentine's Day gift could a children's literature fan ask for?
This post © 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.