Introducing The Cybil Awards

h1 October 19th, 2006 by jules

cybils_medal2.jpgActually, they’ve been introduced on plenty of other kidlitosphere blogs, but this is the first time we’re mentioning them here. The blog edition of children’s book awards — pretty exciting!

It all began when the honorable Kelly at Big A little a posed a most thought-provoking question: “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, Kelly and Anne Boles Levy of Book Buds inaugurated a new book awards (Blog Edition, V. 1.0, as it were), and then the nominations for a name for these fledgling awards commenced. I humbly offered “The Still Hots” in honor of the brilliant last page of Sendak’s masterpiece (yes, I have probably worked Sendak into 90% of my posts), but that suggestion was mostly in jest, though it has a certain ring to it, eh? Nonetheless, “The Cybils” was chosen as the title for these awards (read here if you’re wondering why), and Stephanie Ford at the Children’s Literature Book Club designed the medal you see here.

And here is how it works and how you come in: The Cybils award committees will be accepting nominations from the blog-reading public, as Anne put it, for the best books of 2006 through November 20, 2006, in the following categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Non Fiction (Picture Books), Non Fiction (Middle Grade and Young Adult), Graphic Novels, and Poetry (I hope I didn’t miss any). Each category has a nominating committee of five folks (Eisha and I will be involved on the committees and representing, separately, two different categories — woo hoo!), and those committees will narrow the recommendations down to a shortlist of five books for each category. Whew, we’ll have our work cut out for us. The shortlists will be announced January 1, 2007, and then passed on to the judging committees, who will decide which title in each category will win the Children’s Book Award, Blog edition. The winners will be announced January 15, 2007. Rock on. (And fear not; the folks on these nomination and judging committees — well, they’re sharp, I tell ya, and they’re in the book trades in some way — most of us librarians, I would say).

The Cybils site is already up and running and ready for your nominations for your favorite book of 2006 (English language, though translations and bilingual books are more than welcome) in the above categories. The rules are here, but suffice it to say that, as the co-founders put it, YOU CAN BE ANYBODY to vote (excuse me for yelling at you, but I think that’s exciting and oh-so wonderfully egalitarian). So, vote vote vote, you devoted blog readers! “You don’t have to be a blogger to nominate a book. You can even be the author, the editor, the publicist, the next-door neighbor or best friend or just a random Googler,” the rules state.

The hard part is that you may only nominate one book per category; as the co-founders state, “{w}e fear editors submitting their entire lists, publicists under pressure from clients to nominate them all or indecisive types like yours truly who have 584 ‘favorite’ books.” So, start thinking, folks, and join in the excitement of the first annual Cybil Awards. Thanks to Kelly and Anne for all the work that has gone into the process thus far.

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