I had another post planned to be my first post of the year but I am going to start with the Cybils finialists. At Susan's personal blog, she broke out Mama Lockdown for her take on the Cybils. You know its serious when you see Mama Lockdown because she don't play.
Here is part of what Susan said
I'm starting off the new year with a rant about an issue you're probably sick of hearing by now. Well, I'm sick of making it so somebody tell me why this continues to happen: 931 books read and of all the finalists by or about African Americans, the finalists are about slaves or civil rights.
I too have a problem with this. Though I believe there aren't enough books being published with Black characters that aren't historical fiction. For me the problem isn't with what didn't get chosen but what isn't being published to get nominated. One of the reason why I loved Debbie Rigaud's new YA novel Perfect Shot (my review) was because it was a light, fun, entertaining and well written contemporary romantic comedy featuring Black characters.
I am surprised and disappointed that Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork wasn't a finalist in the YA fiction category. (it wasn't my pick) But its one of the best books YA or otherwise that I've read this year. I haven't read all of the YA finalist but (IMO) two of them can't touch the goodness that is Marcelo in the Real World. (not even close)
In the MG fiction category I wasn't too happy to see Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson make the finals. Its an historical fiction novel featuring a female African American protagonist. The writing in Chains is good. I just never connected or fully believed in the main character Isabel. There are other books that got nominated in the category that I believe would have made better choices. Even if I liked Isabel I would still feel the same way. Two MG books that nominated that stand out as better choices The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly and Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival by Dene Low ( I didn't nominate either one)
I know the panelist had many many books to read and discuss. In the end the finalist come down to a group decision, which I am not questioning but I happen to disagree with in these situations enough to post about it. Also I know its easier to say something after the fact. I am kicking myself right now for not trying to become one of the panelists, when the call was put out. I believe any blogger who is questioning any of the finalist and didn't step up when the call was made for panelists and judges should be kicking themselves as well.
Overall I am very exicted and happy that the Cybils awards exist. The people who run the Cybils make everyone feel welcome. If I had a question it was answered quickly. They also take the time to link to reviews ( by panelist) of nominated books. The site is very easy to browse. If you are ever looking for a good children's book check out some of the nominated books for
I was happy to see so many novels featuring people of color get nomniated. When a book is nominated it's really is a win (unlike the Oscars) since the panelists are all bloggers who love children's literature. A book may not have made the finals but it could've found its way to blogger who believes in the book as much as the person who nominated it.
One of my nods is a finalist. WHAT ! The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott in the MG fantasy category. The MC is biracial (Black &White), I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. I love me some The Prince of Fenway Park.
Finally, I want to say thank you to all the bloggers who work so hard (For Free) on the Cybils. While still maintaining their personal blogs ( For Free) They don't have to do it but they do. The people who work on the Cybils are giving more than they are receiving and for that I say. Thanks again.