I just got word that I will be on this year's picture book judging committee for the Cybils! Yippee! What are the Cybils some of you may wonder (but I hope many of you already know)? It's the award that was started three years ago when many children's and YA lit bloggers questioned the award winners: many of the ALA (Newbery, Caldecott, etc.) didn't really seem like books kids would enjoy and the Quill winners were sort of a joke, just whatever the publisher sold the most of whether it showed literary value or not. It seemed like there should be an award out there that took the middle ground for literary books that kids would love. Thus, Kelly Herold and Anne Boles Levy gathered the kidlitosphere and started their own awards, The Cybils.
Beginning October first anyone can nominate one book for each of the Cybils categories. Then once the nominations have closed, I'll be on the committee narrowing down all the fictional picture books to five finalists. We'll pass the finalists onto another judging panel to decide the winner.
I love being on the first judging panel. Two years ago I served on the panel for middle grade fiction, and it was so fun to be in on the debate over the finalists. I never envy the final judging panel that has to choose the winner because the five finalists are always so fantastic that it would be too hard for me to decide.
I am so, so excited to be judging this year with some truly amazing people! I can't wait to get start so be sure to head over to the Cybils site on October first to start nominating!
(If you picture me prancing around right now and periodically doing my best Mary Katherine Gallagher, kneeling on one knee with both arms in the air yelling, "Cybils Judge!" I'm not saying that you'd be wrong)