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Cybils YA finalists

January 2, 2010

—those books that best combine quality with teen appeal, selected from a longlist nominated by the public—were announced yesterday. Here they are:

YA Fiction
Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney (Chronicle Books)
Carter Finally Gets It
by Brent Crawford (Disney Press)
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers (Macmillan)
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford (Scholastic)
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern (Feiwel & Friends)
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (Little, Brown)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking)

YA Fantasy and Science Fiction
Candor by Pam Bachorz (Egmont USA)
The Demon’s Lexicon
by Sarah Rees Brennan (Margaret K. McElderry)
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (Flux)
by Kristin Cashore (Dial)
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor (Arthur A Levine)
Sacred Scars (A Resurrection of Magic, Book 2) by Kathleen Duey (Atheneum)
Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis (Amulet)

YA Graphic Novels
The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale, Part 1 by Lora Innes (IDW Publishing)
Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation by Tom Siddell (Archaia Press)
Crogan’s Vengeance by Chris Schweizer (Oni Press)
Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia by Edgar Allan Poe (Atheneum)
Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee (Candlewick Press)

Middle Grade and YA Non-Fiction
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner, photographs by Andy Comins (Houghton Mifflin)
I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure by Larry Smith (HarperTeen)
Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking)
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker (Carolrhoda Books)

For more about the finalists, or to view the Easy Readers & Short Chapter Books, Middle Grade Fantasy, Fiction Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction, Middle Grade Graphic Novels, Non-Fiction Picture/Information Books, and Poetry shortlists, visit the Cybils website.

Congratulations to all the finalists! And thank you to all the panelists for these awesome shortlists.

On another note, at Black-Eyed Susan’s, there is a discussion about the lack of books featuring people of color, particularly in terms of books about African-Americans that aren’t about slavery or civil rights, in the shortlists. Doret and Charlotte have also chimed in with their thoughts and/or numbers concerning the longlists. My opinion, as someone who wasn’t on a panel this past year, but was on the previous two YA fiction panels? I wanted the best shortlist possible, so although there were some really good nominees featuring people of color, they just weren’t as outstanding as the books that ultimately made the shortlist. Likewise, there were some really good nominated titles that had white protagonists, but they just weren’t quite good enough to make the shortlist. And since there were more books with white protagonists nominated, the higher the likelihood of a shortlisted book featuring a white protagonist. I agree with Susan and Doret and the commenters who point out that while part of the problem is that some eligible books featuring people of color aren’t nominated for the Cybils, the bigger problem is that more of them aren’t being published in the first place.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2010 12:03 pm

    Oh, dear. Oh, dear.
    I was on a nomination committee this year, and we really went back and forth about inclusion and representation, and some had some pretty pointed words about what they termed “politics,” and what others said was simply being mindful and considering other less widely read books.

    I was proud that we at least discussed this – definitely there needs to be dialogue among the committee members on this topic. On the other hand, the award was always meant to acknowledged quality — in a “people’s choice” kind of way. It’s hard to argue about a democratically decided award… it’s just THESE people’s opinion.

    However, everyone has a right to air one, so I expect the discussion will continue!

  2. January 3, 2010 12:08 pm

    …and now, having read all the articles and follow-up comments, I can take back the “oh dear.” I think it’s positive to continue to keep talking about this – and hopefully next year, more writers of color will be nominated and represented in the whole process.

    • January 3, 2010 1:00 pm

      Uh oh. I hope I didn’t make the posts I linked to seem more disapproving than they are. Because I think everyone has been pretty respectful of the Cybils and the process. But, ultimately, Susan and Doret are right about the books written by/featuring protagonists who are people of color.


  1. for 2010, katniss resolves to finally get a freaking clue about boys.

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