One of my favorite things about New Year's Day is the announcement of the Cybils shortlists. In the past, after being on a first round panel in the fall, I've set myself a Cybils Reading Challenge of one new-to-me book in each of the other categories before the winners are announced on February 14. It hasn't caught on anywhere else, though, and this year I am abandoning it in favor of reading all of the shortlisted books in one category (my favorite): Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction.
I definitely missed being on the first round panel (I had other book award commitments and couldn't apply), but I like the list this year's panelists came up with--especially Jinx by Sage Blackwood (HarperCollins, 2013), which exemplifies the qualities of literary merit and kid appeal that the Cybils recognize. I read Jinx early last year (maybe even late the year before), so I might reread it now and then treat myself to the sequel, Jinx's Magic (Katherine Tegen Books, 2014), which comes out on Tuesday.
Anyone else want to try this year's version of the Cybils Reading Challenge? Here's the complete Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction shortlist:
- Jinx by Sage Blackwood (HarperCollins)
- Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Hyperion)
- Rose by Holly Webb (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
- Sidekicked by John David Anderson (Walden Pond Press)
- The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (Tor Teen)
- The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum)
- The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore (Walker Books for Young Readers)
Where would you start?