Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge


Happy New Year! The Cybils are Posted! That means it's time to start my first challenge --  my personal Cybils Shortlist Challenge!

I haven't actually finished last year's list yet, due to a reading collapse in December, although I had all the books. I'll finish ticking them off as I work through this years list. Endless optimism from me! I also note that I managed to read exactly zero of the nominees this year, which means that nothing I nominated made the cut.

I'm especially looking forward to the new audio category. I'm not sure if I should read the book that appears in as both an audio and a text choice, though, except that Grace Lin's illustrations definitely enhance the reading. Again, I'm listing the entries in reverse order, to encourage me to start with the longer ones.

Young Adult Speculative Fiction: 

  1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I was completely unprepared for this book -- I didn't read the jacket copy and thought it would be a spy thing with hidden societies. I was very pleased to find myself instead on a battered space battleship fleeing a murderous corporate dreadnaught. The kids themselves were rather thin, but they were so busy fighting with the enemy, the authorities, the computer system, and each other that I didn't have time to notice. The various formats of the books kept things interesting as well. Fun read that I recommend to my teens.
  2. The Door at the Crossroads by Zetta Elliott. I liked parts of this very much -- Judah's life in slavery was harrowing, and his ruthless belief that he was free sustained him through torture and violence. The descriptions of the other slaves and owners also seemed nuanced and emotionally real. But the pieces didn't all seem to hold together; the characters seemed to change between sections of the book in ways unrelated to their experiences.

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas) by Zoraida Cordova
Sourcebooks Fire
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publisher/ Author Submission

The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Charlotte

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity) by Victoria Schwab
Greenwillow Books
Nominated by: Whinkz

When the Moon was Ours: A Novel by Anna-Marie McLemore
Thomas Dunne Books
Nominated by: Kelly Jensen

Young Adult Fiction 

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel)by Brittany Cavallaro
Katherine Tegen Books
Nominated by: Stephanie Burgis

Beastby Brie Spangler
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Kim Baccellia

Runby Kody Keplinger
Scholastic Press
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

Salt to the Seaby Ruta Sepetys
Nominated by: Compass Book Ratings

The Serpent Kingby Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Esther Braithwaite

The Weight of Zeroby Karen Fortunati
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: MarisaR

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (2016-01-05)by Marieke Nijkamp
Sourcebooks Fire
Nominated by: Katharine Manning

Young Adult Graphic Novels

  1. Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous volumes; I think I like my ratio of heroics to normal problems to skew more towards the hero stuff. The center this time seemed the problems anyone could have. I realize that I'm wrong, but that's how I roll.
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Ozge Samanci
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine by Jody Houser
Valiant books
Nominated by: Tiffa

Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota
Oni Press
Publisher/ Author Submission

March: Book Three by John Lewis
Top Shelf Productions
Nominated by: Becky L.

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu
image comics
Nominated by: Charlotte

Trashed by Derf Backderf
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Gary Anderson

Middle Grade / Young Adult Non-fiction 

Middle Grade: 
Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded Americaby Gail Jarrow
Calkins Creek Books
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World through Fashionby Carlyn Cerniglia Beccia
Nominated by: Becky L.

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Storyby Caren Stelson
Carolrhoda Books
Nominated by: Amanda Snow

This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigrationby Linda Barret Osborne
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: VikingAcademy

Young Adult:

  1. Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Koreaby Sungju Lee. This powerful story of a child forced to survive on his own reminded me of some of the WWII fiction I read as a kid, except that the realism and nonfiction level made things grimmer. I alternated between admiration for the independence and leadership Sungju displayed and horror at the grim choices and dehumanizing situations he found himself making.
  2. Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos. The individual chapters had plenty of fun facts about how authorities figured out who killed the dead bodies that turn up, but it didn't real gel together as a complete book. 
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rightsby Rich Wallace
Calkins Creek Books
Nominated by: Sherry Early

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Centuryby Sarah Miller
Schwartz and Wade Books
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Middle Grade Fiction 

Full of Beansby Jennifer L. Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Ghost (Track)by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Abby Johnson

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horseby Joseph Marshall
Nominated by: Sussu Leclerc

Ms. Bixby’s Last Dayby John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press
Nominated by: Brenda

Save Me a Seatby Sarah Weeks
Publisher not defined
Nominated by: Maria Gianferrari

Slackerby Gordon Korman
Nominated by: Amy

Some Kind of Happinessby Claire Legrand
Simon & Schuster
Nominated by: CDwivedi


Bookedby Kwame Alexander
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Fresh Deliciousby Irene Latham
Nominated by: Linda Baie

Garvey’s Choiceby Nikki Grimes
Nominated by: MissRumphius

Guess Who, Haikuby Deanna Caswell
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Kortney Garrison

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementaryby Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books
Nominated by: Adrienne Gillespie

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasonsby Julie Fogliano
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Board Books: 

Cityblock (Alphablock)by Christopher Franceschelli
Harry N Abrams
Nominated by: Becky L.

Cuauhtemoc: Shapes/Formas (English and Spanish Edition)by Patty Rodriguez
Lil’ Libros
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Dinosaur Dance!by Sandra Boynton
Little Simon
Nominated by: Alysa Stewart

Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colorsby Emily Sper
Jump Press
Nominated by: ediew

LOOK, LOOK AGAINby Agnese Baruzzi
Publisher/ Author Submission

Fiction Picture Books:

  1. A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins
  2. There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins
  3. Ida, Always by Caron Levis
  4. The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan 
  5. One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom
  6. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
  7. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Elementary / Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

Shadow Magicby Joshua Khan
Nominated by: Sussu Leclerc
The Evil Wizard Smallboneby Delia Sherman
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Lizjonesbooks

The Firefly Codeby Megan Frazer Blakemore
Bloomsbury USA
Nominated by: Sarah Sammis

The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Aliceby Andrew Chilton
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: E.B.
The Memory Thiefby Bryce Moore
Adaptive Books
Nominated by: Kristen

The Voyage to Magical Northby Claire Fayers
Henry Holt
Nominated by: Sheila Ruth

When the Sea Turned to Silverby Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: PragmaticMom

Elementary / Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Bera the One-Headed Trollby Eric Orchard
First Second Books
Nominated by: Sarah Sammis

Compass South (Four Points)by Hope Larson
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Nominated by: Amy

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Book 2) (Lowriders in Space)by Cathy Camper
Chronicle Books
Nominated by: Lwad

Mighty Jackby Ben Hatke
First Second Books
Nominated by: Charlotte

Princess Princess Ever Afterby Katie O’Neill
Oni Press
Nominated by: Stormy

The Nameless Cityby Faith Erin Hicks
First Second Books
Nominated by: Compass Book Ratings

The Wolves of CurrumpawFlying Eye Books
Nominated by: Julie Rowan-Zoch

Elementary / Juvenile Non-Fiction:

Elementary Non-Fiction:
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bearby Lindsay Mattick
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: ktmgiorgio

Giant Squidby Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
Roaring Brook Press
Nominated by: Lackywanna

Plants Can’t Sit Still (Millbrook Picture Books)by Rebecca E. Hirsch
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Joanne Roberts

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindnessby Donna Janell Bowman
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Nominated by: AYW

Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Ricaby Cathleen Burnham
Crickhollow Books
Nominated by: Patricia Tilton

Juvenile Non-Fiction:
Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animalsby Charles Ghigna and Animal Planet
TIME for Kids
Publisher/ Author Submission

Floodwaters and Flames: The 1913 Disaster in Dayton, Ohioby Lois Miner Huey
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Ami Jones

Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Trickstersby Rebecca L. Johnson
Millbrook Press
Nominated by: Gramma

Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. Whiteby Melissa Sweet
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

The Inventors of LEGO Toys (Awesome Minds)by Erin Hagar
Duo Press Llc
Nominated by: Gary Anderson

The Slowest Book Everby April Pulley Sayre
Boyds Mills Press
Nominated by: Katy Manck

Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books:
Easy Readers:
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Cookie Fiascoby Dan Santat and Mo Willems
Nominated by: Sara Ralph

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! We Are Growing!by Laurie Keller and Mo Willems
Nominated by: Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

Rabbit and Robot and Ribbitby Cece Bell
Candlewick Press
Publisher/ Author Submission

Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friendsby Tina Kugler
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: LindsayHM

The Great Antonioby Elise Gravel
Toon Books
Publisher/ Author Submission

The Infamous Ratsos (Ratso Brothers)by Kara LaReau
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Charlotte

Early Chapter Books:
Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheepby Abby Hanlon
Dial Books
Nominated by: Melissa Fox

Juana and Lucasby Juana Medina
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Cecilia Cackley

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Hordeby Shannon Hale
Candlewick Press
Nominated by: Flowering Minds

Weekends with Max and His Dadby Linda Urban
HMH Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Ashley Martin

Audio Books:
Out of Abaton, Book 1: The Wooden Prince

  1. Out of Abaton, Book 1 (Library Edition): The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis.  I enjoyed the special effects -- sound effects and background music that made it even better for car listening. It suffered a bit because I only listen to audio books while driving, so it takes me forever to finish and in this case I had to recheck it out of the library. But after a slow start the middle and especially the end kept me interested.
  2. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. The narrator made good use of her voice in this audio -- all three children were easily distinguished by sound alone, and their accents were more southern than the narration. Even the adults were distinguished, although all the old people sounded alike at the home. I enjoyed it. 
  3. The Best Manby Richard Peck. Another narrator who easily kept all the characters distinct. The story itself was fine, but the characters all seemed a bit cliched, especially the girls. Actually even the boys were rather unsurprising. The only surprise was the amount of postering the kids put up with from their British classmate.
  4. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz. This one really didn't work for me. I found the pace excruciatingly slow, and disliked most of the varied narrators. I also (maybe helped by the mismatch of audio to me) found the children flatly unbelievable, and found the wavering historical tone annoying and condescending. I was glad to reach the end of this. I know it's been acclaimed by all, but I'm not getting it.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Nominated by: Jennie

Completed: 15 /a lot

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