Tuesday, September 17, 2013

O Happy Day! (Cybils Mark 3)

I teased you yesterday about some big news--and now I'm finally able to reveal it. I will be a Cybils Middle Grade panelist/judge for the third straight year!

For those of you who usually pay no heed to my ravings, the Cybils stands for Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. 2013 marks the 8th year of the awards and, as usual, the Cybils are trying to honor books that combine literary merit with kid appeal. In other words, our winners are books like Origami Yoda, which is well-written and fun but isn't going to win the Newbery.

In 2011 I was a first round panelist, which meant I had to read over a hundred books. Brain Death ensued. Last year, I decided that being a round two judge and having to read only seven books in five weeks was more my speed. Fortunately, I was chosen to be a round two judge for this year too.

What I like most about the Cybils is the introduction it gives me to a huge crop of fun middle grade books, as well as an introduction to other book bloggers. We have great chats as we decide on our choices/winners, and so I'm always excited when the judging lists are published and I recognize old friends. This year, the first round for middle grade contains good pals like Deb A. Marshall, Jennifer Rumberger, and Jennifer Donovan. Our fearless leader (also a first round panelist) is the great Karen Yingling, whom I hold in the highest esteem.

As yet, I don't know the other second rounders, but I can bet they'll all turn out to be super-duper. The one thing that links us all, from our different backgrounds and experiences, is our LOVE for children's literature.


(Here's the full list)

2013 Middle Grade Fiction Judges

First Round

Second Round


  1. Congrats Michael! So excited to see Jennifer on the list too.

  2. Congratulations, and happy reading! Looking forward to the final results.

  3. What an honor -- and such fun, to boot!

  4. Congrats to everyone and have fun! :)


  5. What fun news!! Can't wait to see what books make it in :)

  6. Congrats to you and thanks for the shout-out! :)

  7. Congrats, Michael! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to connect with other middle-grade aficionados, too.

  8. Congrats! I'm always impressed at the volume of reading, thinking and discussing that Cybils judges complete with relative speed and efficiency!


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