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Video Wednesday: The True Meaning of Smekday

Teachers and librarians know it is not always easy to find books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal. Even recent Newbery Award winners are being called into question on that score. The CYBILS Book Awards attempt to address that very problem, and you can be a part of the nominating process.

The True Meaning of Smekday a 2007 CYBILS winner by Adam Rex is a perfect example of a book with literary merit and must-read kid appeal. Check out this video book trailer to get a sense of the "kid appeal" part.

With nine categories, there is a CYBILS Award for everyone, and kids need to be able to find these amazing books. I hope you'll think about some of your favorites from 2008 and nominate them.

For more information, take a look at these nominating tips from Librarian Mom.

And Jen Robinson, Literacy Evangelist for the 2008 CYBILS has this to say on her blog:

"Nominations for the third annual Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils) will be open Wednesday, October 1st through Wednesday, October 15th.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th. A separate post will be available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.   

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children's and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

The Cybils lists, from long lists to short lists to the lists of winners, offer a wonderful resource to anyone looking for high-quality, kid-friendly books. The Cybils team has worked hard to balance democracy (anyone can nominate titles) with quality control (two rounds of panel judging by people who focus on children's books every day). We do this work because we consider it vital to get great books into the hands of children and young adults.

How Can You Participate?

We think that the Cybils nominations will be of interest to parents, teachers, librarians, writers, and teens. If you have a blog or an email list or belong to a newsgroup that serves one of these populations, and you feel that your readers would be interested, please consider distributing this announcement (you are welcome to copy it). The Cybils team would very much appreciate your help in spreading the word. And if you, or the children that you know, have any titles to suggest, we would love to see your nominations at the Cybils blog, starting on Wednesday. Thanks for your help, and stay tuned for further news!"


Jen Robinson

Thanks so much for posting about the Cybils, Sonja!! I really hope that the Cybils lists will be useful to teachers and librarians looking for that magical literary quality and kid appeal intersection. The True Meaning of Smekday is a great example. Thanks!

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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