Fantasy and Science Fiction: Elementary/Middle Grade: The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Fantasy and Science Fiction: Young Adult: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Fiction Picture Books: The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson
Graphic Novels: Elementary/Middle Grade: Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano and Paolo Lamanna
Graphic Novels: Young Adult: The Professor's Daughter written by Joann Sfar, illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert
Middle Grade Novels: A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books: Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat
Non-Fiction Picture Books: Lightship by Brian Floca
Poetry: This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
Young Adult Novels: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Official Press Release
"Boy Toy" author Barry Lyga bests Sherman Alexie in teen category;
Palestinian's childhood memoir also honored
Chicago, IL -- This was the year of troubled childhoods, with a wrenching story of a middle schooler's seduction by his teacher clinching a winning spot in the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, informally known as the Cybils.
Barry Lyga's "Boy Toy" was a surprise choice in the Young Adult category over heavily favored Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which won a National Book Award.
Judges cited Lyga's ability to reach "beyond sensationalism and straight into empathy, challenging expectations and assumptions on every page," according to the awards announcement at the Cybils website (blog.cybils.com). "Lyga's prose is unflinching and the result is heartbreaking and unforgettable. "
The Cybils team hands out awards in eight genres of children's literature -- both Graphic Novels and Fantasy & Science Fiction were also split by age group, for a total of ten awards. The other five categories were fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade novels, middle grade/YA nonfiction, and poetry.
"Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood," Ibtisam Barakat's haunting account of the Six Day War won for middle grade/YA nonfiction, with judges lauding how the author "conveys the fear, confusion and tumult of war." At the same, they said, "It's also an excellent memoir of childhood in any culture: the broad injustices, the importance of trivial things, the mysteries of the adult world."
Not all the winning titles were so serious. The True Meaning of Smekday, Adam Rex's spoof of science fiction novels, won that category in the younger age group. Janice N. Harrington's impish The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County took top honors in Fiction Picture Books.
Nearly 90 kidlit bloggers participated in two rounds of judging; the first group waded through 575 titles nominated by the public last autumn. Their short lists were announced on Jan. 1 at blog.cybils.com. The Cybils are the only online literary awards, said Boles Levy, and insist on only two criteria: the books must combine both literary merit and kid appeal.
"We're not about dictating kids' tastes," she said. "But we're impatient with formulaic garbage too."
For More Information:
Anne Boles Levy
Co-Founder and Editor, The Cybils Awards
Learn more about the winning titles and the awards by visiting blog.cybils.com and www.cybils.com