Monday, January 07, 2008

Cybils Finalists Announced...

The remaining finalists have been announced!

The YA--of which I was a panelist--is the only one I'll quote in full...

Finding the best seven titles out of a list of 123 is... daunting, to say the least. The bloggers on this year's YA nominating panel embraced the challenge, and below you'll find the books that survived discussion and passionate debate through countless emails and one very long instant-message group chat. We're proud of our shortlist, and hope you love it as much as we do.

--Jackie Parker, YA Fiction Organizer

Parttimeindian The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Little, Brown
Meet Junior, a skinny, teenage Spokane Indian with hydrocephalus, ugly glasses and too many teeth. He knows that to make his dreams come true, he has to go where no one in his tribe has gone before--a white high school outside the reservation. Sherman Alexie's semi-autobiographical novel comes at you with its chin up and fists flying. You're guaranteed to fall in love with this scruffy underdog who fights off poverty and despair with goofy, self-deprecating humor and a heart the size of Montana.
--Eisha, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

21mdyeg1ndl_aa_sl160__2 Billie Standish Was Here
by Nancy Crocker
Simon & Schuster
Summer 1968. Billie Standish is a young girl with a lot of heart and soul whose life is about to change forever when the rains come pouring down. Newly befriended by a neighbor, Miss Lydia, neither suspect how close danger lurks to young Billie--and it's not danger from the rising storm waters threatening the town's levee. Billie Standish is a story of friendship, courage, and devotion that will charm readers young and old as they fall in love with Billie's world.
--Becky, Becky's Book Reviews
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

Boytoy Boy Toy
by Barry Lyga
Houghton Mifflin
Eighteen-year-old Josh Mendel can calculate batting averages and earned run averages in an instant, but coming to terms with his past has been impossible. Until, perhaps, now. Bypassing the tawdry and sensational, Barry Lyga takes a ripped-from-the-headlines plot (Teacher-Student Sex Scandal!) and explores the devastation it leaves behind. Told with intelligence and sensitivity, Boy Toy is a powerful story that may occasionally disturb, but ultimately captivate readers.
--Trisha, The YA YA YAs
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

Offseason The Off Season
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Houghton Mifflin
Farm girl and football player D.J. Schwenk's refreshing voice and self-deprecating humor return in this continuation of her hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking coming-of-age story. Catherine Gilbert Murdock's characters are authentic and fully realized, and the story perfectly captures the rhythms and conventions of life in a small, rural town. D.J.'s straightforward and endearing personality shines as she faces up to everyday adversity and struggles to find her voice.
--Anne, LibrariAnne
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

Redglass Red Glass
by Laura Resau
Random
Sophie, an Arizona teenager full of insecurities and phobias, becomes the foster sister to an orphaned illegal immigrant boy. When the boy's family is located in southern Mexico, Sophie goes along on the trek to return him, all the while hoping he'll decide to come with her back to the U.S. As she journeys through Mexico and beyond, evocative settings and vivid characters immerse the reader in Sophie's world. Sophie finds guardian angels along the way, and discovers inner strength.
--Stacy, Reading, Writing, and Chocolate
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

Tips Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend
by Carrie Jones
Flux
Tips is in many ways a typical high school story--loves lost and won; navigating the social minefields of a small town; figuring out who you are, measured against the way others see you. It depicts a week in the life of Belle, a high school senior who's just been dumped by her "true love"--for another guy. Belle progresses through heartbreak to jealousy to anger, to genuine concern for Dylan (her ex), whose road will be much tougher than her own. And Belle's gradual realization that she and Dylan weren't meant to be opens her to new possibilities. Belle is a sweet and optimistic narrator with quirky but believable friends and family.
--Stacy, Reading, Writing, and Chocolate
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

Wednesdaywars The Wednesday Wars
by Gary D. Schmidt
Clarion
Condemned to spend every Wednesday afternoon alone with a teacher he is sure hates him, Holling despairs. When two demon rats escape into the classroom walls, and Mrs. Barker brings out Shakespeare, Wednesdays seem to grow even worse. But despair has no place in this very funny and deeply moving book about 7th grade love, the Vietnam War, heroes, true friendship, and the power of giant rats.
--Charlotte, Charlotte's Library

Nonfiction Picture Book Finalists
Nonfiction Graphic Novel Finalists
Nonfiction Middle Grade/YA Finalists

2 comments:

Melissa 11:20 AM  

That's quite a list. I'm glad that Wednesday Wars made it... :) (Though, I have to admit that the only other one I've read is Part-Time Indian. I should get out more.) I'm interested to see what does win!

(BTW, glad you're feeling better!)

Brian Mandabach 10:30 AM  

Yay for my fellow FLUX Author (and just about the sweetest author/blogger in the universe) Carrie Jones!! She deserves it. I'm an Alexie fan from way back, and newly a Lyga fan. And I guess these others will have to go on my list, too! Thanks for all your hard reading, discussion, etc!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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