Abby Johnson, aka Abby the Librarian, is a Round I judge for Middle Grade Fiction this year, though she's been part of the Cybils before. As a public librarian who blogs, she focuses on book reviews, children's library programming, and other library and kidlit items of interest.
One of the 2009 Middle Grade Fiction finalists was nicely spotlighted on Abby's blog over the summer: Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. This absorbing story told from the viewpoint of Jason, a boy with autism, would appeal to readers who enjoyed The London Eye Mystery or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, says Abby.
Jason knows he's different – he processes things differently, he thinks differently, he sees the world differently. But underneath all that, underneath perception and thought processes and what everyone thinks about him, is a twelve-year-old boy who wonders if he'll ever have a girlfriend. A boy who wants to have friends and who loves his family.
Click here to read the full review.