Our first featured blogger is Amy at Hope Is The Word, who hosts the Armchair Cybils every year. She was nominated by Sherry at Semicolon who says: ” Amy reads and reviews lots of Cybils nominees and gives bloggers who are unable to be judges a chance to get in on the Cybils fun. Amy is a teacher and librarian turned stay-at-home, home-educating mother. Hope Is the Word is also the home of Read Aloud Thursday, which is a monthly meme in which bloggers share their families’ read-alouds on the fourth Thursday of each month. ”
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
I started Hope Is the Word on a whim back in November of 2007. At the time, I had two children, a two year old girl and a three year old girl, and I worked very part time at a community college teaching English. I had begun reading blogs in my spare time and thought it looked like a fun thing to do. My blog started out as a mishmash of ideas–I shared anything I thought was interesting: homemaking ideas, parenting, etc. Finally, I decided that I’d focus on my passion, which is reading and children’s books. Fast forward seven years and now our family is a family of six. Our girls are now ten and almost nine, and we have two little boys, ages four and eighteen months. My interests have expanded a bit to include homeschooling, too, but it all usually comes back to books.
Why did you start blogging?
I usually say it’s because I miss being an elementary librarian. It’s my professional “fix.” I graduated from the School of Library Information Studies at the University of Alabama back in 2002 and worked for a couple of years as an elementary librarian before becoming a SAHM. I miss pushing books on people, I guess.
How/Why did you get involved with the Cybils?
I was really intrigued by this idea of a common man’s book award. I’m always excited for the ALA awards each year, but I get twice as excited about the Cybils because I can actually be involved in the process! (I still remember the rush of excitement I experienced when a book I nominated–Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins– was shortlisted in the nonfiction picture book category!) I served as a round two panelist for the 2012 Cybils in the nonfiction picture book category and had a ball!
You host the Armchair Cybils! What is it and how did you get started doing that?
I started the Armchair Cybils in 2011. I intended to read as many of the Cybils nominated titles as I could get my hands on, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to get others to join me. I’m not so great at the social networking aspect of blogging, so it hasn’t taken off as quickly as I hoped, but I enjoy it every year. I’m at it again this year. You can read more about it here, and everyone is welcome to join. (Pretty please? 🙂 )
What’s your favorite kidlit book you’ve read this year?
This year has been a big year for series fiction as far as our read-alouds go. I just finished reading the last book in The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright to my children the very night I’m completing this interview, and I have to say that I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a series more. If you’ve never The Melendy Quartet, you’re in for a treat. (See what I mean about pushing books on people?) A close second for me personally is The Wednesdays Wars by Gary D. Schmidt.
Thank you, Amy!