Wonderfully inventive and full of unforgettable people and places–this year’s speculative fiction books for kids are better than ever! Along with the expected spells and space rockets and aliens, this is the category for books with talking animals, time-travel, ghosts, and paranormal abilities, and all the other books that might not have obvious magic on every page, and which are set here on Earth, but which push past the boundaries of daily life into what is almost certainly impossible…(sometimes it’s hard to know if something is magical enough to count, but we do our best to be consistent).
The two main criteria of the Cybils are excellent writing and the kid appeal, and these come first and foremost, but the shortlisted books will be ones whose creativity, world building, and characters fly off the rapidly turning pages and into our hearts and minds.
This category is for both Elementary and Middle Grade books; that is, books written for eight- to twelve-year-olds (with a bit of wiggle room at each end).
— Charlotte Taylor