Given our colorful logo at the top of this page, I keep thinking it’s been ten years since Cybils rolled out its very first roster of finalists. It’s actually been nine – but this is our 10th contest, inclusive. My 8th grade Algebra I teacher, Mr. Cloutier, is somewhere shaking his head in my direction at my stubborn innumeracy. I’m lucky I can keep track of the numbers in my address, which have changed twice since that first contest.
Other numbers have changed too: the 18-month-old who “helped” by banging on Mommy’s keyboard is now 10+ and has traded up from picture books to manga. The four-year-old is now 13 and sulks in his room with Eragon or Septimus Heap.
And Cybils has grown too, from a handful of categories to the current eleven, and from about 70 volunteers to over 100. What initially drew a few hundred nominations now typically tops a thousand.
The hardest thing to gauge is the fun we’re still having, as it’s qualitative. I also don’t believe there is a number we can attach to how many characters live on in readers’ heads after the last page is turned, or measure the intensity of chatroom debates as panelists weigh each book’s merits.
So I’ll introduce this year’s batch of finalists with the number that started us off: 10. It’s a nice, even number, and a perfect score.
Happy New Year, happy anniversary, and happy reading!
-Anne Boles Levy
Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books
Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Young Adult Fiction
Young Adult Non-Fiction
Young Adult Speculative Fiction