Category Description: Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

This past year has seen another excellent crop of wonderfully inventive speculative fiction books for kids! 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.

The two main criteria of the Cybils are excellent writing and kid appeal, and these come first and foremost when we assemble our shortlist. These 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. Some will be just a small step up from easy chapter books, perfect for the younger end, and others will fall into the “tween” category of books perfect for middle school kids not yet interested in full-blown YA books.

 
—Charlotte Taylor

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