Interview with Caren Stelson

sachiko

In the back matter, you tell us how you first learned Sachiko’s story and how you traveled to Japan multiple times to meet with her. Will you please tell us more about these meetings? Where did you meet? What was it like talking through a translator? What did you talk about? What did you do when you and Sachiko weren’t …

Interview with Melissa Sweet

some-writer-cover

What is your favorite thing you learned while researching the book? There were so many favorite things. One is that White, by his own account, was not a great reader. Not that he didn’t read, or have a library in his home, he just preferred being outside and doing a myriad of things from shearing sheep to sailing. That made …

Interview with Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

GiantSquid

What is your favorite thing you learned while researching the book? As we began to investigate the myths, stories and science of the giant squid we discovered that there are lots of myths and stories but that the science is hard to come by. Despite there being hundreds of thousands of giant squid in the world’s oceans, they are secretive …

Interview with Adam Gidwitz and Aaron Blank

InquisitorsTale

Editor’s note: Aaron Blank is the producer for The Inquisitor’s Tale audiobook. You can listen to a sample of the book here.  This audiobook is a wonderful example of using more than one narrator. When assessing books such as The Inquisitor’s Tale, how do you decide to use multiple narrator or a single performer?  Aaron: Adam made identifying the characters pretty …

Interview with Laura Shovan

LastFifthGradeEmerson

What were you doing when you heard you had won the CYBILS Award for Poetry? I was working on a big revision for my next middle grade novel. One of the judges Tweeted about the award. It was the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. Better than chocolate! This is a LOT of characters to invent and develop. What is your …

Interview with Joshua Khan

ShadowMagic

Lily is a strong heroine, both determined and intelligent, yet in Shadow Magic both the political power she ostensibly has, and the magical power that’s forbidden to women which she’s beginning to realize she has lots of, are not yet fully hers to wield.  I assume that as the series progress, she will gain more actual power….Was it hard to hold Lily in …

REVIEW: Shadow Magic

ShadowMagic

This year’s winning title in the category of Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction is Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan, a tale of outlaws, sorcery, adventure…and a giant bat. Round 1 judge Brandy Painter reviewed this one back in the fall on her blog Random Musings of a Bibliophile: “The world Khan created for the book is incredibly interesting and the way …

REVIEW: Cityblock

Cityblock

Board Books was our other pilot category this year, in response to popular demand. The winning entry in the Board Books category was Cityblock (Alphablock) by Christopher Franceschelli and illustrated by Peskimo. It’s part of the same successful series as Dinoblock and Countablock. Round 1 Fiction Picture Books/Board Books judge Kate Unger reviewed this one as part of a big …

REVIEW: The Inquisitor’s Tale

InquisitorsTale

We’ve got a review of one of our winning titles for you today: the inaugural winner in our brand-new Audiobooks category. The book is The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, a funny and fantastical medieval adventure. Audiobooks Round 2 judge and Cybils blog co-editor Melissa Fox reviewed this one just last …

REVIEW: When the Moon Was Ours

WhentheMoonWasOurs

Today we’re featuring a review of YA Speculative Fiction finalist title When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. The review comes from Original Content, the long-running blog of Round 2 Speculative Fiction judge Gail Gauthier: “When the Moon Was Ours is elegantly written with lush language that’s carried through the whole work. In addition to being a Cybils finalist, …