Dear Blogger (Part 1)

<psandy brehl guest post

Dear Blogger Friend,

I am long overdue in thanking you for countless mornings of joy. Each day I open an e-window for my library-network HOLD portal, and another for my email. Then, with hot tea and biscotti on hand, I ignore all other inbox business to read your posts about books and their creators. I subscribe to dozens of blog and review feeds because I have such respect for their and your opinions and expertise in reading, thinking, and writing about books for young people, from board books to teens. Your opinions enrich my life daily. I am genuinely grateful.

I’d like to offer one more thing to think about in your busy life. No doubt you’ve heard of the CYBILS AWARDS. ( I’ve been privileged to serve as a Cybils Round One panelist since 2016, and have been on panels for picture books, board books, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as verse novels and nonfiction for middle grades.

I continue to volunteer, year after year because, like my daily routine, being part of the Cybils Awards enriches my life. You may have considered volunteering, too. But others have not, so I’d like to share some benefits that might persuade you to respond to their next call for volunteers.

First, you’re already an avid reader, with broad experience and extensive comparisons of outstanding (or not) examples in the categories you read. When nominees begin to roll in after October 1, you have likely read, even reviewed, quite a few of those titles. Despite my best efforts to stay on top of every new release (an impossible goal, even with the help of your posts), each year I  learn about and read remarkable titles I’ve somehow missed. That alone is always exciting and fun.

As a Round One panelist, you’ll spend even more time than usual at your public library, increasing your appreciation for the remarkable access and services they provide. I do appreciate that availability, but I’ll admit to enjoying the excitement of books mailed directly to panelists by publishers.  I welcome having a chance to read and consider them, then “share the wealth” in the months that follow with reviews, donations, and giveaways.

When I’ve read something wonderful, I want to shout to people in the street to tell them about it. I really enjoy featuring books on my picture book blog, in Goodreads reviews, or through social media and other review platforms. Our blogs and digital outlets allow me to do that, virtually, but the @CybilsAwards tag attached to posts means they may catch the attention of current strangers who are readers (and potential followers).

Circling back, thanks again, Blogger Friend, for your devoted and enthusiastic support of quality books for young readers. Your voice and opinions matter to me and to many others. Just let me know if you have any questions about serving as a panelist for the CYBILS AWARDS. I’d love to encourage your expertise and voice to join that chorus!

Your friend and follower,

signoff SB

“A writer feels happy when the words connect with the reader’s heart.”
― Avijeet Das