#CybilsAwards Book Lists: The Ones That Got Away (2022 edition)

Because the process of coming up with finalist lists is collaborative, every year panelists have ones that they’re passionate about, but just don’t quite make the cut. Having been one of those panelists many times, I understand the pain of having a really good book not quite make it. Which is why we have this post! It’s a chance to put a spotlight on the books that we loved, that we were passionate about, but that didn’t quite have enough to get them on the finalist list. 

We’ll start with graphic novels (which was the panel I was on this year):


Miss Quinces: A Graphic Novel
by Kat Fajardo

“I really felt seen with this and that is a rare feeling. I could relate to so much to this book. This is a sweet story about taking the time for family and remembering who you are.” – Readersaurus

by Wendy Xu
Quill Tree Books

“In all, Tidesong is a magical graphic novel with brilliant (and adorable!) illustrations. A must-have for middle grade graphic novel collections.” – Cecelia at The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia

by Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White, illustrated by Berenice Nelle

“I’m a complete sucker for riffs on classic literature, and this is a smart retelling. I liked Izy’s relationship with both Croc and Vicky and the way they worked together. I liked the Headless Horesmeent, and the knowledge the book had that it was playing on the classic story. It was smart, it was fun, and I loved reading it.” – Melissa Fox

Play Like a Girl
by Misty Wilson, illustrated by David Wilson
Balzer + Bray

“I loved things. Being you and bold and proud of who you are. Learning to find yourself and not backing out of something you truly have a passion for. Not giving up.” – Readersaurus

In Non-Fiction:

You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty, and Other Things
by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
Triangle Square

“This large volume demands attention and will certainly be treated as a prized and publicly shared treasure, as it should be.” – Sandy Brehl

One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University
by M. O. Yuksel, illustrated by Mariam Quraishi

“This is a great book to teach children (and their teachers, librarians, parents, etc.) about the rich culture and history of another culture. During the “Dark Ages” of western culture, the Muslim world was the seat of intellectual progress.” – Karen D. Austin

The Wonders We Seek: Thirty Incredible Muslims Who Helped Shape the World
by Saadia Faruqi and Aneesa Mumtaz, illustrated by Saffa Khan
Quill Tree Books

“This is a great book to help young readers learn more about the contributions of Muslims to fields such as art, medicine, mathematics, philosophy, politics, science, and MORE!” – Karen D. Austin

The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story
by Catherine Barr
Bloomsbury Children’s Books

” This middle grade nonfiction rewilding success story will change the way you think about the world around you.” – Mary Duffy


Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!: An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year
by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, Fiona Waters
Candlewick Press

“One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen!” – Sheri Howard

The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense
by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman
Candlewick Press

“Silly fun poetry plus. Typical Jon Scieszka playing around with Mother Goose rhymes.” – Sheri Howard

And for Young Adult Speculative Fiction, chair Sondra Eklund had a good list of ones she wished could have made it:

Year of the Reaper
by Makiia Lucier
Clarion Books

So This Is Ever After
by F.T. Lukens
Margaret K. McElderry

A Magic Steeped in Poison
by Judy I. Lin
Feiwel & Friends

All That’s Left in the World
by Erik J. Brown
Balzer + Bray

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester
by Maya MacGregor
Astra Young Readers

by Anna-Marie McLemore
Feiwel & Friends


And Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction panelist Katy Kramp lists her 10 favorites that didn’t make the list: 

The Button Box
by Bridget Hodder and Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Harshad Marathe

A Comb of Wishes
by Lisa Stringfellow
Quill Tree Books

The Last Mapmaker
by Christina Soontornvat
Candlewick Press

The Counterclockwise Heart
by Brian Farrey
Algonquin Young Readers

The Lock-Eater
by Zack Loran Clark
Dial Books

Monsters in the Mist
by Juliana Brandt
Sourcebooks Young Readers

Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza
by Laekan Zea Kemp
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Prince of Nowhere
by Rochelle Hassan

by Kalyn Josephson
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Secret of the Shadow Beasts
by Diane Magras
Dial Books

Until next year!