#CYBILS2023 Recommendations from Terry Doherty

Can I let you in on a secret? I don’t read many books during the year. BUT. I do read lots of articles and blog posts. About books. Every day. So when CYBILS Awards nomination time rolls around, I have a handy-dandy list of books that fit my one criterion: each title looks like a book I’d have loved as my younger reader self.

The books in this post are on my I-really-hope-they-get-nominated short list. I also included why they caught my eye and who introduced me to the book.

Introducing Terry Doherty

Terry loves literature for young people. Board books, picture books, YA novels — all of them. She has been part of the Cybils Awards for more years than she can remember, and she can’t remember a Fall season without them. Sharing her passion for books and discovering new ones to read are just two of the reasons why she loves the Cybils so much.

Terry’s Recommended Picks

I learned about CONTROL FREAKS from Travis Jonkers (100 Scope Notes) and Colby Sharp. [Who, truth be told, I secretly think are one and the same person.] Why this one? Well, I heard about it from two people (theoretically). I also love underdog stories! Here’s Colby’s take; here’s what Travis said.

As a young reader, I loved historical fiction as much as I loved a good mystery! Our family moved to West Virginia when I was a teen. At the time I loathed leaving the “big, modern town” I was born in, but over time have come to truly appreciate all that Appalachia has to offer. Books like THE GLASS CASTLE and WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS immerse me in those country roads, and I think this one will, too.

Last but not least, one of the first books I bought for my daughter’s library was Toni Buzzeo’s TREASURE CHEST. I love her stories and expect this one to be as vivid and stellar, so I was thrilled when she recommended it us.

I discovered this lovely-sounding story when I was browsing Goodreads adding recommendations from the category chairs. 

MURDER ON A SCHOOL NIGHT had me at the title alone. Combine the cover with Tirzah Price’s summary and it sounded like a YA Nancy Drew novel. Then I read the Goodreads summary and it sounded like the start of many a TV police procedural that I was hooked. Mystery? I’m in.

I am not very good at reading graphic novels. They just aren’t my thing. But. MY NEST OF SILENCE combines prose and graphic novel style AND is one of my favorite genres (historical fiction). Sounds like a winner on many levels, including building my skills at reading graphics! How did I find it? Kristen Remenar recommended it.

So I was wrong about MURDER ON A SCHOOL NIGHT, but not this one! THE MYSTERY OF RADCLIFFE RIDDLE sounds exactly like the kind of Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys book I would have loved as a kid. Oh! Where died I discover this book? At Ms. Yingling Reads, of course!

Colby Sharp strikes again. When I saw the cover on his Note (substack) pitching it for his newsletter, I headed over to Goodreads to learn more. Everyone is working really hard not to give anything away to potential readers which, of course, just makes me want to read it more.

Can I tell you a secret? I wasn’t a big TREASURE ISLAND fan growing up. Even though I loved mysteries and treasure. Even after I read it for a college class, I was still pretty “meh” about it. HOWEVER. Time passes and things just may change. This version of TREASURE ISLAND is set in my favorite city, I like modernized retellings, and the summary reads like it is a mystery akin to one of my favorite movies (National Treasure).Once again, I have (another) hat-tip to Colby Sharp for letting me know about this one!

Got Recommendations?

We’d love to know about them! We’re not using the padlet Idea Boards this year. Instead, we’re gathering readers’ recommendations and ideas via Goodreads. Here’s how you recommend a book. [desktop, IOS, Android]

Check out our Eligible in ’23 Idea Board on Goodreads.