#CYBILS2023 The Ones That Got Away: Middle-Grade Edition

Remember when we said our judges read more than 1,240 books for the 2023 CYBILS Awards? Well, more than 350 of those books were written for the middle-grade audience.

As you might expect, there were some books that judges crossed their fingers and toes for in hopes *that book* making the finalist list – that weren’t on those lists.

HOWEVER. Just because they didn’t doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing. Our judges love talking about books, so today we’re sharing some of the books that they found as amazing as the finalists. 


Cindy Mitchell (Teacher Librarian) shares the favorite books she and her students have read at Kiss the Book. These are four of the books she was particularly fond of. [Link to Cindy’s reviews.] 


You can find middle-school humanities teacher Gabrielle Plastrik talking all things MG, YA, and literacy over at BlueSky. And, like Cindy, she had a few favorites, too.

  • Camp QUILTBAG by Nicole MellebyA.J. Sass
  • The Gray by Chris Baron
  • The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel NayeriDaniel Miyares (Illustrator)
  • Turtles of the Midnight Moon by Maria Jose Fitzgerald


Over at A Library Mama, Katy Kramp shares her favorites from among the nearly 100 EMG Speculative Fiction books her panel read. [Links go to her reviews,]

As always, while I truly love the books we chose, and I do see the need to have a shorter list, there are lots of titles that I loved that got missed.