Cybils Organizers: Sondy Eklund, Young Adult Speculative Fiction Chair

Sondy Eklund, YASF Chair

Sondra Eklund began writing, a website of book reviews, in 2001, after she got a job working in a library on an American Air Force base in Germany and learned that sonder is a German prefix meaning “special.”

Sondy came to libraries after ten years of teaching college math and felt she’d found her calling.  Working half-time in a library meant she read more books than ever, which is why she started writing Sonderbooks to keep track of the great books she wanted to tell others about.  Since then, she came back to America, got divorced, got a Master’s in Library Science, worked full-time as a children’s librarian, and recently became the youth materials selector for her entire public library system – so she still reads voraciously, but has to be more selective in reviewing books, focusing on those that are truly special.

Every year, she posts her favorite books read that year as “Sonderbooks Stand-outs” – and appreciates that like her, the Cybils divide books into many different categories so that there can be many “best” books.

Since 2012, she’s participated as a Cybils judge every year – except for 2017 and 2018, when she was reading for the 2019 Newbery Selection Committee.  She’s mostly judged Middle Grade or Young Adult Speculative Fiction, except for one year when she judged Fiction Picture Books, which happened to be the year a picture book, Last Stop on Market Street, one of our Finalists, won the Newbery Medal.  Since 2021, she’s also serving on the committee to choose books for the Mathical Book Prize, combining her love of children’s books with her love of math.

When she’s not reading or sometimes when she is, one of her more unusual hobbies is mathematical knitting.  You can see a gallery of her math-related knitting projects at, and a page of math-related books for all ages at