LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds a #CYBILS ๐Ÿ“š๐ŸŽถย 

LONG WAY DOWN By Jason Reynolds Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books Poetry young adult, family, ghost stories, realistic fiction CW: violence Winner โ€“ Poetry 2018 CYBILS Awards The Book Long Way Down is a tour de force work of poetry. The entire novel in verse takes place on an elevator ride as a young man whose brother has been shot and killed …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Early Chapter Book Finalists

Here we are, friends! It seems only appropriate that Early Chapter Books be the “final chapter” in our posts sharing judges reviews of 2023 CYBILS Awards finalists and winners. There are a few familiar series and new faces, too. These stories also welcome young readers into stories that may be comfortable and fun, and others that will expose them to …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 EMG Graphic Novel Finalists

Just so you know, we stopped counting the “readers will relate to” references in the reviews at around 15 … and they kept going. Seriously, though, is there anything better than a book where a reader can see themselves and grow with a bookish alter ego? Diverse casts, family, friendship, adventure, gaming, and nonfiction. Angst and courage, fears and acceptance. …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Board Book Finalists

Colorful Bright Interactive Cute Destined to be a favorite … everything you want in a board book, yes?ย  There’s no shortage of animals, learning, or engaging questions for young readers, either. Whether you have a toddler scurrying onto your lap for storytime or you want the perfect gift for a baby shower or toddler birthday, you won’t go wrong with …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 High School Nonfiction Finalists

If you have ever put a book down because your emotions got the best of you, then this is the shortlist for you. The 2023 High School Nonfiction finalists are just that powerful. In some cases, the events in these books happened many decades ago – long before this generation of young adults and even their parents were born. And …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Finalists Poetry Collections

Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you don’t like college basketball. This list is for you. Happy #PoetryFriday to you. For some of us, basketball is a kind of poetry in motion. For others, well, it just isn’t. Thankfully, this roundup of poetry books can help. Moving, funny, imaginative, jarring … all found in the pages of these poetry …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Middle Grade Fiction Finalists

It’s Middle-Grade Monday, y’all! 2023 WINNER Simon Sort of Says Bow, Erin Disney Hyperion–Rick Riordan presents Nominated by: Susan (Bloggin’ ’bout Books) Sondy @ Sonderbooks – [This has] got so many wonderful ingredients: Quirky characters who seem more realistic because of those quirks, a new kid in school at a very distinctive place, loving parents but kid-centric adventures, a main …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 YA Speculative Fiction FInalists

What “binds” all of these books together? Besides being for young adults? and speculative fiction? with amazing cover art? Well, weย couldย tell you, but you are such a savvy, discerning reader, we know you’ll find the answer.ย  This much we’ll share: the word “original” was used by multiple judges across multiple books; and two titles made a fantasy lover out of …

#CYBILS2023 Book Review: YA Fiction Finalists

ICYMI – This year’s slate of Young Adult Fiction finalists includes two debut authors. In fact, the award-winning book is the debut novel of Jas Hammonds. The stories are contemporary, compelling, heart-tugging, and heart-wrenching. Things you’d expect in coming-of-age stories. There’s drama, intense storytelling, mystery, family, and … well, let’s turn it over to our judges to tell you more. …

#CYBILS2023 Book Reviews: Fiction Picture Book Finalists

What are you doing this Monday morning? Us? Oh, we’re “March-ing Fourth” with reviews for the 2023 CYBILS Awards finalists and winner in the Fiction Picture Book Category. From “lovely,” “beautiful,” and “powerful” to “funny,” “hilarious,” and “extra outlandish,” our judges not only share their thoughts, but give you some inside scoop on what their kiddos thought, too! Go on …