FRIZZY by Claribel A. Ortega a #CYBILS 📚🎶 

FRIZZY By Claribel A. Ortega Illustrated by Rose Bousamra First Second Books Middle Grade Contemporary, Family, Growing Up, Realistic Fiction Finalist – Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels 2023 CYBILS Awards The Book   Frizzy by Claribel Ortega is an exploration of cultural expectations connected to hair and respectability. Marlene loves art and hanging out with her best friend. But she does not …

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 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 EMG Speculative Fiction Finalists

A quick recap for those who are just now discovering our review series … excerpts of judges reviews. Their own opinions (not their panels). Did not necessarily judge this category. 2023 WINNER The Grace of Wild Things Heather Fawcett Balzer + Bray Nominated by: marsenault13 Deb @ The Book Search – This one’s a charmer. The whole story is just …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Middle-Grade Nonfiction Finalists

start here 2023 WINNER The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity Nicholas Day, illustrated by Brett Helquist Random House Studio Nominated by: KtStar Hilary @ Goodreads – Loved this. Day writes in a style that is irrestistable to the middle grade reader and never ceases to fascinate. The saying that reality …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 Poetry Novel In Verse Finalists

Can a middle-grade verse novel about table tennis bring adults to tears? Yes. [Did you notice we said “adults” – plural.] If you are looking for fresh, captivating, thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud books, look no further than this year’s list of Poetry Novel in Verse finalists. While the books themselves are labeled for “middle grade” and “young adult” audiences, it is pretty …

The IN be-TWEEN | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 02.07.2024

One week, friends! Just one more week until the 2023 CYBILS Awards winners are announced. You probably already added the finalists and winners to your TBR, and that’s cool, but our judges read A LOT of great books that, while not award winners, will definitely be winners with young readers. Yes, even picky tween readers. x See for yourself. Book …

The IN be-TWEEN | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 01.30.2024

ttttt Summaries excerpted from Goodreads. Click the cover to read the full summary, other reviews, and add these books to your TBR. FICTION Jessica @ Cracking the Cover – You might know Chad Morris and Shelly Brown from their previous collaborations. All are strong middle grade novels. I enjoyed them all. But The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry is my favorite. …

The IN be-TWEEN | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 01.24.2024

I’m not even sure where to begin … Readers will move through time and space, both literal and figurative. They’ll meet characters with whom they will feel a kinship – and others who will draw out other emotions they may not know how to unpack. Big themes, big emotions, and still lots of joy, laughter, adventure, and brave new worlds. …