LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds a #CYBILS 📚🎶 

LONG WAY DOWN By Jason Reynolds Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books Poetry young adult, family, ghost stories, realistic fiction CW: violence Winner – 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 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 YA Speculative Fiction FInalists

What “binds” all of these books together? Besides being for young adults? and speculative fiction? with amazing cover art? Well, we could tell you, but you are such a savvy, discerning reader, we know you’ll find the answer.  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. …

Book Reviews: #CYBILS2023 YA Graphic Novel Finalists

Tuesday seems like a great day to enjoy Graphic Novels, yes? Yeah, you’re right. ANY DAY is an awesome day to dive into graphics. So let’s do it! 2023 WINNER In Limbo Deb JJ Lee First Second Books Nominated by: Kristen Tamara @ Bookish Things -The art in this is so gorgeous. It’s pretty much all in blue and gray …

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 …

FRI-YA | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 02.09.2024

Is it us or is there an uptick in the number of book descriptions and reviews that include references to other media [usually books or movies]? We bring you Exhibit A. Two of these statements came from the Goodreads description about the book, two-and-a-half came from our judges. Perfect for fans of All Out and Cemetery Boys Reminds Me Of: Ghosts, Be …

#CYBILS2023 The Ones That Got Away – a FRI-YA Edition

Surprise! We’re changing up our FRI-YA review collection with one of our fan favorites: The Ones That Got Away! Laura Fineberg Cooper, who blogs at Writers’ Rumpus was a Round 1 judge in the YA Fiction category; and Sarah Miller, who writes the Can We Read? newsletter at Substack, was a Round 1 judge in Poetry. Summaries excerpted from Goodreads. …

Fri-YA | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 01.26.2024

High school nonfiction fun? A mystery that makes you laugh? A graphic novel by the director of a television show? Yes. Yes. And Yes. Read on … Book summaries excerpted from Goodreads. Click the cover to see the full summary and additional reviews. YOUNG ADULT FICTION Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks – Sometimes a title tells you everything you …

Fri-YA | #CYBILS2023 Books 1.19.24

How much did our judges love these books? One added a title to her Christmas Wish List to have her own personal copy. One put it on her purchase list to make sure she has it available for all her classes. Another, who doesn’t normally like poetry for storytelling, really enjoyed a novel in verse. A Fri-YAY, indeed! Have a …