Cybils judge this year for the Elementary/Middle Grade Non-fiction category. If you're not familiar with the Cybils, now in their 9th year, here's the mission statement:
The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.
Anyone can nominate titles to be considered for the Cybils! For information on how to nominate your favorite children's and YA titles, and how to figure out what category to nominate them in and whether the particular title is eligible, check out this link to the Cybils website. Unlike some other children's literature awards, which I will not name, the Cybils considers not only literary merit but also KID APPEAL. I find that many of the titles winning our most prestigious children's book awards have little kid appeal, but lots of librarian appeal. That's fine, as far as it goes, but it doesn't mean that much to those of us on the ground at public or school libraries, or those parents, relatives, or family friends looking for a great book that their favorite child will love. Please feel free to nominate your favorites (only one in each category per person, please--and the book must have been published between October 16, 2013 and October 15, 2014). Nominations close on October 15, and then all of us judges start reading in every spare moment (I, for one, plan to make good use of those 15 minute morning and afternoon breaks we're supposed to take at work....)