Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Happy Cybils finalists!

Welcome to 2011, a new year, a time to explore new things, savor experiences all around us. I'm excited this morning to start savoring the Cybils finalist lists. The Cybils Awards are given each year in many categories for the year's best books that combine the highest literary merits and outstanding kid appeal.

Head over to the Cybils 2010 Finalists site to start exploring, or check out these links:
 I'll be joining Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen on her Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge, trying to read all of the 2010 shortlisted books. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish each one of them, but it's a great start.

Here are some of the books I'm looking forward to reading in 2011:

Betti on the High WireBetti on the High Wire
by Lisa Railsback
NY: Dial, 2010
ages 9 - 12
available on Amazon or your local library
Several students at my library have really enjoyed Betti on the High Wire, and nominated it to their "best books of the year" list. I enjoyed Railsback's Noonie's Masterpiece, for its voice and character. Betti on the High Wire is a story of a young girl growing up in a war torn country, who is then adopted by an American couple. Cybils 2010 Middle Grade Fiction shortlist.

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians)Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians)
by George O'Connor
NY: First Second Books, 2010
ages 9 - 12
available on Amazon and your local library
Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess drew me right away when I saw it in the bookstore. I have always been drawn to the character of Athena from Greek mythology. I love the way she combines wisdom and power, grace and strength. Greek mythology continues to draw students, fueled in large part by the Percy Jackson series (thank you, Rick Riordan!). I'm looking forward to reading O'Connor's graphic novel, and want to test it out with students at my school. They love graphic novels, and I'm hoping that O'Connor's super-hero style of comics will turn some students onto Greek mythology. Cybils 2010 Graphic Novels for Middle Grades shortlist.

Anna HibiscusAnna Hibiscus
by Atinuke
NY: Kane/Miller Book Pub, 2010
ages 6 - 10
available on Amazon and independent bookstores
I have been looking forward to reading Anna Hibiscus, a new short chapter book series, for a few months now. Set in Africa, the stories in this book focus on Anna's family life in her large compound with her immediate and extended family. According to the publisher's website: "These stories celebrate the extended family and the combination of traditional ways with conveniences of the modern world; they contrast Anna’s relatively privileged life with that of others in her country and reflect the Nigerian childhood of the author, a storyteller now living in Wales." Definitely worth seeking out. Kane/Miller and Usborne books are available at independent bookstores, but not often at libraries. Cybils 2010 Easy Reader and Short Chapter Book shortlist.

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series)The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe
Scientist in the Field series
by Loree Griffin Burns
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010
ages 11 - 14
available on Amazon and at your local library
The Scientist in the Field series has always fascinated me, drawing me into science like no other nonfiction books have. The Hive Detectives chronicles scientists' exploration of why honey bee hives have been dying across the country and throughout the world. Friends who've read this found it fascinating, as a mystery with scientists searching for the cause of colony collapse disorder, and as an empowering story of steps being taken to help address this catastrophe. Cybils 2010 Nonfiction Books for Middle Grade and Young Adults shortlist.

I hope you have a wonderful 2011. Thank you for supporting your children as they seek out new books to read. Each child finds different books interesting and engaging. Our job as supportive adults is to help them discover what makes them excited to read more.

If you make a purchase on Amazon using the links on this site, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!

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