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October 01, 2009


Shelly Burns

SO excited that nominating is open! Can't wait to see what all is nominated. Super excited to be judging this year...bring on the books!


The form is broken. When my son tried to click next, it got a 404.

Sheila Ruth

Hi Saundra,

Can you try again and see if it works now? If you continue to have problems, please email me at sruth at wandsandworlds dot com

Joyce Moyer Hostetter

I thought I nominated Wild Things by Clay Carmichael for Middle Grade Fiction but it's showing up as approved for MG Fantasy/Science Fiction.

Was that a mistake on my part?

Sheila Ruth

Hi Joyce,

The organizers move titles around as necessary to put them in what we feel is the best category. It's not always easy; there are some definite gray-area books. But we discuss those and then make a determination of which category they fit best in. In the case of Wild Things, it was moved to Fantasy based on the Amazon description, which made it seem like there were at least some fantasy elements.

Clay Carmichael

Delighted that my book "Wild Things" has been nominated, but Fantasy/Science Fiction it is not--not by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps you were persuaded by the Booklist reviewer's adjective "magic-touched", but really there is no magic or fantasy or sci fi element to the book. It might be either YA or MG depending on which reviewer or reader you ask, but either way it's 100% realistic fiction.

Clay Carmichael, Author, "Wild Things"

Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Thanks Sheila for your response to my concern. I know you guys are working hard and will be reading up a flurry!

Sheila Ruth

Hi Clay,

Thank you for responding. Yes, the "magic-touched" was one thing that influenced us, but it appeared from the description that the cat narrated part of the book, and that seemed like a fantasy element to us. Perhaps you could clarify?

Clay Carmichael

Hi Sheila,

Chapters of "Wild Things" are seen from a feral cat's point of view, but his characterization is not fanciful or supernatural, but realistic; my attempt, successful or not, to get inside a real stray cat's skin and render his thoughts and actions when the main character, an orphan girl--a stray like he is--comes into his vicinity.

Most readers and reviewers--many librarians--have described or shelved "Wild Things" as realistic, and this is, in fact, the very first
time anyone has suggested it is sci fi/fantasy.



We'll see that it's moved out of SF/Fantasy to either MG or YA. Thanks for pointing out the error.

-Anne Levy
Cybils Admin.


We tried to nominate Catching Fire, but got the "it is already nominated" message. Which category is it in?

Jackie Parker

Hi Alyson,

Catching Fire is in Fantasy/Science Fiction teen category.


Hey, I noticed Fleischman's Dunderheads in both mg fiction and fiction picturebooks. Looked like it had been approved for both categories, but I might be going blind from re-reading the nominations every couple hours (-:)

Heather Z.

I have a similar problem with Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer. It's a graphic novel, but I cannot see it in either the MG or YA nominations even though it says it is.

I hate to cause more "technical difficulty" heartache, but would hate even more to not see the book represented in this year's nominations. Thanks for all you do. This is an amazing contest.


I nominated a book called The Soul Alliance: The Thorn of Gooze, and it was marked as uneligible because it was not published for young adults. The characters in the books are teenagers and it was a fantasy book specifically for young adults. Just wondering how that decision was made. Thanks.

Tina Nichols Coury

I nominate the fiction picture book "Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli," by Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrated by Sue Hendra

Sheila Ruth

Jennifer: You're right that Dunderheads is in both categories. Thanks for letting us know. We'll take a look and figure out where it belongs. It looks like both the UK and the US editions were nominated, which is how two nominations were able to get through.

Heather: I'm glad you let us know about Crogan's Vengeance. It looks like the reason that it wouldn't let you nominate it was that it's already in the database from 2008, yet it was declared ineligible in 2008 because it was published just after the end of the eligibility period. I've now kicked it into 2009 and marked it as pending for the category organizer to take a look at.

David: I checked Amazon.com and Lulu.com, and both of those had it listed in the general adult Fantasy/Science Fiction category, and not in any children's or YA categories. None of the tags on Lulu.com indicated that it was a children's book, and neither did the description. Neither one had an age range listed, and Amazon generally lists an age range for any children's and YA books. I couldn't find the book on either Worldcat or BarnesandNoble.com to check it there. I also checked the first book in the series, in case there was a mistake, and the first book is also not listed in any children's book categories or given an age range anywhere. Unfortunately, having a teenage protagonist doesn't necessarily make a book YA, and while we recognize that there are books with crossover appeal, our goal with the Cybils is to specifically honor books published with children and teens in mind.

Tina: are you having trouble using the nomination form? If so, can you please email me so that I can address the problem? You'll find the link to it in the post above. This year we'd like nominations to come through the form if at all possible. Thanks.

Sheila Ruth

Just an FYI that I've updated all the nomination posts to reflect recent changes. Some books have been moved from one category to another, and a few books were discovered to be ineligible because they don't meet our criteria. (Usually, either because the publication date doesn't fall within our eligibility period, or they were published as adult books, not children's or YA).


What an amazing site and how neat to see all the books everyone's reading/loves each year. The bestseller lists you see everywhere just tell you how many copies of each are sold - your site gives a better picture of how many were enjoyed and are "keepers." Thanks!


You're welcome, Kelly! Be sure to come back when the 2009 finalists are announced on Jan. 1.


Regarding the book, THE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE, Sacred Books, Volume II--I'm curious whether the controversy it's causing will hurt its chances. There is talk here in Portland about groups/schools trying to ban the book, and according the author's website, the Jim Lehrer show has asked for copies of both books to see what's what. I hope this kind of nonsense (ha) does not scare the judges! The book/s are amazing and are way overdue for major attention.

Sheila Ruth

Hi Connie. We judge each book on its own merit. Any controversy will neither help nor hurt any book's chances.

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