Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cybils Shortlists are out!

With commentary, because I'm feeling chatty...(and I don't mean to scorn Book Apps, but it's not something I ever encounter at my library - heck, I'm still trying to explain why we got rid of the VHS - so I have nothing to say and Poetry, well, I really don't buy poetry, unless it's in picture book format and can go in the picture books, and even then it has to be something really, really popular. Like dinosaurs or trucks or something. It just doesn't circulate.)

Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction
This is the category I am chair for, but I am not on the panel. That means I organize, guide, moderate, but the awesome shortlist is the work of my amazing panelists!
  • Anubis Speaks by Vicky Schechter
    • I love, love this book since I read the galley of it last year. So excited that it made the list!
  • Barbed wire baseball by Marissa Moss
    • I haven't read this one, although I've enjoyed some of Moss' other work. I'm in the process of updating our 700s, including the sports section, but sports history has never done too well for us. I might give it another look though!
  • How big were dinosaurs by Lita Judge
    • Bought for the library, haven't read since it's never on the shelf!
  • Locomotive by Brian Floca
    • Surprised myself by really loving this one. The copy I ordered for the library was backordered, so I can't say how the public will take it, but seeing as it's trains...
  • The Boy who loved math by Deborah Heiligman
    • I'm in the process of weeding our biographies. Picture book biographies just do NOT circulate. I'm saving this on a mental list for when I get to biography/history in the picture book neighborhoods (maybe in 2015) because I think picture book biographies might circulate more there.
  • Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch
    • It's the year of the volcano! Our copy has been checked out since we got it, so I didn't have time for more than a quick flip through.
Easy Readers/Early Chapters
This is the category I was panelist on, returning to my first love (-:). These two areas have really taken off at the library in the past couple years, so I've been buying like crazy, especially beginning chapters.
  • Dragonbreath: Case of the toxic mutants by Ursula Vernon
    • Earlier in December I suddenly decided there was not enough Ursula Vernon in my life and remedied that ill by reading her livejournal from start (back in 2003 I think) to where I first discovered her and improved my general outlook on life by about 50%. I'm up to about 2009 right now. Ursula Vernon, Faith Erin Hicks, and Patricia C. Wrede are the only people I have ever felt remotely fangirlish about. I live for the day when they collaborate. I can TOTALLY see a graphic novel version of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles illustrated by either Faith Erin Hicks or Ursula Vernon. Or a set of prints from Ursula Vernon of the various weird creatures in Wrede's Thirteenth Daughter books. Um...I'm a fan. Yeah. Bought for the library, bought for myself, etc.
  • Home Sweet Horror by James Preller
    • Why has no one ever thought of doing really scary books for the beginning chapter set? Genius, pure genius. Library has as many of the series as are out, of course.
  • Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills
    • This is actually a sort of loosely connected series, although they have different covers so you might not notice. This is my favorite of the ones written so far and I bought it immediately for the library. We, um, have a lot of kids in my town that I can definitely see acting like Kelsey Green. We take our reading Seriously.
  • Lulu and the dog from the sea by Hilary McKay
    • I bought this series when it came out - Albert Whitman is pretty much always solid in the beginning chapter department - but hadn't actually read any until Cybils came around. Loved them.
  • Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle
    • This has circulated really well for us too. Apparently we like penguins (and cows, chickens, and dogs) but not cats so much.
  • Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat by Anna Branford
    • Another new series I bought but hadn't read and loved when I did get the chance to read it.
  • A Big Guy took my ball by Mo Willems
    • Elephant and Piggie always make me laugh. We buy them all, of course.
  • Joe and Sparky go to school by Jamie Michalak
    • I hadn't read this series for a while and wondered if it was really as fun as I remembered...yep, it was. Purchased for the library of course.
  • Love is in the air by Jonathan Fenske
    • This was one I discovered through Cybils. A new author, really attractive illustrations. Added to the library collection, will definitely buy more if he does anything else.
  • Penny and her marble by Kevin Henkes
    • Purchased, popular, etc. etc.
  • The Meanest Birthday Girl by Josh Schneider
    • My easy reader crowd leans more towards the younger end right now. I haven't decided if we'll have an audience for this one or not, although it's certainly hilarious in a very subtle, snarky way.
  • Urgency Emergency: Big Bad Wolf by Dosh Archer
    • I actually had this on a "to read and preview for the library but I can't find it" list for a long time, so I was really pleased to get a chance to read it during Cybils. Definitely adding and I'll probably go back and get the others in the series as well.
Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels
I love graphic novels for this age group. I thought the list this year was really diverse - there's something for absolutely everyone on it!
  • Bluffton by Matt Phelan
    • This wouldn't circulate for us. I have a hard time getting nonfiction graphic novels (or Serious or Artistic graphic novels) to circulate and this just wouldn't do it. I might have some adults interested, because the town over from us used to be a stop on the circus train route, but at my library...nah. This would be an additional purchase, if I hadn't already earmarked all my extra graphic novel money for Tinkerbell and Spider-Man.
  • Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch
    • I liked the first one in this series, but I can't see any kids in my library reading it. We like manga and Amulet and superheroes and Tinkerbell.
  • March by John Lewis
    • I was really surprised to see this on the younger list. I haven't read it, but from the reviews etc. I would have said teen or older. In fact, we actually bought it for the adult graphic novel collection.
  • Monster on the hill by Rob Harrell
    • I thought from the reviews this would be good - just waiting to buy until I can preview it and somebody in my consortium finally got a copy.
  • Squish: Game on! by Jennifer Holm
    • Always popular, purchased of course
  • Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale
    • YES. Loooove Nathan Hale's books, although Big Bad Ironclad will always remain my favorite.
  • Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
    • This one crept up on me. I didn't think I liked it, but I really, really did. My Amulet fans have really gone for it, no surprise there.
Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

  • Jinx by Sage Blackwood
    • I don't think I bought this, but I really want to read it.
  • Lockwood & Co. the screaming staircase by Jonathan Stroud
    • Ditto on this, although I couldn't make it through the Bartimaeus Trilogy
  • Rose by Holly Webb
    • Really? EEEEEE! I LOVED this book!
  • Sidekicked by John David Anderson
    • Eh, superhero middle grade doesn't do well at my library
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
    • I know people were talking about this, but I can't remember if I bought it or not. I don't think I did.
  • True blue scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
    • I know I bought this one! It has circ'd quite well.
  • Water Castle by Megan Blakemore
    • This has circ'd really well - I really should read the galley I got of ago.

Fiction Picture Books
I think the year I was on this panel was the hardest. When you think about it, to take 200+ books and narrow it down to's HARD
  • Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett
    • YES. I started many riots in classrooms with this book this past year. Heh heh heh.
  • If you want to see a whale by Julie Fogliano
    • I didn't buy this one - I have several other Stead/Fogliano titles and while they circulate, they're not so popular that I feel a need for every title from their oevre. This one was a little too high concept/arty for my taste.
  • Journey by Aaron Becker
    • I was thinking "I don't need any more wordless books" earlier this year and then realized that this was the book made from the art that I saw on Seven Impossible Things a while ago and LOVED. It's been quite popular, for a wordless book, in my library.
  • Mr. Tiger goes wild by Peter Brown
    • I tried this out on some kindergarteners and I don't think they really got it, but that didn't stop them from enjoying it. Not sorry I bought it at all.
  • Open this little book by Jesse Klausmeier
    • This is one of those sort of novelty books that actually lives up to the hype. Not as insanely popular as Press Here, but definitely up in that realm.
  • Sophie's Squash by Pat Miller
    • Pretty much the same as Mr. Tiger - kids didn't really get the more subtle humor, but they liked it anyways.
  • The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud
    • I just read this - I liked the first pages of art in the forest, but not so much the more urban parts. But that's just my personal taste. I didn't see it being really popular at my library, but I think a larger, more urban library would have more of an audience. Although the seek and find aspect would probably ring home to everyone.
Middle Grade Fiction
I feel like I've really fallen down in my MG reading this past year. I have a LOT of review copies waiting for reading and review. Maybe I should put that on my Projects for 2014 List.
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
    • This is one of the review copies waiting to be read. Will probably add it to the library when I finish.
  • Losing it by Erin Fry
    • Hmm, I saw Ms. Yingling's review of this and I'd definitely like more realistic books about boys for this crowd...will definitely consider it.
  • Prisoner B-3087 by Ruth Gruener
    • I wonder if this would be better in teen or juvenile. I think I'd definitely have kids interested in this - I always get a group looking for Holocaust/Anne Frank/etc.
  • Serafina's Promise by Ann Burg
    • I couldn't sell the cover, I just know I couldn't. I'm looking for more realistic school stories and more popular fantasy anyways, historical/multicultural fiction isn't really on my list right now.
  • The 14 Fibs of Gregory K by Greg Pincus
    • Somehow I had thought this was actually in poetry. Novels in verse to circulate in my juvenile section, but they have to be cute, about animals, or both. I'll look at this again.
  • Ultra by David Carroll
    • Hmm, I'd never heard of this, since it's Canadian. But my kids do like sports stories...Have to see if I can get it from Baker and Taylor.
Young Adult Graphic Novels
This is a really hard category for me. Often I love things, but...well...the teens at my library really don't read anything except manga, superhero comics, and Faith Erin Hicks.
  • Bad Machinery by John Allison
    • I LOVE this webcomic. I bought the books for myself. They're too out there for my library audience, but I love, love, love them.
  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
    • I actually bought this for the library - American Born Chinese had a really high circulation number, relative to graphic novels, but it must have been on some school lists or something because this didn't circulate as much as I'd hoped. Oh well.
  • Captain Marvel in pursuit of flight vol. 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick
    • Will probaby buy this. I know superhero stuff checks out, but I've never figured out which ones...
  • Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
    • I bought this for the library because I just loved it that much. It's gone out a bit, hopefully when I booktalk it to the 6th graders (I know, a little young but I don't get any higher than that!) it will get a pop in circ.
  • Templar by Jordan Mechner
    • Didn't buy, wouldn't circ at our library
  • Uzumaki by Junji Ito
    • Will have to look into it - haven't heard of this before.
  • War brothers by Sharon McKay
    • Didn't buy, wouldn't circ at our library
Young Adult Fiction
For the forthcoming year, I handed over responsibility for the YA fiction collection to our cataloger, who's also been sort of doubling as our teen librarian (mention you like reading YA and don't move fast enough...). So this isn't really my area anymore. Honestly, it never was, which was part of the reason I handed it over.
  • Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
    • I probably wouldn't buy this based on the cover and title. We go way more towards popular in our collection and our town has a positive dearth of arty teens.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    • Our copy recently arrived.
  • Out of the easy by Ruta Sepetys
    • I think we have this but in adult.
  • Rose under fire by Elizabeth Wein
    • I did buy this, although I think mostly adults read the first one.
  • Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
    • I didn't buy this - I don't remember why
  • Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina
    • Our copy of this just arrived as well.
Young Adult Nonfiction
I don't buy this area - I just send suggestions occasionally to our adult services librarian. It's really a browsing collection anyways. More serious stuff either goes in adult or juvenile.
  • Breakfast on Mars and 37 other delectable essays
    • I might suggest this - we occasionally get kids with assignments for short stories and essays.
  • Imprisoned by Martin Sandler
    • I'll have to look at this. I think we could probably use a new book on the Japanese-American internment, but it would have to be suitable for juvenile.
  • The boy on the wooden box by Leon Leyson
    • I'll look at it - with the new Book Thief movie this could be popular
  • The Bronte Sisters by Catherine Reef
    • Nobody would check it out.
  • The President Has been Shot by Jamie Swanson
    • Meant to get this, I'm not sure I did. Will have to check.
Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Again, not my area anymore (although I'll still supervise from afar).
  • Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
    • I somehow fell behind in my Durst reading and never caught up. Someday...we did get this for the library though.
  • Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
    • The first one didn't circulate like I'd hoped - I'll let the new selector decide whether to get this or not.
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam
    • I never heard of this. Huh.
  • Shadows by Robin McKinley
    • Oooh, I kinda want to read this. I think we bought it...maybe?
  • Summer prince by Alaya Johnson
    • I did buy that one. I remember.
  • William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
    • What? I have never heard of this and now I will have to go look it up!


Roberta said...

Oh, I'm so sad to hear picture book biographies don't circulate in your library. I have just grown to love them. Most are obviously written by someone passionate about his or her topic (rather than some of the middle grade titles written on spec because they are popular research topics). The ability to distill a person's life into a few words is just amazing to me. I think if more adults knew how good these picture book titles were, they would be reading them, too.

Jennifer said...

I think it's a combination of a lot of things - people don't go looking in the "big kid" books for picture books, there's a LOT of prejudice against older kids reading picture books here, and most kids who read biographies want chapter books.

I will freely admit that some of it may be my influence. I am just really not sold on the picture book biography as a genre. Unless you have a captive audience, like a school, and can read them to older kids, the age group that is going to pick up picture books just doesn't have the context to grasp the concept of a story about a person they've never met.

I enjoy some myself and many of them are beautifully illustrated, but there just isn't an audience for them at my library.