Sunday, August 23, 2015

It's Cybils Season!!

The call for judges is live and you have until September 9 to throw your hat in the ring (make sure it's a party hat, since it is our tenth anniversary!) There are lots of great reasons to apply to be a Cybils panelist or judge - reading tons of great new books, the wonderful discussions, the excitement of the award process, new perspectives, etc. but why should you apply for MY category in particular? Nonfiction can sometimes be an afterthought but it's really a vitally important area and one that's growing and becoming more amazing all the time!

  • Fewer books. Do you really have time to read through a couple hundred chapter books or ya fiction? Nah, didn't think so.
  • Variety. Don't think you like nonfiction? Can't stand biographies or creepy-crawlies or....in the nonfiction category there's something for everyone! You'll read amazing books you might never have picked up before Cybils and discover whole new subjects you'll want to learn more about.
  • Improved professional skills. Are you a teacher or librarian? Nonfiction is a hugely popular genre for kids. Wouldn't you like to see the best new books in the field to recommend to your readers?
  • Learn new things. Did you know about Angel Island, how butterfly hatcheries work, the latest research in saving cheetahs, that Hispanic and Latino Americans suffered from segregation, or that black mustard plants have a defense system? Neither did I, until I read last year's Cybils finalists!
  • Start small. If you're not sure you're ready to jump in the deep end with hundreds of books, or have the responsibility of picking the ultimate winner, try applying to be a first round panelist on one of the smaller categories like Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction, Easy Readers/Chapters, or Book Apps. You have a better chance to be chosen in those categories as well, since there tend to be fewer applicants.
So, join us for Cybils this year and get your read on!

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