My last post was the beginning of a series of posts about ways to read and things to read for, but I wanted to take a break between writing the next one and mention that the nomination phase of the Cybils are going on right now.
The Cybils is a really cool award: for children’s and YA lit, all nominated and judged by book bloggers. As they say themselves:
“Our purpose is two-fold:
- Reward the children’s and young adult authors (and illustrators, let’s not forget them) whose books combine the highest literary merit and “kid appeal.” What’s that mean? If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussel sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.
- Foster a sense of community among bloggers who write about children’s and YA literature, highlight our best reviewers (and shamelessly promote their blogs) and provide a forum for the similarly obsessed.”
This could be a whole other post in the series, and maybe one I’ll write later, but there’s been an ongoing discussion about book awards and contests and how they affect the literary world. To keep it to children’s lit (though it could be compared to the rest of industry), the Newbery has recently come under question after awarding books that, while beautifully written and intelligent, were not necessarily good for kids or that didn’t necessarily have that “kid appeal”. Should we be giving accolades to books like Twilight that have brought reading to thousands and thousands of teenagers who might not have picked up a book otherwise? Should we continue to award books with literary merit (whatever that even means)? Or should we strive for a middle ground? The Cybils are trying to do just that, and combined with their ideology of community, which I am always for, I have to say that I’m a big fan.