Posted in awards, Cybils

The #CYBILS Judges have been announced!

It’s that time of year again: The CYBILS Awards – Children and Young Adult Bloggers – have just announced their judges for the 2019 season, and I’m excited to be on the middle grade Speculative Fiction second round panel! Thanks so much to Charlotte from Charlotte’s Library, Sheila Ruth, and all the wonderful folks at the CYBILS who do this for the love of kidlit.


Nominations open up on October 1st, so now is the time to start looking through your reading journals and GoodReads lists to see what you read and loved this year. Check the breakdowns of category descriptions and all the judges’ websites at the CYBILS blog.


Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Tween Reads

I’m a CYBILS Judge!


I can finally talk about it! I’m thrilled to be a CYBILS judge again, returning to the Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. There have been SO many great books published, and I’ll be diving into the finalists this time around, as a second round judge. Wanna see who’s up for the award? Take a look, and adjust your TBRs accordingly.


When the Sea Turned to Silver, by Grace Lin, (Oct. 2016, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), $18.99, ISBN: 978-0316125925

Inspired by Chinese folklore, this companion to the Newbery Honor Winner, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, is the story of a girl on a mission to save her kidnapped grandmother.


The Voyage to Magical North, by Claire Fayers, (July 2016, Henry Holt & Co.), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1627794206

An orphan keeps house for an irritable magician and his equally obnoxious apprentice, and ends up accidentally becoming a pirate.


The Evil Wizard Smallbone, by Delia Sherman, (Sept. 2016, Candlewick), $17.99, ISBN: 978-0763688059

A boy runs away from his uncle’s home, discovers a bookstore run by a self-proclaimed Evil Wizard who won’t let him leave, but calls him his apprentice.


Shadow Magic, by Joshua Khan, (April 2016, Disney-Hyperion), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1484732724

An outlaw’s son is sold into slavery. A girl is the last surviving member of her family, a line of dark sorcerers. Together, they’ll break the rules.


The Memory Thief, by Bryce Moore, (Sept. 2016, Adaptive Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9781945293030

This was published as a Barnes & Noble exclusive in 2016, but is being published in wide release this March.

Twins wander off at a county fair; Benji, the brother, wanders into a tent where he meets an old man who collects memories. He asks to train as a Memory Thief and ends up on an adventure.


The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice, by Andrew Chilton, (Jan. 2016, Knopf Books for Young Readers), $16.99, ISBN: 978-0553520705

A fantasy adventure filled with dragons, goblins, and puzzles.


The Firefly Code, by Megan Frazer Blakemore, (May 2016, Bloomsbury USA), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1619636361

When a new girl moves to Firefly Lane, a girl and her friends start questioning everything they’ve known.


I’ll recap after we select a winner!




Posted in Horror, Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian, Science Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Scott Sigler’s Alive is a tense mix of speculative fiction, mystery, and horror. Read it!

cover61560-mediumAlive, by Scott Sigler (Jul 2015, Del Rey/Spectra), $18, ISBN: 9780553393101

Recommended for ages 13+

“I open my eyes to darkness. Total darkness. I hear my own breathing, but nothing else. I lift my head . . . it thumps against something solid and unmoving. There is a board right in front of my face. No, not a board . . . a lid.”

A teenage girl wakes up in what she perceives to be a coffin. She breaks out, and liberates the other kids from their coffins- but not everyone is alive. No one has any memory of who they are, where they come from, or how they got where they are. The only clue to anything about them lies in the engraved names at the end of each coffin: an initial and last name. M. Savage, the first girl to wake up, finds herself leading a group of teens through the unknown environment, in search of answers and freedom, but can they survive the horrors they witness… or one another?

If you’ve never read Scott Sigler before, you are in for a treat, my friends. I discovered his book, Infected, years ago thanks to a horror podcast I used to listen to. This is the first YA by Sigler I’ve read, and trust me – you’re going to need to grit your teeth and brace yourself for this ride.

What I love about Scott Sigler is his masterful way of taking a group of people and showing conflict. It’s set off by one thing, but it’s never really about that one thing, is it? You throw a group of hormonal teenagers into the insanity of waking up with no memory and no clue as to where they are, you’ve got some interesting issues on your hands. Sigler’s your man. I can’t go into too much of the story, because I really don’t want spoilers in any way, shape, or form to put you off of this book, but think about the kids in your life, and then imagine tossing them into the craziest situation you can imagine. You’ve got layers and layers of issues, personalities, and conflicts that will come to the fore. The best horror lies not with the monsters under your bed, but the horror we inflict on one another, and we all know and remember that children can be pretty cruel.

Alive needs to be on your teen space bookshelves, and MAN, the stories that can come out of a book talk featuring this book are legion. The book hits stores on July 14th, but there’s a serialized podcast to get you all riled up until then.

Check out Scott Sigler’s author website for more information about his books, including the Infected trilogy.

Posted in Early Reader, Graphic Novels, Toddler Reads, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Have you nominated your Cybils books yet?

The Cybils are Children’s and YA bloggers literary awards – we bloggers nominate, read, and vote for these books, folks!  I’m thrilled to be a Middle Grade Fiction judge this year, and as a first round judge, I have to read all the nominees and whittle them down for the next round!

Nominations are open until October 15, so please go make your voice heard! The following categories are accepting nominations for children’s and YA published between October 16, 2013 and October 15, 2014:

  • Young Adult Non-fiction
  • Young Adult Speculative Fiction
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Book Apps
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction
  • Elementary/Middle Grade Non-fiction
  • Fiction Picture Books
  • Graphics
  • Easy Reader/Short Chapter Books

You can nominate one title per category, so make it your favorite!