I was fortunate enough to be a Round 1 Judge for the Cybils in the Middle Grade Fiction category these past few months. Here are some things I learned along the way:
-Read voraciously. If you think, you read a lot already, try and read even more!
-Be adventurous in your reading. You may discover a sleeper hit that’s been overshadowed by the bigger names and bestselling titles.
-Be OK with not finishing a book. There are too many books to read to force yourself to get through it. As long as you’ve gotten the gist of it, you’re fine. Plus, you can always finish it at a later time.
-Know the audience the book is intended for. Just because you like it (or don’t like it,) take a moment to see the appeal from a kid’s perspective.
-Be passionate about the books you like. It’s fun when you end up talking to the other judges and discussing which books stand out. If you want your pick to be shortlisted, speak up!
The finalists can be found here.
Thanks to my fellow judges:
Mark Buxton, Buxton’s Blog O’Books
Rosemary Kiladitis, Mom Read It
Kyle Kimmal, The Boy Reader
Deb A. Marshall, Read. Write. Tell.
Brenda Tjaden, Log Cabin Library
Ms. Yingling, Ms. Yingling Reads
It was quite an interesting conversation we had discussing the finalists!
Thanks again to Cybils for letting me be a part of the community!
Updated January 1, 2015 with link to finalists and thanks to fellow judges!