Nominations Please: My Cybils Prep Steps

In roughly 48 hours, the nominations period for the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) opens. From October 1 to October 15, readers can nominate one book in any or all of the Cybils categories. Book Apps Easy Reader / Early Chapter (fiction and nonfiction) Elementary / Middle Grade Nonfiction Elementary / Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Fiction Picture Books Graphic Novels (younger audience and young adult) Middle Grade Fiction Poetry Young Adult Fiction Young Adult Speculative Fiction In years past, I’ve kept a running list of books I think represent the Cybils mission and would make great candidates. This year, I forgot. Over the next day or so, I’ll be going back through my review list to select nominees … Read more

Character Counts! A Writer’s Perspective by Fiona Ingram

Several years ago, (then) debut South African author Fiona Ingram asked us to read her new book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was the first book in a middle grade adventure series that is part India Jones, part Spy Kids. Earlier this year, Fiona published the second title, The Search for the Sword of Excalibur. Over the years we’ve kept in touch. In talking about an author’s journey, we had a wonderful conversation about how authors build their characters. We also talked about “author character” – the impact a reviewer’s comments can have on how a writer approaches his/her work. I found Fiona’s experiences and perspective not just interesting, but valuable. I invited her to build on the concepts of … Read more

Martha Freeman & The Case of the Rock ‘n Roll Dog for #TBT

As promised, we’re featuring another Cybils-nominated book for this week’s Throwback Thursday Book Review MEME. Some of you may know Martha Freeman from the Chickadee Court series (Who Stole Halloween, Who is Stealing the 12 Days of Christmas). The Case of the Rock ‘n Roll Dog is the first title in her First Kids Mystery series. The Case of the Rock ‘n Roll Dog First Kids Mystery Series, Book 1 by Martha Freeman Holiday House, 2010 Cammie is the First Daughter. Her mom is the President of the United States. She lives in the White House with her younger sister, Tessa, her Aunt, her cousin, and her dog, Hooligan. Hooligan creates quite a stir in the White House, terrorizing the … Read more