Now I can step back and take a look at what I have done and highlight for you a few of my favorite books.
There were 64 nominated books: 25 junior high and 39 senior. I read all or part of 51 of these books. I got most of the books from my local libraries. Those books not available were supposed to be supplied by publishers, however nine of those books were never sent or haven't arrived yet, so I had to attempt to review them using the LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK feature on Amazon.com. That was less than a satisfactory way to view a book especially since many pages aren't available and often, in the chapters that are supplied, pages are skipped. But I could get the idea how the book was put together and what the writing style was like.
My favorite part of judging these Cybils nominated books is being "forced" to read such a vast variety of topics, ones I likely wouldn't have read if not for this position. I read books about famous historical people, climate change, Civil Rights, wars, animal behaviors, pirates, politics, chocolate, Holocaust stories, and many books aimed at girls by girls.
Here are links to reviews I've written for a few of the books. I still have several books I hope to review in the future, too.
- Vincent and Theo---Vincent Van Gogh and his relationship with his brother, Theo.
- A Dog in the Cave---Research on mankind's relationship with dogs and their forebears, wolves.
- The Whydah---a pirate ship which was recently found after being sunk 200 years ago.
- The March Against Fear---the last big march of the Civil Rights era and the beginning of Black Power
- Uprooted---Japanese Internment during WWII in America
- Isaac the Alchemist---Isaac Newton, famous for his scientific and mathematical discoveries was interested in alchemy.
- Double Cross---Deceptive techniques used during wars throughout history. (I know. Can you believe that I found this intersting? Ask my husband. I followed him around the house reading him stuff from the book. Ha!)
- Girl Code---two high school girls take a computer coding seminar, create a web game, it goes viral!
- Undefeated---Jim Thorpe and his amazing athletic prowess.
- Alexander Hamilton---beyond what we learn from the musical.
- Girl Rising---making education available to girls around the world
Now it is time for the conference calls. All the judges submit their lists. We take a look at the books again and debate and discuss until be come up with a master list of five books for each category.