"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cybils: Time for an update

Today is the deadline of phase one for 1st round judges of the JH/SH Nonfiction category for Cybils. Tomorrow is the beginning of phase two. By the end of the day today I have to submit my favorite seven books in each category---junior high books, and senior high books. The other judges will do the same thing. Our moderator will compile our lists. then, starting tomorrow, we will be working off our shortened list only before we move up to seven books forward per category the end of the month for the 2nd round judges to deal with. Confused? I know. Me, too! I'll just deal with my job and hope that the process works out. So what are my favorite books in each category?

JH Nonfiction:

  1. The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix---this book should be in the Graphic books category, since it is illustrated but the gatekeepers felt it was so text dense that we should get it. I am glad they did. It is very well done and very enlightening.
  2. Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Killer by James Swanson---this book reads like the best thriller novel yet the juxtaposition of King's life and that of his killer couldn't be sharper.
  3. Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabar---I had no idea what an inspirational guy this famous basketball player is. He encourages everyone to pay attention to their coaches and to be their best selves.
  4. Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge---this book doesn't just chronicle the awful war, it looks at the events through the eyes of participants and victims. It is so well done.
  5. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition) by Sam Keen---Oh my goodness, this book is so interesting. Can you tell from the title?
  6. My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of  Home, Loss, and Hope by Diane Guerrero with Erica Moroz---This actress's life is a personal story involving undocumented parents being deported and the tragedy that ensued. Though her story happened several years ago, it is a very important and current story for teens to read about today. 
  7. For my 7th choice I can't decide between: 
  8. 1. D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed the World by Deborah Hopkinson; 
    2. Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrows; 
    3. Back from the Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction by Nancy Castaldo; 
    4. Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything by Martin Sandler; 
    5. Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, a Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden....

    I have a few hours until I absolutely have to decide. I wonder if I should be strategic and list books I think no one else will nominate and remove books from my list books I'm sure others will? It could backfire on me. What to do, what to do?
SH Nonfiction

  1. 1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change from Candlewick Press---each of the authors took a different point of view about the events of 1968 and found it fascinating and illuminating.
  2. Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson---I read the adult version of this book several years a go. I am so glad the author reworked it for young teens.
  3. The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by .Neal Bascomb---wow, wow, wow with adventure meet the truth.
  4. Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling---I thought I knew something about the suffragist's movement. After reading this book I can safely say, now I do.
  5. We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalist---this books is so NOW and so important. It may not be the best in terms of writing, but it's message is so important.
  6.  Now I am thinking of a new way to be sneaky. I don't have as many SH books on my list as JH books. So, can you hear me rubbing my hands together, why don't I suggest that some of the books listed in the JH category be moved to the SH books so I can list them here?  I think I'll spend a moment with each one and see if any of them can be moved realistically. Also I have two more books I want to cram before this evening: I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout and My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne
I'm off to do more reading and scheming. Bye!


  1. Great choices! If you are narrowing down your choices, that means soon I'll be doing my part in round 2!

  2. As I'm sure you know, many high school students read at a junior high level, and would be much more likely to read a book that is accessible (easier) and interesting. Can that be part of your justification? :)


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