Monday, January 07, 2008

Cybils 2007 Young Adult Fiction Finalists

Mercilessly Cribbed from the Cybils blog:

Finding the best seven titles out of a list of 123 is... daunting, to say the least. The bloggers on this year's YA nominating panel embraced the challenge, and below you'll find the books that survived discussion and passionate debate through countless emails and one very long instant-message group chat. We're proud of our shortlist, and hope you love it as much as we do.
--Jackie Parker, YA Fiction Organizer

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Little, Brown
Meet Junior, a skinny, teenage Spokane Indian with hydrocephalus, ugly glasses and too many teeth. He knows that to make his dreams come true, he has to go where no one in his tribe has gone before--a white high school outside the reservation. Sherman Alexie's semi-autobiographical novel comes at you with its chin up and fists flying. You're guaranteed to fall in love with this scruffy underdog who fights off poverty and despair with goofy, self-deprecating humor and a heart the size of Montana.
--Eisha, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

21 Billie Standish Was Here
by Nancy Crocker
Simon & Schuster
Summer 1968. Billie Standish is a young girl with a lot of heart and soul whose life is about to change forever when the rains come pouring down. Newly befriended by a neighbor, Miss Lydia, neither suspect how close danger lurks to young Billie--and it's not danger from the rising storm waters threatening the town's levee. Billie Standish is a story of friendship, courage, and devotion that will charm readers young and old as they fall in love with Billie's world.
--Becky, Becky's Book Reviews
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Boy Toy
by Barry Lyga
Houghton Mifflin
Eighteen-year-old Josh Mendel can calculate batting averages and earned run averages in an instant, but coming to terms with his past has been impossible. Until, perhaps, now. Bypassing the tawdry and sensational, Barry Lyga takes a ripped-from-the-headlines plot (Teacher-Student Sex Scandal!) and explores the devastation it leaves behind. Told with intelligence and sensitivity, Boy Toy is a powerful story that may occasionally disturb, but ultimately captivate readers.
--Trisha, The YA YA YAs
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Offseason The Off Season
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Houghton Mifflin
Farm girl and football player D.J. Schwenk's refreshing voice and self-deprecating humor return in this continuation of her hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking coming-of-age story. Catherine Gilbert Murdock's characters are authentic and fully realized, and the story perfectly captures the rhythms and conventions of life in a small, rural town. D.J.'s straightforward and endearing personality shines as she faces up to everyday adversity and struggles to find her voice.
--Anne, LibrariAnne
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Redglass" Redglass Red Glass
by Laura Resau
Sophie, an Arizona teenager full of insecurities and phobias, becomes the foster sister to an orphaned illegal immigrant boy. When the boy's family is located in southern Mexico, Sophie goes along on the trek to return him, all the while hoping he'll decide to come with her back to the U.S. As she journeys through Mexico and beyond, evocative settings and vivid characters immerse the reader in Sophie's world. Sophie finds guardian angels along the way, and discovers inner strength.
--Stacy, Reading, Writing, and Chocolate
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Tips Tips on Having a Gay (ex)Boyfriend
by Carrie Jones
Tips is in many ways a typical high school story--loves lost and won; navigating the social minefields of a small town; figuring out who you are, measured against the way others see you. It depicts a week in the life of Belle, a high school senior who's just been dumped by her "true love"--for another guy. Belle progresses through heartbreak to jealousy to anger, to genuine concern for Dylan (her ex), whose road will be much tougher than her own. And Belle's gradual realization that she and Dylan weren't meant to be opens her to new possibilities. Belle is a sweet and optimistic narrator with quirky but believable friends and family.
--Stacy, Reading, Writing, and Chocolate
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Booksense

The Wednesday Wars
by Gary D. Schmidt
Condemned to spend every Wednesday afternoon alone with a teacher he is sure hates him, Holling despairs. When two demon rats escape into the classroom walls, and Mrs. Barker brings out Shakespeare, Wednesdays seem to grow even worse. But despair has no place in this very funny and deeply moving book about 7th grade love, the Vietnam War, heroes, true friendship, and the power of giant rats.
--Charlotte, Charlotte's Library
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All eight shortlists have now been announced. Head here to see the entire list of 2007's finalists. Finalists will be announced on February 14th.

I don't normal flog for sales (this blog brings me no money whatsoever), but by clicking on the links above (or on the Cybils blog, or on the widget you see to your left that is sprinkled throughout the kidlitosphere) and purchasing books, you are supporting the Cybils Award, proceeds which go toward this. If you're one of the 90-odd bloggers who participated in the award and would like something for yourself to commemorate the experience OR just really dig what we stand for, take a gander at the Cybils at Cafe Press. Volunteer your clever slogan ideas here.

On a personal note, it's been a joy to serve this year as a panelist, and as the YA Fiction Organizer (still amazed they let me do that...). Now that the bulk of my role is past, I look forward to blogging with at least a little more frequency. Assuming you all will still have me. ;)


Jen Robinson said...

Clearly you did an amazing job keeping the YA nominating committee on track, Jac! It's an excellent list. I look forward to working under your capable guidance on the judging.

Anna Meadow said...

There are several books on this list that I enjoyed reading about. Another book that addresses teen relationship themes is Laura Preble's new book Queen Geeks in Love. Check it out!

ellie said...

This is a cool reading list..not just cool titles, but cool reads, too. What trends to do see in young adult themes for 2008?