It was a pleasure being on the Cybils Poetry Panel again this year. Our job was to look at all the nominated books and narrow them down to a shortlist of 5 titles. It was quite a job, but what fun working with the other folks on the panel:
Kelly Fineman of Writing and Ruminating (also the organizer of the whole category!)
Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader
Bruce Black of Wordswimmer
Julie Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Some of my favorite bloggers here, and one blog new to me–always happy to discover a great blog I wasn’t familiar with.
Here’s the shortlist we came up with:
|America at War
illustrated by Stephen Alcorn
edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Simon & Schuster
written by Naomi Shihab Nye
|Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures
written by Julie Larios
illustrated by Julie Paschkis
|More than Friends: Poems from Him and Her
written by Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf
Boyds Mills Press
|On the Farm
written by David Elliott
illustrated by Holly Meade
I loved all of these poetry books, and I’m thrilled to see, too, in these times when poetry is such a hard sell, the variety of publishers represented. I hadn’t realized that until I saw them all spelled out.
Did all my favorites make the list? No, not by a long shot. My own personal shortlist of 7 titles was more heavily weighted toward picture book poetry collections. In fact, I wish it could be two categories: poetry for the picture book crowd and poetry for older readers. But we debated, quoted, and shared our passion and came up with a list of 5 that I think represents what amazing poetry is available for kids and teens (though a couple picture book collections I really, really loved didn’t make the shortlist).
To learn more about these titles, see the official Cybils poetry finalist list. And when you’re done with that, check out all the terrific finalists in the other categories, too. I’m off to put all the titles I haven’t read yet on reserve at my library.