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>The Cybils Speak

>The winners of the 2007 Cybil Awards have been announced. A group project of the children’s-book blogosphere, the Cybils attend to both literary quality and child appeal. Losers I’m most interested in hearing the gossip on: Shaun Tan’s The Visit [ed: OOPS, The Arrival] and Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I thought they’d be shoo-ins.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >Not to mention Hugo Cabret, which must have been a loser in at least five categories.

  2. >The Arrival?

  3. Roger Sutton says:

    >Hugo wasn’t a finalist, so I’d already resigned myself there. And, yes, DUH, The Arrival, which I consistently misname. The Visit is a very good novel by T. Degens and a deeply embarrassing musical starring Chita Rivera.

  4. >Yay for Smekday, my own favorite book of the year…


  5. >Hooray for SMEKDAY!
    Way to go, J. Lo and Tip!

  6. >I think the point of the Cybils is that there are no shoo-ins. It’s supposed to go its own way.

  7. MotherReader says:

    >I was surprised when Hugo didn’t make the finalists list – and that was before the Caldecotts, so it couldn’t have been a matter of “well, it already won that.”

  8. >I’ve been scratching my head over The Arrival’s lack of a Cybil as well. The Artemis Fowl graphic novel won? WHY?

    I’m going to speculate that the judging committee were looking at the finalists based on their child-appeal, and I suppose it could be argued that Fowl — with its mud-farting dwarf– has that. But more than Tan’s work? Hmmm.

    Anyone wanna say otherwise?

  9. >roger — a musical of the durrenmatt play, huh? bizarre.

  10. >There is something about The Arrival that scared me. My son “Looked” through it and didn’t pick it back up. I guess that was the kid appeal!

  11. david elzey says:

    >I don’t know if it counts as gossip, but I discussed some of my thinking behind my decisions on the graphic novel panel at my other blog. Try here:

  12. stacy-dekeyser says:

    >”Absolutely True Diary” was a finalist, so I think it’s safe to say it was considered the cream of the crop, anyway.
    As a member of the YA nominating committee, I was blown away by the number of wonderful books we read. By the end, it got to be a matter of comparing apples to oranges to…first press extra virgin olive oil. So many delicious flavors! How can you call one “better” than all the others?
    I’m just glad I only had to help choose 7 finalists and not ONE winner. I had a hard enough time narrowing it down to 7!

  13. Sarah Miller says:

    >So ah, just what sort of gossip are you fishing for? And do you offer bribes?

    Seriously now…
    Granted, I’m not allowed to blab, but as a YA judge, I’d still be interested in knowing more specifically what’s on your mind regarding the YA choices.

  14. J. L. Bell says:

    >Folks have mentioned Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel and The Arrival. It’s important to recall that we Cybils judges weren’t asked to compare those two books. They were short-listed in different age categories.

  15. Roger Sutton says:

    >Yes, David Elzey linked above to a thoughtful post on the difference between considering The Arrival as middle grade and as YA. It’s a tough call when there are no words and the characters are adults.

  16. Chris Rettstatt says:

    >I was a judge in the Fantasy / Science Fiction category, so I don’t have any gossip on the two titles mentioned. However, I’m glad to see others are as excited about Smekday as I was.

  17. Andrew Ogus says:

    >Much as I love Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, a brilliant distillation of the immigrant experience, I think it may have more appeal for adults than kids — even young adults. Perhaps it should be distributed in newcomer highschools.

  18. >(Slaps forehead)

    That’s right — I had forgotten that The Arrival and Artemis Fowl were in different age groups.

    As for the book’s appeal to kids, I suppose I was swayed greatly by Monica Edinger’s fascinating series of posts about teaching The Arrival to her fourth graders. Here’s a sampling:

    Just for the record, I enjoyed Artemis Fowl – I think the transition to graphic novel was brilliant, but it’s hard not to get uppity when you see a favorite book get passed over. 🙂

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