First, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Second, if you haven’t already heard the Cybils winners were announced today. Working on the GN panel was an honor and I’m extremely happy who won! We had some really great titles, a few I was even really torn on, but ultimately two stood above the rest. If you haven’t seen yet, our winners were
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (MG)
Zita the Spacegirl’s appealing combination of humor and sci-fi adventure already has kids begging their librarians for the sequel. It’s got everything: aliens, robots, critters from the cute to the weird to the scary, and a smart, self-sufficient heroine who’s unfailingly loyal to her friends whether they happen to be human, robot or giant mouse. The visual storytelling is just as appealing—the drawing style is loose and open, and the fun character design and sound effects add liveliness and humor. There’s enough action, novelty, and color to keep younger readers interested, and enough thoughtfulness to satisfy more sophisticated readers, making this a terrific choice for a wide range of ages.
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (YA)
Ghost story—check. Snarky but fully rounded protagonist—check. Believable teen characters and behavior—check. Humor—yep.Anya’s Ghost has the perfect blend of story elements and it deftly layers several classic teen literature topics in a relatively short space. The themes of fitting in at school and in life, avoiding toxic friends both earthly and unearthly, and learning to come to terms with who you are, are nicely underscored by the fact that Anya is an immigrant. At the same time, Anya’s interactions with the ghost add suspense and the perfect amount of creepiness. The art style is simple, engaging and funny, and works well with a monochromatic format. A fast-paced read that doesn’t skimp on story.
If you haven’t read either one, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend grabbing a copy. They’re great GNs and well worthy of winning.