If you have been following this blog, you know for the last few months I have been a round I judge in the 2018 Cybils Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.
After reading some 140+ books in about two months, we have picked out 7 elementary finalists and 7 middle grade finalists. Today the shortlists were announced on the Cybils blog. Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators whose books made the cut.
Although all the children’s and young adult books on the nomination lists have merit, the books on the shortlists have a little something extra that caught the attention of our experts. During the next few weeks they will be read and assessed by another set of judges and the overall winners will be announced on or around February 14, 2019.
Here are the lists from the nonfiction elementary/middle grade categories (numbers on list are random, I just needed to make sure I got all seven):
Elementary Nonfiction (Picture Books)
1. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala.
A picture book biography with an important “It’s okay to be different” message. Reviewed here.
2. Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Story by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
This picture book biography about the incredible history of one of the Navajo code talkers whose contributions during World War II were kept secret for decades.
3. Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin by Michelle Cusolito and illustrated by Nicole Wong
Review will be posted for STEM Friday this week.
4. Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard
The story of the premature birth and fight to save this tiny hippo oozes adorable.
5. A Frog’s Life by Irene Kelly and illustrated by Margherita Borin
Reviewed at Growing With Science (with activity suggestions)
6. What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.
You can hear Barbara Jordan’s voice in the rhythm of Chris Barton’s brilliant text. Reviewed here.
7. The True Tale of a Giantess: The Story of Anna Swan by Anne Renaud and Marie Lafrance
This picture book biography explores the life of one of P. T. Barnum’s Gallery of Wonders.
Middle Grade Nonfiction
1. Maya Lin: Thinking With Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin.
Not everyone knows, but the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. was designed by a young student of Chinese descent. The architect Maya Lin has gone on to shape many more breathtaking buildings and outdoor spaces. Reviewed here.
2. Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends by Sarah Albee
Reviewed at Growing with Science.
3. The Hyena Scientist by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop
Another fabulous title in the Scientists in the Field series. Reviewed at Growing with Science.
4. Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other’s Backs by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Maple Lam
Kathlenn Krull takes the reader on a raucous ride through the history of some famous sibling rivalries.
5. Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers by Kelly Milner Halls
The cover shows it all in this book about decomposers and decomposition,
6. Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
The premise is to try to figure out which stories are facts and which are fakes.
7. The Ultimate Book of Sharks (National Geographic Kids) by Brian Skerry
This middle grade title is chock full of gorgeous photographs and fascinating facts.
If you are resolving to read more in 2019, here’s a great list of books to start with.
Disclosure: These books were mostly provided by our local library, although some were provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.