Wondering what to nominate for the Cybils in Elementary/Middle Grade speculative fiction? A list of Kirkus reviewed books

Just over eighty  books have been nominated for the Cybils so far in Elementary and Middle Grade Speculative Fiction (for which I'm category organizer and panelist).  And although it would be perfectly possible to make a great short list from just those books, there are many more out there! 

I've been trolling through Kirkus' reviews from October 16 2012 to today, and have compiled a list of what looked eligible at a quick glance (you might well have seen the earlier version of this, and I'll be updating this through the 15th, the last day of eligibility for this year).   There are lots of fine books that Kirkus didn't review, of course, but I can't see how I'd find them all to list them....so no offense intended to those books.  And I can't promise I didn't make mistakes.

I don't actually want all these books nominated (and a Cybils nomination should mean that someone really truly loved the book); instead, I think of this as a useful tool in reminding people (such as me) of books that might otherwise be forgotten. 

I've marked the ones that are already nominated in green, and I'll mark new nominations thus as they come in.  If the title's in blue, that means I put the link in to the Kikus review, and the green-ness of the author has to indicate that it's been nominated!

The Vengekeep Prophecies, by Brian Farrey

The Maelstrom, by Henry H. Neff

The Twinning Project, by Robert Lipsyte

"Who Could that Be At This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket

Hollow Earth, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman

The Secret Prophecy, by Herbie Brennan

Curse of the Thirteenth Fey, by Jane Yolen

Divide and Conquer, by Carrie Ryan

Super, by Matthew Cody

Here Where the Sunbeams are Green, by Helen Phillips

Darwen Arkwright and the Insidious Bleck, by A.J.Hartley

The Lost King, by Ursula Jones

Heroes of Mercy Hall, by Garth Edwards

Secrets of Mercy Hall, by Garth Edwards

The Steam Mole, by Dave Freer (YA?)

The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon, by S.S. Taylor

Fire Prophet, by Jerel Law

Magicalamity, by Kate Saunders

Zombie Kid, by Scott J. Savage

Shadow Breakers, by Daniel Blythe

If the Shoe Fits, by Sarah Mlynowski

The Lost Heir, by Tui T. Sutherland

The Shadow Mask, by Lin Oliver and Theo Baker

How to Scare the Pants off your Pets, by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Quest for the Spark, Book Three, by Tom Sniegoski

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz 

The Seven Swords, by Nils Johnson-Shelton

Jinx, by Sage Blackwood

The Water Castle, by Megan Frazer Blakemore 

Beholding Bea, by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Hokey Pokey, by Jerry Spinelli

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket, by John Boyne

Hyde and Shriek, by David Lubar

The Slither Sisters, by Charles Gilman

Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels, by Hélène Boudreau

Girl Meets Ghost, by Lauren Barnholdt

The Trap Door, by Lisa McMann

Unlucky Charms, by Adam Rex

Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp, by Nathan Bransford

City of Death, by Laurence Yep

The Curse of the Pharaoh, by Steve Stevenson

Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff, by Robert Paul Weston

A Dash of Magic, by Kathryn Littlewood

Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun, by Liz Kessler

A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff

Cloneward Bound, by M.E. Castle

The Fellowship for Alien Detection, by Kevin Emerson

Pip and the Twilight Seekers, by Chris Mould

The Runaway King, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In Search of Goliathus Hercules, by Jennifer Angus

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail, by Anna Staniszewski

Freaks, by Kieran Larwood

The Legend Thief, by E.J. Patten

Undertown, by Melvin Jules Bukiet

Goulish Song, by William Alexander

Mirage, by Jenn Reese

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, by Charles de Lint

The Menagerie, by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland

Garden Princess, by Kristin Kladstrup

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop, by Kate Saunders

Code, by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time, by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Through the Skylight, by Ian Baucom

The Witch's Curse, by Keith McGowan

Bot Wars, by J.V. Kade

The Ultra Violets, by Sophie Bell

When the Butterflies Came, by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Canary in the Coal Mine, by Madelyn Rosenberg

Home Sweet Rome, by Marissa Moss

How I Met My Monster, by R.L. Stine

Hammer of Witches, by Shana Mlawski (YA?)

Frogged, by Vivian Vande Velde

The Key and the Flame, by Claire M. Caterer

The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors

 Lenny Cyrus, School Virus, by Joe Schreiber

Story's End, by Marissa Burt

Stolen Magic, by Stephanie Burgis

We Give a Squid a Wedgie, by C. Alexander London

The Flame in the Mist, by Kit Grindstaff

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore, by Kate Maddison

Rump, by Liesl Shurtliff

Thrice Upon a Marigold, by Jean Ferris

Bad Unicorn, by Platte F. Clark

Gustav Gloom and the Nightmare Vault, by Adam-Troy Castro

Fyre, by Angie Sage

Summerkin, by Sarah Prineas

The Silver Dream, by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves (YA?)

House of Secrets, by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

The Ability, by M.M. Vaughan

Unnatural Creatures, edited by Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley (YA?)

The Hidden Deep, by Chrita Kine

 The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, by Christopher Healy

The Path of Names, by Ari Goelman

The Spies of Gerander, by Frances Watts

New Lands, by Geoff Rodkey

Doll Bones, by Holly Black

Olympus at War, by Kate O'Hearn

Loki's Wolves, by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Teacher's Pest, by Charles Gilman

The Lightning Catcher, by Anne Cameron

An Army of Frogs, by Trevor Pryce and Joel Naftali

A Hidden Enemy, by Erin Hunter

Odessa Again, by Dana Reinhardt

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani

The Glitter Trap, by Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson

A Box of Gargoyles, by Anne Nesbet

The Neptune Project, by Polly Holyoke

Giving to the Poor, by Peter Abrahams

The Watcher in the Shadows, by Chris Moriarty

The Planet Thieves, by Dan Krokos

The Pirate's Coin, by Marianne Malone

Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell

A Mischief of Mermaids, by Suzanne Harper

The Secret of the Twelfth Continent, by Antonia Michaelis

Haunters, by Thomas Taylor

Curse of the Ancients, by Matt de la Pena

Starbounders, by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

The Apprentices, by Maile Meloy

Escape from the Pipe Men! by Mary G. Thompson

Pi in the Sky, by Wendy Mass

The Wells Bequest, by Polly Shulman

Evil Eye, by Jeff Szpirglas

The Ravens of Solemano, by Eden Unger Bowditch

How I Became a Ghost, by Tim Tingle

Sidekicked, by John David Anderson

Playing With Fire, by Bruce Hale

The Feros, by Wesley King

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, by Richard Peck

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, by Henry Clark

Rules for Ghosting, by A.J. Paquette

Saving Thanehaven, by Catherine Jinks

Bone Quill, by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman

The Glass Puzzle, by Christine Brodien-Jones

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt

The Alchemist War, by John Seven

The Rise of a Legend, by Kathryn Lasky

The Hypnotists, by Gordon Korman

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe, by Dan Poblocki

My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush, by Laura Toffler-Corrie

North of Nowhere, by Liz Kessler

Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur

Momo, by Michael Ende

The Time Fetch, by Amy Herrick

Fear the Barfitron, by M.D. Payne

Texting the Underworld, by Ellen Booraem

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters, by Diane Zahler

The Year of Shadows, by Claire Legrand

Earthfall, by Mark Waldon

The Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby

Time Travel Trouble, by Scott Seegert

The Beasts of Upton Puddle, by Simon West-Bulford

Hit the Road, Helen, by Kate McMullan

Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell, by Gary Urey

Mickey Price Journey to Oblivian, by John P. Stanley

Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird, by Eleanor Hawkin

How to Catch a Boggle, by Catherine Jinx

Risked, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Island of Fire, by Lisa McMann

The Harder the Fall, by Lauren Barnholdt

The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School, by Fowler DeWitt

Rose, by Holly Webb

Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline Carlson

Wake Up Missing, by Kate Messner

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Wild Born, by Brandon Mull

The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root, by Christopher Pennell

Death of a King, by Andrew H. Vanderwal

Fallout, by Todd Strasser

Superkid in Training, by Jennifer Allison

Guys Read: Other Worlds, edited by Jon Scieszka

Fortunatly, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman

The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud

The Monster in the Mudball, by S.P. Gates

The Lonely Lake Monster, by Suzanne Selfors

The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu

Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo

Making the Team, by Scott J. Savage

Wild Boy, by Rob Lloyd Jones

Sky Jumpers, by Peggy Eddleman

Joshua Dread: The Nameless Hero, by Lee Bacon

Pinocula, by Obert Skye

The Dragon at the North Pole, by Kate Klimo

The Third Door, by Emily Rodda

The Field of Wacky Inventions, by Patrick Carman

The Last Present, by Wendy Mass

The Whatnot, by Stefan Bachman

Chupacabra, by Roland Smith

Empire of Bones, by N.D. Wilson

Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice, by Daniel Pinkwater

Time Trapped, by Richard Ungar

Atlantis Rising, by T.A. Barron

Ghost Prison, by Joseph Delaney

Hive Mind, by Timothy J. Bradley

Constable and Toop, by Gareth P. Jones

Villains Rising, by Jeramey Kraatz

Mousemobile, by Prudence Breirose

Exile, by Shannon Messenger

Blue Moon, by James Ponti

A Question of Magic, by E.D. Baker

The Princess of Cortova, by Diane Stanley

Lucy at Sea, by Barbara Mariconda

The Abominables, by Eva Ibbotson

The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield, by J

The Wolf Princess, by Cathryn Constable

The Winter of the Robots, by Kurtis Scaletta

Archon, by Lana Krumwiede

Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea, by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, by Catherynne M. Valente

The Storybook of Legends, by Shannon Hale

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket

Code Name 711, by F.T. Bradley


  1. What does blue mean?

    Also, I think False Sight is YA.

  2. Blue is a link to the Kirkus review--I went in and added that for clarification, so thanks for asking! I shall remove False Sight too.

  3. I think SILVER DREAM (Reaves & Gaiman) is YA - the first book in the series was, anyway.

  4. Yep--I'm waiting to see what gets nominated. I've been thinking about PI IN THE SKY and THE SASQUATCH ESCAPE


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