Jinx, by Sage Blackwood
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud
Rose, by Holly Webb
Sidekicked, by John David Anderson
The Rithmatist, Brandon Sanderson
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt
The Water Castle, Megan Frazer Blakemore
The biggest surprise of this list to me was The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson, which I had only just barely heard of going into my Cybils reading. It teeters just on the edge of YA, but we agreed the tone of it was more upper Middle Grade, and its Chalkling magic just oozes with Middle Grade appeal.
My second biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed True Blue Scouts--I'm not naturally inclined to love animal fantasies, but this story of two raccoon brothers bravely saving their home has stuck with me just beautifully.
Thank you, Liviania, Stephanie, Kristen, Melissa, Cecelia, and Brandy for being such excellent first round panelists!
Now the second round panelists must pick a single winner, and I don't envy them the task! The winner will be announced February 14, 2014.
If you think it might be fun to be a Cybils panelist, look for the call for to join next August! And start reading now....