Diverse YA speculative fiction books not yet nominated for the Cybils Awards

The Cybils Awards are chosen by panels of book reviewers in a variety of children's and YA book categories, based on two criteria--quality of writing, and reader appeal.  Diversity isn't a criteria, but we at the Cybils love it when diverse books are well represented in the pool from which we choose our shortlisted books--we can't have diverse finalists if the diverse books aren't there to begin with.

So in the hope that the pool of YA speculative fiction books, in which I'm a first round panelist this year, is as diverse as can be, here's a list of books that haven't been nominated yet.  Some obvious books aren't on this list, because they've been nominated.  You can see the whole list of what's been nominated here.  

Eligible books are those published for teens from October 16 2017 to October 15 2018 in the US and Canada, and easily available.  This category accepts ebook only publications (not all do).

--I haven't read most of these books, so I can't vouch for how good they are.
--I did a cursory check to make sure they were eligible, but not with the attention the category organizer will pay in making the call, so I could be wrong
--I don't know most of the authors, so I was going by names and pictures and could well have made mistakes

Please let me know if I missed any!  I went through the Goodreads list of 1000 or so YA books of 2018, but I lack the time to try to find the fall 2017 books, so if you know of any, please add them in the comments!

Blanca and Roja, by Anna- Marie McLemore (now nominated!)

Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2), by Renee Ahdieh

Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones

Inferno (Talon #5), by Julie Kagawa

The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X.R. Pan  (now nominated!)

Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2), by Tara Sim  (LGBTQ)

The Timingila, by Shon Mehta

Isle of Blood and Stone (Tower of Winds #1), by Makiia Lucier

Djinn, by Sang Kromah

Reflection (Twisted Tales #4), by Elizabeth Lim  now nominated

The Initiation, by Chris Babu

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1), by Julie Kagawa now nominated

Wildcard (Warcross #2), by Marie Lu (now nominated!)

Inkmistress (Of Fire and Stars #0.5), by Audrey Colthurst (LGBTQ)

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, by Ellen Oh

Alpha (The Infinity Divistion #3), by Jus Accardo

The Beast Player, by Nahoko Uehashi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4) by Tahereh Mafi

Fighting Fate (Joining of Souls #2), by Shaila Patel

A Blade So Black, by LL McKinney (now nominated!)

Please nominate these and any other great YA speculative fiction books you've read in the past year!

Here's where you go to nominate.

Public nominations close October 15, 2018.  Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. I just nominated Blanca & Roja! Thanks for the reminder that it's eligible for this year's awards :O

    1. thank you! I'm looking forward to reading it.

  2. Thank you for mentioning Djinn. It's actually nominated now!

    Sang Kromah


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