Huzzah! A Clean Slate to Start Cybil-ing Again!

Propsero Año Nuevo!

It was the best of times, it was… okay, let’s be serious. Making up the shortlist for the 2006 Cybils Award was bloody hard. Really, at times it was agonizing. We argued and posted lists and whinged and lay on our keyboards. We let our cats type (heh) and groaned and tried to defend our choices while deconstructing the novels for their innate… pickability. It was days and days of work. We sweated. We toiled. We completely blew everything off, took naps (ahem) and ate too much holiday junk food.

But hey – it’s done. And now we can gloat. And we can also think gleeful thoughts toward the judges who are having one helluva time deciding how to whittle down our top 5. Judges, we await your decision with interest! (And relief that it’s not us!)

Some of the more indefatigable and creative members in our team came up with more fun things to do with our list of nominees — aside from reading all of them, I mean. Because it was so hard to let some of them… go… (sniff) and because we could only have five in our shortlist (and may I just argue for SEVEN next time?! Please?!), we gave some props to a few characters who we think that readers will love. Of course, not all of us actually agree on our nominations — you didn’t think we’d all reformed since our shortlist discussions, did you?

You can read full reviews on each and every one variously good, bad or unique books on our book review site, Readers’ Rants, and I hope you’ll check out ALL of the books nominated. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of this! I’ve picked up and read books that I might never have discovered had they not been nominated. And that’s what this has been all about — bringing some of the best new books to light!

Cybils Nominee Valedictorian
Colin from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Did you love Colin? Did you want to smack him? Did he remind you of that geeky someone in your high school chem class whom you secretly loved?

Most Likely to Win a Grammy
Ali from Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer (pop/rock)
Liz Scattergood from Blind Faith (classical)
Ali ROCKS. Props to Liz, too, but Ali was my grrrrl.

Most Likely to Kick Butt (Literally)
The Gallagher Girls from I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
Halfdan Strongbowfrom Viking Warrior

Drama Queen (and Most Fashionable)
Ashleigh from Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
I need to add Polly the BeDazzler Queen from Bad Kitty here. I mean, adventure plus a BeDazzler? Is she dramatic? Is she fashionable? People, do you know how hip she is?

Homecoming Queen
D.J. from Dairy Queen

Prom King & Queen
Nick & Norah from Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Awww… This year’s favorite urban fairytale.

Cutest Couple (tie)
Rachel and Howard from Goy Crazy by Melissa Schorr

Most Haunting Inanimate
Death from The Book Thief
Fate from Just in Case
I’m going to vote for Death. Because Death – gender free – has a sort of airless sense of humor. Fate? Sarcasm. That I could so do without.

Most Artistic
Betsy from
The Pursuit of Happiness
Fanboy from
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
I never got to say how much I liked Fanboy. So cool. So …smart. So right about the alien life form in his mother’s womb. And the phrase “step-fascist!” Quel hilarious.

Super Sidekicks
Hassan from An Abundance of Katherines
Rudy from The Book Thief
Is it wrong to love Hassan in part because there’s so much of him to love? Will there someday be a book where a plus-sized girl is a wise-cracking, faithful, clear-eyed, hilarious sidekick AND where she gets a boyfriend, and it’s not some weird self-conscious screed constantly referring to her size? Inquiring minds…

Most Likely to Succeed
Leo Caraway from Born to Rock
Hahvahd? Of course that boy’s going places. Probably on a motorcycle…

Captains Courageous
Matthew from The Rules of Survival
Lakshmi from Sold
Courage – real courage – means accepting help sometimes. Two stories with impact.

Most Popular
Morgan Carter from More Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet
NO comment.

Most Ambitious
Meg from A True and Faithful Narrative
Hattie from Hattie Big Sky
We love Meg too, but Hattie’s our GRRRL! Even though they didn’t have riot grrls in rural Montana during WWI. But if they had? Hattie would have been all over it. Tenacious. Determined. Courageous. Fending off the Cute Boys and the Easy Way Out. Yay!

Class Bookworm
Liesl from The Book Thief
Cordelia from This is All
Cordelia deserves some kind of award for longevity. Not hers. Her keyboard’s.

Top Mathlete
Patty from Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies)
Ouch! Poor Patty still can’t catch a break. Top mathlete? When all she wants to be thought of is normal – and maybe popular, and maybe get awarded for something that has nothing to do with her being stereotypically Asian or stereotypically smart? I vote Patty for Super Sister and Stereotype Slammer. It’s not every high school that has this category – and hey – what Patty learned is that sometimes, you’ve gotta make your own.

Most Valuable Players
Bo Marsten from Rash
Toyo Shimada from Samurai Shortstop
I may not be much of a sports fan, but I like darkly humorous dystopia and the well-researched historical novel. I wondered why the besoburo boys had to pee so much, however! Indicative of something!?

Best Dancer
Estrella Alvarez from Estrella’s Quinceanera
Ah, family fights, bad outfits and parties. Reminds me of the holidays.

Amateur Sleuths
Jessica Ortiz from Hollywood Sisters: Backstage Pass
A Super Sister Sidekick.

Cameryn Mahoney from The Christopher Killer
Details I never wanted to know.

Future Therapist (or always in therapy)
Ruby from The Boy Book
Look, people, if I had as cool a cool therapist as the gum-‘smoking’ Dr. Z, I’d stay in therapy forever. Ruby rocks!

Girl Next Door
Alice McKinley from Alice in the Know

Boy Next Door
Nathan from Blind Faith
I’m going to have to step in and disagree again — I think Fisher from
The Real Question is my boy next door. He was such a Boy Scout – and then he found out that adults aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and that sometimes you have to kind of take risks to find out things you need to know. Another worthy boy-next-door is Craig from It’s Kind of a Funny Story, because truly, mental blips can happen to ANYBODY – even the boy next door.

Hippest D.J.
Owen from Just Listen

More random thoughts on Cybil Nominees Forthcoming!

About the author

tanita s. davis is a writer and avid reader who prefers books to most things in the world, including people. That's ...pretty much it, she's very boring and she can't even tell jokes. She is, however, the author of eight books, including Serena Says, Partly Cloudy, and the Coretta Scott King honored Mare's War. Look for the new MG, Go Figure, Henri Weldon in 1/2023 from Katherine Tegen Books.


  1. Thanks for visiting the site, Caridad Ferrer! I am pleased to share how much I LOVE your book — so detailed and realistic and slyly funny and engaging in the best ways! We are doing more with the nominees to talk them up and get readers reading because there were so many we had to leave behind in the list – it was truly a tough decision.

    Thanks for writing, and I am anticipating your next book with excitement!

  2. Ah! My thought (since we had a much shorter list of nominees) was just to do a few shout-outs for those I particularly liked, or those that didn’t quite make the finals but that deserved some kind of special mention. I’ll still do it…tonight…or tomorrow…Call it a. fortis’s Special Awards. 🙂

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