J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

Follow by Email


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Finalists for the Cybils Awards

The Cybils are a set of awards for children’s books given by bloggers. Their criteria include both literary excellence, as in the awards given by librarians and book reviewers, and kid appeal. A few of the books on this year’s short lists, announced yesterday, may have special appeal to young students of the eighteenth century.

Among the finalists in middle-grade fiction is Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson. The nomination committee says:

Chains is told through the eyes of Isabel, a slave girl. Sold after her master dies, Isabel is thrust into the middle of the war where both sides claim they want what is best for her. She passes along messages to the Loyalists only to learn that the only one she can trust to help her gain her freedom is herself. Anderson has presented a story that with the proper foundation can be read, enjoyed and understood by the youngest to the oldest middle-grade student.
On the short list for older nonfiction is Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, by Sally M. Walker:
Written In Bone takes readers along the journey as scientists uncover skeletons and other artifacts from colonial-era Virginia and Maryland. We learn not only about the skeletons themselves, but also about the way of life during this often brutal and even deadly time period.
Finally, in the category of Graphic Novels for Young Adults, two of the five nominees are set in the eighteenth century. There’s the first collection of Lora Innes’s The Dreamer:
Seventeen-year-old Beatrice “Bea” Whaley vividly dreams of a handsome Revolutionary War soldier and she welcomes her nightly adventures. Later though, she finds they might be more than just dreams.
And the second nominee is Crogan’s Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer:
…the saga of Catfoot Crogan, a privateer from the early 18th century. Clever dialogue and Schweizer’s caricature-like drawings merge into a cinematic story of pirates and mayhem.


jone said...

I've read Chains but have to look at the others. I am happy to found this site. It's a gret resource for my fifth grade teachers!

Emily said...

Chains is just incredible. I am so glad to see it nominated!