Cindy & Lynn’s 2018 Book Awards

Cindy and Lynn: We had so much fun giving out last year’s 2017 Bookends Awards, this year we’re announcing a new batch for 2018’s publications! We’re not talking about Newbery, Caldecott, or Printz Awards; we’ll leave those to the official committees. We’re off to Seattle this week for the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting, and we can’t wait to learn who the big winners are, but in the meantime, here are the 2018 Bookends Awards. Envelopes, please!


Lynn’s Awards:

The Book I Had to Fight My Grandsons For:

Skyward, by Brandon Sanderson

I usually give first dibs to the twins on books we all want . . . but not this time. It was close, too, but I called in the big guns by pointing to my broken arm and looking pitiful. Underhanded, you say? True, but in my defense, there are two of them and they are much bigger than I am these days!


Three Books That Make Me Want to Be on an Award Committee Again for the Fun of Discussing These Books in Depth:

 The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, by M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

 Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster, by Jonathan Auxier

 The Book of Boy, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Oh, to be in a committee room with these three complex, convoluted, and delightful books on the table. I don’t KNOW if these three are being discussed by any committees, but I’m willing to bet a discussion about them would be EPIC!



Books That Make Me Giggle Just Thinking about Them:

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan T. Higgins

A Couch for Llama, by Leah Gilbert

These two picture books are gloriously silly and giggle inducing. Truly!


The Book in Which an Orange Someone Finally Gets His Comeuppance:

The Boggart Fights Back, by Susan Cooper

Cooper’s terrifically awful villain reminds me of someone in the news. Ahem! And his undoing is delightful. If only . . .


The Book I Most Wish I’d Had Back in My School Library Days:

 Water Land: Land and Water Forms around the World, by Christy Hale

For years, our sixth graders did a unit on geography forms and this is exactly the book students—and myself—needed. In fact, we needed 30 of them! Don’t miss this one; in addition to being seriously informative, it is great fun, too.


The Book That Really Did Make Me Think of Pippi Longstocking:

 Astrid the Unstoppable, by Maria Parr, illustrated by Katie Hartnett, and translated by Guy Puzey

Publisher blurbs often compare a new publication to some beloved classic. (And for the most part, it’s a pretty tenuous connection.) But this absolutely enchanting book and its endearing young heroine, Astrid, really did read like a modern Pippi. I loved it!


The Picture Book That Made Me Cry:

 Ocean Meets Sky, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

I lost my mom in late March and the Fan brothers’ gentle and beautiful take on grief, memory, and healing completely undid me.


Cindy’s Awards:

The Book That Makes Me Wonder if Holly Black Isn’t a Child of the Fae Herself:

 The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black


The Book That Explains How We Were Nearly Cursed with Having to Say “Back Rub It!”

 Google It: A History of Google, by Anna Crowley Redding


The Book That Brought Back the Visceral Experience of Reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar for the First Time:

I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain, by Will Walton


Children of Blood and Bone AUDIO

The Audiobook That Seeped into My Soul with Its Powerful Storytelling and Exquisite Narration:

 Children of Bone and Blood, by Tomi Adeyemi and read by Bahni Turpin


The Book That Gave Me Reason to Show My Students Photographs of Galileo’s Middle Finger under Glass in the Florence Museum:

 They Lost Their Heads! What Happened to Washington’s Teeth, Einstein’s Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts, by Carlyn Beccia


The Book You Don’t Want to Read While Eating Lunch (or Breakfast, or Dinner . . . ) but Which Is Fascinating!:

Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill, by Heather L. Montgomery and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley


The Book That Should Rival Oh, the Places You’ll Go Next Graduation Season:

For Every One, by Jason Reynolds




About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Cindy & Lynn’s 2018 Book Awards"

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  1.' Tracy Sabin says:

    Would you please consider reviewing books published by “Thar She Blows Press?” In particular, 3 recent books are available from Amazon in print and ebook format and also available from Apple Books in ebook format only. The titles are: “Nobbin, Bobbin & Cobb – A Refugee Story,” “Nothing to Do” and “Mouse Builds a House.” Coming soon – “This Is Our Ocean – or The Story of the Cup that Flew Away,” which tackles the issue of plastic in the Oceans and what can be done about it.

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