My “Hope It’s Nominated for Cybils” List – Chapter Book & PB Edition

Yesterday I posted some of my newest favorites for Middle Grade and Young Adult, that I desperately hope are nominated for the 2019 Cybils. Putting that out into the universe – I only get one vote per category. Today, my favorite chapter books and picture books.

Same as yesterday – this post is my opinion alone, contains affiliate links, etc.

Without furhter ado… will somebody please nominate these amazing books?


  • SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME (Diary of an Ice Princess #1) (Christina Soontornvat) – Think Frozen with more diversity, more (sneaky) teaching of the scientific method (with emphasis on creativity), and less emotional drama. Princess Lina is not only multi-racial, but multi-species; this is a series in which she navigates living in both worlds. With princessy details that delight little girls tired of seeing majority-white heroines. “BEING WHITE IS NOT THAT SPECIAL!” – My daughter, at 6. 
  • WEIRDO  (Weirdo #1) (Ahn Do) – Awkward dorky kid revels in his weirdness, hilarity and toilet humor ensure. Multi-racial main character. Woven in with the slapstick and toilet humor are solid messages about friendship and being true to yourself. I bought multiples of this one to tuck into birthday gifts (My kids turned 7 and 8 in 2019) and it’s been a hit. 


  • GREEN ANTS VS ARMY ANTS (Who Would Win) (Jerry Pallotta) – This entire series is very creative non-fiction in which the reader is given facts, photos, and stats about two different unpleasant animals with an eye toward how much whoopbutt they can deliver. At the end of this book (as with the rest of the series) the green ants and the army ants meet in a fictional battle.  Either way, this series is a must-read for all kids who love animals.
  • STONEWALL: A BUIDLING. AN UPRISING. A REVOLUTION (Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Cristoph) –  The story of the Stonewall Riot… told from the point of view of the converted horse stables that make up the Stonewall Inn. Neat look into the evolution of New York City, and age-appropriate introduction to the fight for LGBTQ rights in the USA. Extensive back matter includes an interview with activist Martin Boyce, who was present that night. 
  • THE ETERNAL SOLDIER (Allison Crotzer Kimmel) – From rescue dog to Civil War hero, Sallie the bull terrier comforted wounded soldiers and helped the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in battle. Kimmel’s descriptions balance age-appropriate while communicating the gravity of war; solid backmatter to springboard further learning. 


  • A FRIEND FOR HENRY (Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song) – A shy little boy named Henry (likely on the spectrum but this is never spelled out) looks for a friend in the almost-overwhelming sensory overload of a new classroom. Spoiler: he finds one, and they build a castle without triangles or broccoli. Mika Song’s illustrations show an effortlessly ethnically-diverse community. 

Nominations are open today! Send my new Cybils besties and me some great Chapter Books and Easy Readers pretty please!

Please see for the form to honor your favorite books of 2019 (and late 2018!)

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