My Top Cybils Books of 2017

I was proud to be a part of the Cybils. I helped , along with other panelists, narrow down over 100 nominated YA fiction books to the top 7 of the year.

Let me tell you all this: There were some amazing books published in 2017! And it was hard to whittle down the list. The books we did agree on, were all fantastic.  I enjoyed discussing the nominated books with the other panelists.  It's always fun to meet others who love books as much as I do!

At the end of the year, I usually share what books I really loved. A couple that didn't make the finalist list. 

So here we go:


I've heard from teens and others that they want a light, fun, sweet romance. This novel delivers! There is just so much to love about this book. The voice is fresh and unique. The premise is of a Korean American  over achieving teen that puts together a formula to get a boyfriend by watching Korean soap operas. There's humor, friendship, laughter that equals an amazing read.

2. LITTLE AND LION by Brandy Colbert

What I really loved about this novel was how the author NAILED what it's like for a sibling of someone dealing with bipolar disorder. I know. I grew up around a bipolar father, uncle, and half-brother. The shame, guilt I felt was very real.

3. QUEENS OF GEEK by Jen Wilde

Fun story of three friends who go to a Con. Realistic portrayal of an Aspie protagonist who deals with anxiety. Also love the sweet romance between a bisexual teen and her YouTube crush.

4.  YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR by Nitali Perkins

I totally loved this mult-generational tale of sisters with Bengali origins and their experiences immigrating to the United States.

5. ORPHAN, AGENT, PRIMA, PAWN by Elizabeth Kiem

What can I say? I'm a huge fan of 1960s Russian espionage stories.  Think YA meets THE AMERICANS.

6. GOODBYE DAYS by Jeff Zentner

Humorous and haunting tale of a teen that blames himself for the tragic deaths of his three best friends. Mostly though this is a story of forgiveness. Loved.

7. YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU by Rebecca Barrow

Heart-felt novel of choices, friendship, and unconditional love. Kuddos for showing teens that there are choices out there without being preachy.

8. THE BORDER by Steve Schafer

Intense tale of four teens, who after they witness the brutal murder of their families by La Frontera, try to cross the border to safety. The author shows the harsh Sonoran desert and also humanizes the plight of those who flee the Narcos.


Totally loved this historical Tour novel with strong protagonists. Hilarious with a sweet bisexual romance.

10. STOLEN SECRETS by L.B. Schulman

This is an amazing tale with an unique twist on the holocaust and the survivors. What I really liked about this story was how much the final reveal took me off guard. I love when that happens!


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