First Impression: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

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Title: The Weight of Zero
Author: Karen Fortunati
Published: 2016
Source: Local Library

Summary: Cath knows in her heart that she won't survive another brush with Zero, which is what she calls the depressive episodes of her bipolar disorder. With that in mind, she creates a bucket list for herself, including having sex. But to accomplish that, she needs someone to have sex with. Enter Michael. She thinks he'll be perfect for the job - nice, sweet, forgettable. Certainly nobody she'll ever fall in love with or be sad to leave behind when she dies. Or maybe he is?

First Impressions: For something with such a dramatic topic, this was a very quiet book, but I liked the slow, realistic progression of her path back to life.

First Impression: Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood

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Title: Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood
Author: Varsha Bajaj
Published: 2015
Source: Local Library
Summary: Abby has never known her father. Although her white mom and grandparents are awesome and amazing, the other side of her heritage - the Indian side - has always been a blank slate. But when she finally finds out who he is, it's something right out of a Bollywood drama. Maybe because her father is right out of a Bollywood drama - namely, one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. Whisked off to Mumbai for the summer, she learns about her father and herself, and starts to fill in some of that blank slate.
First Impressions: This was incredibly sweet, and actually kind of low-conflict. Much more of a tween book.

The Cybils Are Out!

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One of the things I flaked on doing in 2017 was volunteering for the Cybils. Blogging can be a lonely business, but the Cybils are one of those community events that reminds me that there are others just like me out there, who love kids' and teen books and love to talk about them and think about them.

But I didn't start this post just to talk about how  wonderful the Cybils are - even though they are wonderful, and the people who did volunteer are total superheroes.

What I really wanted to share was that they released their finalist shortlists on January 1! These are the books that made it through the first round (and let me tell you, that's a lot of nominated books) and will go on to be read, discussed, pulled apart, put back together again, and finally one will be chosen for each category and announced on February 14.

Share these lists with parents, teachers, librarians, and of course (always) with young and not-so-young readers.