#cybilsreads: Nimona


“Wow” was all I could say as soon as I finished Noelle Stevenson’s “Nimona.” Very few books manage to surprise me these days, and I must say Nimona blindsided me — I wasn’t expecting to fall completely in love with this book!

Nimona is a young girl with the ability to shapeshift, and she signs on to be the sidekick of the evil villain Lord Ballister Blackheart. Nimona and Blackheart scheme to expose the treachery of the kingdom’s champion (and Blackheart’s nemesis) Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement.

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#cybilsreads: Roller Girl


(Resuming my Cybils reviews!)

Of all the books I’ve had to read for round 2 judging of the Cybils, “Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson is the closest to my heart, and I am so happy it came out on top after deliberations and ended up winning the Cybils for graphic novel, in the middle grade category.

In “Roller Girl, it’s the summer before sixth grade, and Astrid is a twelve year-old girl with  too much on her plate: a falling out with her best friend, who suddenly doesn’t want to hang out with her anymore; the discovery of a new sport: roller derby, which fascinated her enough to sign up for derby camp (except it turns out she totally sucks at roller derby); and keeping it all from her mom (because how do you tell your mom these things?).

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#Cybils reads: Oyster War

imageBlood’s Haven, Maryland, post-Civil War. The oyster trade makes for booming business, and watermen all across Chesapeake Bay are keen on cashing in on this lucrative business. Regulations have been drawn with regards to oyster harvests, but oyster pirates, a small but vicious group led by the nefarious Treacher Fink, have not only been harvesting oysters without a license; they’ve also been using destructive oyster dredges that would render the bay barren within a few years.

To curtail the pirates’ activity, the governor and town mayor establish an Oyster Army (with Commander Davidson Bulloch and his motley crew aboard the Layla) to deal with the pirates once and for all.

From the time the Cybils finalists were announced, I was immediately drawn to Ben Towles’ “Oyster War” because of its cover art – it seemed to promise a great maritime adventure, and I must say it did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel.

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