For our annual “Off the Cuff” awards, we asked booksellers around the country for their picks in a variety of categories. The winners (and selected comments) appear below.

Favorite Picture Book of the Year

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (“a masterpiece”)

Honorable mention: Otis by Loren Long (“a wonderful classic feel and a great story of friendship”)

Favorite Middle Grade Novel of the Year

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (“blew everything else out of the water”)

Honorable mentions: The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (“she's worked her magic again”); The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech (“characters, language, and message so endearing”)

Favorite YA Novel of the Year

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (“well written, real feelings, complex plot”)

Honorable mentions: If I Stay by Gayle Forman; Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Favorite Book Title

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Honorable mention: Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam Rex

Most Memorable Character in a Lead Role

Marcelo on Marcelo in the Real World

Honorable mentions: Micah in Liar by Justine Larbalestier (“I don't know whether to believe her, but she stayed with me”)

Favorite Sequel

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Honorable mentions: Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko; The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Favorite Jacket

The Lion & the Mouse

Honorable mentions: Otis; The Curious Garden by Peter Brown; Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Funniest Book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney (“his snarky comments transcend generations”)

Most Promising New Author

Jacqueline Kelly for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Favorite Book to Handsell

When You Reach Me (“parents are thrilled to find a smart middle-grade novel that isn't an issue book”)

Honorable Mention: Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel (“he visited and had everyone howling”)

Favorite Series

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (“why won't they give us ARCs for #3?!?”)

Honorable mention: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (“a great handsell for reluctant readers”)

Favorite Poetry Book

The Tree That Time Built by Mary Ann Hoberman

Favorite Audiobook

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (“we love books read by their authors!”)

Best Nonfiction Treatment of a Subject

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy (“opens the doors for questions, reflection, and discussion of 9/11”)

Most Innovative Book

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (“we don't know where to shelve it, but we love it”)

Book You Couldn't Shut Up About

When You Reach Me (“I was handselling it even when it wasn't in stock”); Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Most Overdone Subject

vampires/paranormal romance

Honorable mention: “feisty girls in early chapter books”; “turning awesome songs into lame picture books”

Hottest Book to Go Out of Stock

LEGO Star Wars

Honorable mentions: Bubble Trouble and Ounce Dice Trice (“thanks to NPR”)

Most Disappointing Book (in Terms of Sales)

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus, illus. by Mark Burgess (“the Hundred Acre Wood changed too much and lost its magic”)

Most Effective Marketing Campaign

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (“large standee, bookmarks, etc.!”)

Happiest to See Back in Print

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Honorable mentions: Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton; “the last six books in the Betsy-Tacy series”

Oddest Request by a Customer

“Do you have children’s books?” “Well, yes, this is the children’s section.”

“It’s about a little girl, I think she had a yellow dress on but the story was not about that, and it was written a long time ago.”

Boy, about six: “Do you have books for kids? Like books not for adults, but for kids? Like short novels? But books not for adults?”

“A child was looking for ‘the third Penderwicks book,’ which she claimed to have seen online. The title of it was Die Penderwicks. Turns out she had seen a listing for the German-language edition, not a book about the demise of the beloved Penderwicks.”

Most Garbled Title Request

Tales of a Loser and Nerdy Kid

“Do you have Angela Lansbury's A Raisin in the Sun?”