voting_m-300x225 It’s the beginning of a new year and many of us readers are looking forward to the next must-have title by our favorite authors and those wonderful cherry-on-top moments of discovering a new auto-buy author during 2012. We know this time is special and fun, and we ourselves are basking in the newness of it all. And yet, we need your help in looking back at the books you loved and those that left you wanting so much more from last year, 2011. Today is the start of our 16th AAR Annual Reader Poll .

The Annual Reader Poll has a long tradition at AAR, and is one of the highlights of the year for many readers. It is a time when AAR readers pick the best and worst reads of the previous year. This is your poll and your moment to help us determine what you think readers should have noticed and passed on in 2011. There are many AAR readers who keep charts and know exactly what titles and characters they will be entering on their ballot. If you haven’t kept a reading chart (and there are just as many readers who don’t), you can always use the Power Search function at AAR to search for reviews from the 2011 reading year. In Power Search you can search by genre, reviewer, year published, grade, and a host of other areas that should be helpful in preparing your ballot.

The poll will be open for just two weeks, with voting closing at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, January 29th. We encourage all our AAR readers to participate in this poll.

There are 21 different categories listed on the ballot but please don’t let this number become a stumbling block. In order for your ballot to be valid you only have to vote in six (6) categories and based on our experiences with previous polls, we can say that it’s a very rare reader indeed who votes in all of the categories. In fact, the average AAR reader votes in about 10 categories.

We’re very excited about the Annual Poll, and look forward to reading all of your ballots. So, put your books down, wipe down the keyboard (sharpen your pencil?) and get ready to lock in your picks for 2011.

Because there will be three of us tabulating the results, we hope to finish within a week or so after the January 29th deadline. Look for the results to be posted at AAR in February. Ready to vote? Click here.

– Cindy, LeeB, and LinnieGayl