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Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Winners

Description: The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. #award


Showing 1 through 25 of 53 results
 
 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies

by Joyce Sidman

Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?

One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly.

In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.

Date Added: 01/28/2019


Year: 2019

Award: Medal Winner

Twelve Days in May

by Larry Dane Brimner

On May 4, 1961, a group of thirteen black and white civil rights activists launched the Freedom Ride, aiming to challenge the practice of segregation on buses and at bus terminal facilities in the South. The Ride would last twelve days. Despite the fact that segregation on buses crossing state lines was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1946, and segregation in interstate transportation facilities was ruled unconstitutional in 1960, these rulings were routinely ignored in the South. The thirteen Freedom Riders intended to test the laws and draw attention to the lack of enforcement with their peaceful protest. As the Riders traveled deeper into the South, they encountered increasing violence and opposition.

Noted civil rights author Larry Dane Brimner relies on archival documents and rarely seen images to tell the riveting story of the little-known first days of the Freedom Ride. With author’s note, source notes, bibliography, and index.

*Winner of the 2018 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

Date Added: 02/12/2018


Year: 2018

Award: Medal Winner

Funny Bones

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras--skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities--came to be.

They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852-1913).

In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians.

He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings.

They have become synonymous with Mexico's Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival.

Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe's, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity. The book includes an author's note, bibliography, glossary, and index.

A 2016 Sibert Award Winner and Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Honor Book,

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2016

Award: Medal Winner

The Wall

by Peter Sís

Through journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities- creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed. By joining memory and history, Sís takes us on his journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2008

Award: Medal Winner

An American Plague

by Jim Murphy

1793, Philadelphia. The nation's capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown...

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city--and all his papers--while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.

An American Plague's numerous awards include a Sibert Medal, a Newbery Honor, and designation as a National Book Award Finalist. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this book offers a glimpse into the conditions of American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2004

Award: Medal Winner

Black Potatoes

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people.

Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland.

Black Potatoes is the compelling story of men, women, and children who defied landlords and searched empty fields for scraps of harvested vegetables and edible weeds to eat, who walked several miles each day to hard-labor jobs for meager wages and to reach soup kitchens, and who committed crimes just to be sent to jail, where they were assured of a meal. It's the story of children and adults who suffered from starvation, disease, and the loss of family and friends, as well as those who died. Illustrated with black and white engravings, it's also the story of the heroes among the Irish people and how they held on to hope.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2002

Award: Medal Winner

Kakapo Rescue

by Sy Montgomery

On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last ninety-one kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds--the largest and most unusual parrots on earth--have suffered devastating population loss. As their habitat became invaded by predators introduced by humans, the kakapo population on mainland New Zealand decreased from uncounted millions in the mid-nineteenth century to near extinction by 1950. Now, isolated on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand's National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population and protect it from exposure to anything that might threaten its fragile balance. No humans can visit the habitat on Codfish without first disinfecting all of their belongings and then flying across stormy seas to land on a tiny beach. On the island, there is plenty of hard work for everyone and every bird: special food to prepare and deliver, radio-wave tracking devices to install, live video to monitor, and, of course, precious baby kakapo to hatch and feed. With the help of fourteen humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback in New Zealand. Follow intrepid animal lovers Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop on a ten-day excursion to witness the exciting events in the life of the kakapo. By turns emotional, fascinating, dangerous, and hilarious, Montgomery and Bishop's sensitive and scientific chronicle explores all there is to know about these "winged weirdos."

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2011

Award: Medal Winner

Bomb

by Steve Sheinkin

In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature.

Bomb is a 2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title.

Bomb is a 2013 Newbery Honor book.

Bomb is the 2013 Robert Sibert Information Book Medal winner.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2013

Award: Medal Winner

The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler

by James Cross Giblin

There are no memorials to Adolf Hitler in Germany, the country he ruled with an iron hand from 1933 to 1945. Nor do visitors flock to his grave, for no one knows where his remains are buried--or if they were buried at all. Perhaps his ashes, like his skull, remain locked away in an archive in Russia. Or perhaps they were scattered to the winds years ago at some unknown location in eastern Europe.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2003

Award: Medal Winner

The Voice That Challenged a Nation

by Russell Freedman

"A voice like yours," celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, "is heard once in a hundred years." This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists -- and for all Americans of color -- when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts.

Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, this Newbery Honor and Sibert Medal-winning book is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, Newbery Medal-winning author Russell Freedman, one of today's leading authors of nonfiction for young readers, illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history. Notes, bibliography, discography, index.

Newbery Honor book and Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2005

Award: Medal Winner

The Right Word

by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

2015 Caldecott Honor Book

2015 Sibert Medal Winner

For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions -- and it wasn't long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn't write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.

Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget's life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2015

Award: Medal Winner

Team Moon

by Catherine Thimmesh

For the kids of all those thousands and thousands of people who worked on Apollo. For the sacrifices you made--the birthday parties, ballgames, and bedtime stories that your parents had to miss because the moon was calling, and demanding their time. It must have been hard sometimes. But look at what they did! Thanks for sharing them with the world when we needed them most.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2007

Award: Medal Winner

We Are the Ship

by Kadir Nelson

"We are the ship; all else the sea"

--Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League.

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. Most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about the unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball.

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of oil paintings--breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.

We Are the Ship is a tour de force for baseball lovers of all ages.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Winner of the Sibert Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2009

Award: Medal Winner

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine

by Sally M. Walker

It was an amazing Confederate victory! -- but at what cost? When the Confederate submarine, H. L. Hunley, disappeared shortly after sinking the Union's USS Housatonic, it was a historic event - the first time a submarine had sunk a ship in battle. Yet this victory came at a terrible price, the loss of the famous submarine and the crew inside it. For more than 130 years, the fate of the H. L. Hunley was one of the great-unsolved mysteries of the Civil War. Finally, in 1995, the submarine was found buried off the coast of South Carolina. Scientists flocked to the discovery, seeking to uncover the secrets of its terrible final voyage. Secrets of a Civil War Submarine takes readers on a fascinating journey that traces the creation and voyages of the Hunley as well as the obstacles overcome while recovering, excavating, and conserving this monumental discovery.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2006

Award: Medal Winner

Parrots Over Puerto Rico

by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

A picture book telling the intertwined histories of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, culminating with current efforts to save the parrots from extinction. Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots' story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Winner of the 2018 Riverby Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2014

Award: Medal Winner

Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado

by Marc Aronson

Sir Walter Ralegh played the starring role in a life that was a series of romantic, almost-too-spectacular-to-be-true adventures. From the dazzling court of Queen Elizabeth to the dense jungles of South America, from daring sea raids to the epic struggle against the Spanish Armada, from his luminous historical writings to his intimate poetry, Ralegh left his mark on the age. His life was as dramatic and complex as a Shakespearean play.

Ralegh was a man of great contradictions: He participated in the massacre of Catholics in Ireland, yet later supported religious toleration; he was a calculating courtier resented by many, yet he spoke so eloquently for the rights of individuals that he became a popular hero. His quest to find the legendary city of El Dorado and the fate of the famous Lost Colony he had sponsored in the New World are representative of both the soaring hopes and nightmarish realities that Europeans brought with them across the seas.

In this extraordinarily well researched biography, Marc Aronson passionately reveals the charisma and bravery of a man whose personality could not have been better suited to his era, a time filled with political intrigue, fierce battles, and courageous souls questing after impossible dreams.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2001

Award: Medal Winner

Balloons over Broadway

by Melissa Sweet

2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner Winner of the 2012 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Everyone's a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Who first invented these upside-down puppets? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America-the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy's Parade.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2012

Award: Medal Winner

Almost Astronauts

by Tanya Lee Stone

Nearly twenty years before the first women were allowed into NASA's astronaut program, a group of thirteen women proved not only that they were as tough as any man but also that they were brave enough to challenge the government. Almost Astronauts tells the story of the "Mercury 13" women, who were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and a note scrawled by one of the most powerful men in Washington. In the end, the inspiring example of these space-age pioneers empowered young people to take their rightful place in the sky and beyond, piloting jets and commanding space capsules.

Winner of the Sibert Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2010

Award: Medal Winner

Spooked!

by Gail Jarrow

Acclaimed author Gail Jarrow explores in riveting detail the famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast from 1938, in this nonfiction title.

Jarrow highlights the artists behind the broadcast, the broadcast itself, the aftermath, and the repercussions which remain relevant today.

On the night of October 30, 1938, thousands of Americans panicked when they believed that Martians had invaded Earth.

What appeared to be breaking news about an alien invasion was, in fact, a radio drama based on H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds, performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players.

Some listeners became angry once they realized they had been tricked, and the reaction to the broadcast sparked a national discussion about fake news, propaganda, and the role of radio.

Archival photographs and images, as well as an author’s note, timeline, bibliography, and index round out this stellar nonfiction title.

Date Added: 01/28/2019


Year: 2019

Award: Honors Book

Camp Panda

by Catherine Thimmesh

From the Sibert medal winning author of TEAM MOON and the bestselling GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING comes a riveting, timely account of panda conservation efforts in China, perfect for budding environmentalists and activists.

Roughly a thousand years ago, an estimated 23,000 pandas roamed wild and free through their native China. But within the past forty years, more than fifty percent of the panda’s already shrinking habitat has been destroyed by humans, leaving the beautiful and beloved giant panda vulnerable to extinction.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds—poaching, habitat destruction, pollution, human overpopulation, and global climate change—the panda is making a comeback. How? By humans teaching baby pandas how to be wild and stay wild.

Date Added: 01/28/2019


Year: 2019

Award: Honors Book

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Jaqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

A President Obama "O" Book Club pick

A Coretta Scott King Award Winner

A New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award and Newbery Honor Book

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Date Added: 01/08/2019


Year: 2015

Award: Honors Book

Locomotive

by Brian Floca

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America's brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.

Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

The Caldecott Medal Winner, Sibert Honor Book, and New York Times bestseller Locomotive is a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America's early railroads, from the creator of the "stunning" (Booklist) Moonshot.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2014

Award: Honors Book

Claudette Colvin

by Phillip M. Hoose

"When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can't sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, 'This is not right.'" - Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South. Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

Claudette Colvin is the 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, a 2010 Newbery Honor Book, a Sibert Honor book, and a Jane Addams Honor book.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2010

Award: Honors Book

Vincent van Gogh

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Vincent van Gogh-- one of the 19th century' s most brilliant artists-- will forever be remembered as the Dutchman who cut off his ear. But this incident only underscores the passion that consumed him-- a passion that, when he took up painting at age 27, infused his work. Whether painting a portrait, a landscape, or a still life, van Gogh sought to capture the vibrant spirit of his subject. It didn't matter that others found his work too unconventional. Van Gogh persevered. And as he moved from the cold climate of Holland to balmy southern France, he pioneered a new technique and style. In a career spanning only a decade, van Gogh painted many great works, yet fame eluded him. This lack of recognition increased his self-doubts and bitter disappointments. Today, however, van Gogh stands as a giant among artists.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 6-8 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Winner of the Sibert Honor

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2002

Award: Honors Book

Walt Whitman

by Brian Selznick and Barbara Kerley

The pioneering team that brought you the Caldecott Honor-winning THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS focuses their remarkable skills and vision on Walt Whitman--poet, American, Civil War hero. Did you know that poet Walt Whitman was also a Civil War nurse? Devastated by his country dividing and compelled to service by his brother's war injury, Walt nursed all soldiers-Union & Confederate, black & white. By getting to know them through many intense and affecting experiences, he began to see a greater life purpose: His writing could give these men a voice, & in turn, achieve his greatest aspiration--to capture the true spirit of America. Dramatic, powerful, & deeply moving, this consummate portrait of Whitman will inspire readers to pick up their pens & open their hearts to humanity.

Winner of the Sibert Honor

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Year: 2005

Award: Honors Book


Showing 1 through 25 of 53 results