Sibert Medal

most distinguished informational book

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 English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois.

Award Web Site: Sibert Informational Book Medal

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Author: Joyce Sidman
2019 Sibert Medal - Winner

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.

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Author: Catherine Thimmesh
2019 Sibert Medal - Honor

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.

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Author: Gail Jarrow
2019 Sibert Medal - Honor

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. In this compelling nonfiction chapter book, Gail Jarrow explores the production of the broadcast, the aftermath, and the concept of fake news in the media.

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Author: Don Brown
2019 Sibert Medal - Honor

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted. Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.

Author: Traci Sorell
2019 Sibert Medal - Honor

Season by season, Sorell guides readers through a year of a contemporary Cherokee community, incorporating Cherokee vocabulary and syllabary throughout. Otsaliheliga expresses gratitude and reminds readers to celebrate and reflect on life’s blessings and challenges. Lessac’s lively artwork enhances this beautiful celebration of culture, family, community and life.

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Author: Michael Mahin
2019 Sibert Medal - Honor

Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el viol n. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing--a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music. Carlos tried el clarinete and el viol n, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he'd grown up with in Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?

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Author: Larry Dane Brimner
2018 Sibert Medal - Winner

In 1961 on the seventh anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, 13 freedom riders boarded two buses in Washington D.C. bound for New Orleans. The riders were willing to risk their lives to challenge illegal Jim Crow practices on interstate buses and in bus terminals. 

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Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin
2018 Sibert Medal - Honor

Part biography, part culinary adventure, this vibrant and energetic book captures the essence of the LA street food scene. Graffiti-inspired art and hip-hop flavored text blend food, community and identity into a delicious feast for the eyes and ears that reflects the melting pot of America.

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Author: Jason Chin
2018 Sibert Medal - Honor

Through magnificent panoramic illustrations, meticulously researched diagrams and lucid text, Jason Chin has created a book as grand as the canyon itself. Readers join a father-daughter pair on an imaginary hike through the canyon’s ecological communities, inviting readers to look at this unique natural wonder.

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Author: Shane Burcaw
2018 Sibert Medal - Honor

In this candid book, award-winning writer Burcaw answers ten frequently asked questions about his life with a disability in a humorous and approachable manner. Carr’s brilliant photos of comically-staged scenes, along with family shots and outsized graphics, add to this book’s tone and liveliness.

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Author: Patricia Newman
2018 Sibert Medal - Honor

Chemical runoff from California’s farms kills seagrass. But in Monterey Bay’s Elkhorn Slough, the seagrass is thriving. Why? Readers dive into the waters of the slough along with biologist Brent Hughes as he doggedly pursues the answers to this puzzling ecological mystery.

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Author: John Lewis
2017 Sibert Medal - Winner

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.

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Author: Candance Fleming
2017 Sibert Medal - Honor

A nonfiction picture book exploring the mysterious life of the elusive giant squid.

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Author: Caren Stelson
2017 Sibert Medal - Honor

This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui's survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko's trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.

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Author: Albert Martin
2017 Sibert Medal - Honor

On the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes a harrowing and enlightening look at the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.