The Sibert Award

What do these books have in common?

They are all winners of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. Children have enjoyed these books when they are trying to find out more about their favorite subjects whether they are looking for a story about a famous person (biography), math, science, or time in history. The medal is awarded each year “to honor the most distinguished informational book published in English for its significant contribution to children’s literature”. It provides a list of books that are winners and honor books published from 2001 to 2017 and are aimed at grades 4-11.  With the recent emphasis on reading for understanding in non-fiction, these are sure winners.

Some of our favorite books overlap disciplines bringing together science and math out of the text books to make them more accessible and fun to explore. The diversity and richness of this list presents a reading smorgasbord sure to appeal to readers of all tastes. The STEAM movement which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math hopes to involve more learners in those fields. Sibert offerings make a great entry point with biographies full of adventure, characters caught up with passion for parrots, bridges, words, steam engines or squid. Books are filled with drawings of intricate detail or lush colors.

The Right Word:  Roget and his Thesaurus, a biography, was written by Jennifer Bryant and creatively illustrated by Melissa Sweet in a scrapbook type format. There’s a fascinating retelling of his childhood and career followed by resources to learn more. The endpaper contains Roget’s original list of 1000 words. The list of principal events includes Roget’s childhood entries. There’s a page from the original book and sources, and selected bibliography.

Shark books are very popular and Neighborhood Sharks: hunting with the great whites of California’s Farallon Islands (ages 7-11). This exciting book will hook those children who are “Shark Week” all year round.

Giant Squid by Candace Fleming will intrigue your budding marine biologists. The dramatic paintings will pull readers right into that dangerous beak.

Balloons over Broadway: the True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parades, written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, won for 2012. We love to share this book with families this time of year with it’s generous sprinkling of Tony Sarg’s sketches of early puppets and notes on the invention of the balloon characters, old and new, that we anticipate seeing in the Thanksgiving Day morning parade.

Lynn Curlee, former art historian and painter, won the award for Brooklyn Bridge and showcases its history and construction with fascinating cross sections, maps, breathtaking paintings, a timeline and list of specifications.

Here are a few more books you might want to explore with your young readers.

and a chapter book



There are so many more…



By: Miss Lee


Miss Angie

I am a children's librarian at SCPL's Canyon Country Library. My favorite things are funny books, ice cream, and the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

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