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Sibert Medal

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The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, established by the Association for Library Service to Children in 2001 with support from Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., 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. ALSC administers the award.

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2014

Winner

Parrots Over Puerto Rico
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L Roth

A combined history of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, highlighting current efforts to save the Puerto Rican parrot by protecting and managing this endangered species.

2013

Winner

Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.

2012

Winner

Balloons over Broadway
Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Award-winning artist 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 Thanksgiving Day Parade.

2011

Winner

Kakapo Rescue : Saving the World's Strangest Parrot
Kakapo Rescue : Saving the World's Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery

On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last 91 kakapo parrots on earth. Originally this bird numbered in the millions before humans brought predators to the islands. Now on the isolated island refuge, a team of scientists is trying to restore the kakapo population.

2010

Winner

Almost Astronauts : 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
Almost Astronauts : 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

They had the right stuff. They defied the prejudices of the time. And they blazed a trail for generations of women to follow. What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape - any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. ALMOST ASTRONAUTS is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.

2009

Winner

We Are the Ship : The Story of Negro League Baseball
We Are the Ship : The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.

2008

Winner

The Wall : Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
The Wall : Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis Illustrated by Peter Sis

Annotated illustrations, maps, and dreamscapes explore how the artist-author's life was shaped while growing up in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, in a powerful graphic memoir.

2007

Winner

Team Moon : How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
Team Moon : How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh

Culled from direct quotes from the people behind the scenes, NASA transcripts, national archives and NASA photos, the whole story of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing emerges.

2006

Winner

Secrets of a Civil War Submarine : Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley
Secrets of a Civil War Submarine : Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley 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.

2005

Winner

The Voice that Challenged a Nation : Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
The Voice that Challenged a Nation : Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman

In the mid-1930s, Marian Anderson was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty and welcomed at the White House. But, because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This is the story of her resulting involvement in the civil rights movement of the time.

2004

Winner

An American Plague : The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
An American Plague : The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 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. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this Newbery Honor-winning 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.

Honor Books

2003

Winner

The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler
The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler by James Cross Giblin

Many people believe Hitler was the personification of evil. In this intriguing biography, James Cross Giblin penetrates this fa├žade and presents a picture of a complex person - at once a brilliant, influential politician and a deeply disturbed man. In a straightforward and nonsensational manner, the author explores the forces that shaped the man as well as the social conditions that furthered his rapid rise to power. Against a background of crucial historical events, Giblin traces the arc of Hitler's life: his childhood, his years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, his extraordinary rise as dictator of Germany, his final days in an embattled bunker under Berlin. Powerful archival images provide a haunting visual accompaniment to this clear and compelling account of a life that left an ineradicable mark on our world.

2002

Winner

Black Potatoes : The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850
Black Potatoes : The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 by Susan C. 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.

2001

Winner

Sir Walter Raleigh and the Quest for El Dorado
Sir Walter Raleigh and the Quest for El Dorado by Marc Aronson

In this extraordinarily well researched and insightful biography, Marc Aronson explores the amazing accomplishments and dismal failures of one of the most flamboyant figures of the Elizabethan age. Best remembered for laying his coat in a muddy puddle so that Queen Elizabeth I could walk across it, Sir Walter Ralegh committed himself to pleasing his monarch and obtaining power in her court. He heroically risked his life in battle time and again, chasing after glory to win her favor. His notoriously ill-fated quest for the mythological golden city of El Dorado was perhaps his grandest attempt, but it also was his undoing, and Ralegh ultimately paid for his mistakes with his life. Despite his shortcomings, he was not only charismatic and brave, he was brilliant as well, and his contributions to the New World and to western culture as a whole were vast and enduring.

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