Welcome to the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal home page!

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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. 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.

2020 Medal Winner

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. 

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a concept book that informs from cover to cover through the lens of a contemporary family. From shape to smell, readers learn how shared traditions of fry bread transcend land, tribal nations, and time. With extensive supporting notes, Fry Bread is both joyful celebration and an important cultural history.     

"Maillard's jubilant, affirmative text and Martinez-Neal's cozy, detailed illustrations portray fry bread as a means of connection to family, cultural survival, and a strong future," said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Sally Miculek.  

2020 Honor Books

All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World, written by Lori Alexander, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger, and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. 

With approachable language and child-friendly illustrations this slim biography about the Father of Microbiology shows readers that regardless of formal education and prestige, curiosity and ingenuity can lead to scientific success. This everyday man invented a microscope so powerful that the living world was magnified to an astonishing scale.  

This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality, written by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy, and published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.

This engaging, powerful memoir in verse details 14 year-old Boyce’s experiences during the desegregation of her high school as one of the Clinton 12 in Tennessee. Text from primary sources adds to the authenticity and demonstrates the extensive research that supplements her memories.

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, written by Nikki Grimes, and published by WordSong, an imprint of Boyds Mills & Kane

This distinguished memoir in verse highlights Nikki Grimes’ formative years. In detailing the people, places and events that shaped her life, Grimes relates to young readers that no matter what they’ve been through, or perhaps because of what they’ve been through, they have a story to tell.

Hey, Water! written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis, and published by Neal Porter Books / Holiday House. 

Hey, Water! celebrates water in its many forms and pathways, speaking to the youngest reader with simple--but not simplistic--language, clear labels, contrasting colors, and varied scale that convey accurate information on every page. Supporting diagrams and a note on conservation expand this concept book for a broader audience.

Members of the 2020 Sibert Medal Committee are Chair Sally Miculek, Georgetown (Texas) Public Library; Armin Arethna, Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library; Dr. Joan Atkinson, University of Alabama SLIS, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Edith Campbell, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind.; Eric Carpenter, Toomer Elementary School, Atlanta; Christy Estrovitz, San Francisco Public Library; Christi Showman Farrar, Massachusetts Library System, Marlborough, Mass.; Lisa Nabel, Kitsap Regional Library,  Bremerton, Wash.; and Dr. Ellen Pozzi, William Paterson University, Wayne, N.J.

 


Information books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material for children. There are no limitations as to the character of the book, although traditional literature (e.g., folktales) is not eligible. Poetry is not eligible except as a format or vehicle to convey information. Honor books may be named; they shall be books that are truly distinguished. The first award was announced at the Midwinter Meeting in 2001 and then presented at the ALSC Membership Meeting held during the Annual Conference.