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.
2015 Medal Winner
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
, written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Peter Mark Roget, whose boyhood passion for list-making and finding the right word for every situation, led him to create his “treasure house” of a book, the thesaurus. Bryant’s engaging, accessible narrative and Sweet’s delightfully detailed mixed media illustrations meld together to create “a marvel, a wonder, a surprise,” of a book.
“With both lovely storytelling and intricate illustrations, this picture book biography of a life that had such a far reaching impact takes the format to another level,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Deborah Taylor.
2015 Honor Books
Brown Girl Dreaming
, written by Jacqueline and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Woodson’s eloquent and haunting memoir focuses on her family and her dream of becoming a writer.
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia
, written by Candace Fleming and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a Division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company
Fleming brilliantly delineates the tragic fall of the Russian royal family, contrasting their opulent lives with the primary source voices from the Rebellion.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
, written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Chronicle Books LLC
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker is a dynamic dance of beautifully written verse and lively illustrations describing the life of the effervescent entertainer.
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands
, written and illustrated by Katherine Roy, and published by David Macaulay Studio, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press
With vivid paintings and clear, accessible text, Roy creates a heart-stopping look at what great white sharks do best—hunt for their next meal.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS
Tonatiuh draws upon traditional Mixtec codex art to tell the story of 11-year-old Sylvia Mendes, who helped end school segregation in California seven years before Brown v. Board of Education.
Members of the 2015 Sibert Medal Committee are: Chair Deborah Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Md.; Erlene Bishop Killeen, Stoughton, Wis.; Sam Bloom, Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio)/Hamilton County; Ann D. Carlson, Oak Park & River Forest (Ill.) High School; Cindy Dobrez, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, Mich.; Dona Helmer, Anchorage (Alaska) School District; Christopher Lassen, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Angela Newman, North Country Library System, Watertown, N.Y.; and Karla M. Schmit, Penn State University Libraries, State College, Pa.
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.