Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

About the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
The Sibert Award honors the most distinguished informational book published in English in the preceding year for its significant contribution to children’s literature.

Administered by:

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2001 Winner(s)

Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado

Written by Marc Aronson. Published by Clarion Books.

This book portrays the adventurous life of Sir Walter Ralegh and his quest to find the legendary city of El Dorado and the fate of the famous Lost Colony he sponsored in the New World.  In this biography, Aronson draws on the events, intrigues and literature of Elizabethan times to create a richly layered account of "the first modern man."  Ralegh's search for El Dorado drives the elegantly structured plot and serves as a unifying allegory.

"Aronson's exemplary scholarship is evident everywhere in the text and accompanying matter, including the archival reproductions and thorough documentation that together explain and extend the narrative," said award committee chair Susan Faust.  "Combined with beautiful bookmaking and eloquent storytelling, this book sets a clear standard of excellence in its presentation of a person in his time."

2001 Honor(s)

Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America

Written by Jim Murphy. Published by Scholastic Press, a division of Scholastic Inc.

This is a gripping tale about the disastrous storm that blasted the eastern seaboard in March 1888.  "This work combines splendid storytelling, faultless research, thorough analysis and thoughtful design," said committee chair Susan Faust.  Lending immediacy are eyewitness accounts and evocative visual material.  To underscore historical context, Murphy highlights changes made in weather forecasting and city design after the blizzard.

The Longitude Prize

Written by Joan Dash. Illustrated by Dusan Petricic. Published by Frances Foster Books/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Set in the exciting historical framework of the 18th century, this book chronicles the invention of a seagoing clock by John Harrison and the surrounding scientific, economic and political activity of 18th-century Great Britain.  Petricic's black-and-white illustrations chart with levity Harrison's drive to solve the longitude problem with his clocks and his struggle to receive recognition for his ultimate achievement.  A detailed glossary and concise timeline complement the book's biography and index.

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal

Written by Sophie Webb. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Webb deftly uses illustrated journal entries to document her participation in a two-month expedition to Antarctica to study Adelie penguins in 1996.  She includes absorbing details of daily life for a scientist in the field, as well as the life and behavior of penguins.  Clear prose and engaging illustrations done in watercolor, gouache and graphite convey how an ornithologist works and lives in the field.

Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned

Written by Judd Winick. Published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Cartoonist Winick tells the story of his friendship with AIDS-educator Pedro Zamora in a graphic-novel format.  "Important lessons are presented in a style friendly to young teens," said committee chair Susan Faust.  Learning from the friend he met on MTV's "The Real World," Winick continues Pedro's work, even after his death.