Tanya Lee Stone wins 2010 Sibert Medal

Contacts: Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

BOSTON –Tanya Lee Stone, author of “Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream,” was named the winner of the 2010 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2009. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 15 – 19 in Boston.

Women in space – not a big deal now, but it took more than 20 years for NASA to recognize that women have the Right Stuff. “Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream,” published by Candlewick Press, tells the story of the women aviators and aspiring astronauts known as the “Mercury 13,” who in the early 1960’s repeatedly proved themselves capable but could not overcome prevailing prejudices. Meticulously researched and handsomely illustrated with archival materials, Stone’s insightful, passionately written chronicle is sure to inspire.

“Stone has a less-is-more approach that really packs a wallop,” said Sibert Committee Chair Vicky Smith. “Readers will come away with their blood boiling. It’s a heckuva story.”

Stone, a former editor and the author of nearly 90 books for children was so moved by the story of these pioneering women that telling it changed her entire approach to writing nonfiction for children. She currently lives in Vermont.

Three Sibert Honor Books were named: “The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors,” written by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani and published by Charlesbridge; “Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca and published by Richard Jackson/Atheneum Books for Young Readers; and “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” written by Phillip Hoose and published by Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Ketchup bottles, magic tricks, kitchen experiments…and Day-Glo paint? Through an affectionate narration and eye-catching, retro illustrations, Barton and Persiani take readers on the serendipitous journey of “The Day-Glo Brothers,” culminating in practical Bob and entertainer Joe’s invention of these bright colors that have saved lives, changed advertising and become a staple on desks everywhere. This is the first picture book for both author and illustrator. Barton resides in Austin, Texas, and Persiani lives in Boston.

“Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11,” brings to life the grandeur, excitement and technological daring of the first lunar landing. This large-format picture book marries poetic text with heart-stopping watercolor, ink, acrylic and gouache illustrations that take readers to the moon and back. Floca, who lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y., is also the author and illustrator of the 2008 Sibert Honor book “Lightship.”

In “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” Hoose tells the long-overlooked story of a teenager who, nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. This meticulously researched book fuses history with Colvin’s recollections of her experiences as a linchpin in the case that ended the historic boycott. Hoose lives in Portland, Maine.

The award was established by ALSC and named to commemorate Mr. Robert F. Sibert, founder of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., of Jacksonville, Ill. Sibert is known for his early work in establishing standards of bookbinding.

Members of the 2010 Sibert Medal Committee are: Chair Vicky Smith, Kirkus Reviews, South Portland, Maine; Toni Bernardi, San Francisco Public Library; Rebecca (Becki) Bishop, Campbell Court Elementary, Bassett, Va.; Jane Claes, University of Houston Clear Lake; Kathryn Fredrickson, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) Library; Sharon L. Ledford, Fayette County Schools, Lexington, Ky.; Kristy Raffensberger, New York Public Library; Edward T. Sullivan, Rogue Librarian, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Denise Vallandingham, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, Ky.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

For information on the Robert F. Sibert Medal and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.