ALSC Robert F. Sibert
Informational Book Medal
2008 Medal Winner
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís (Farrar/Frances Foster)
In his deeply felt memoir set in mid-20th century Prague, Sís contrasts the constrictive walls of the communist state with his personal quest for artistic freedom. Black & white drawings accentuated with sharp punches of red are brightened with splashes of color as hope gradually takes hold. Sís takes us from his childhood, when fear, suspicion and lies permeated everyday life, to the “Prague Spring” of 1968 and beyond, a time when “everything seemed possible.”
“Sís combines the personal and the political in a feat of visual and verbal storytelling,” said Sibert Chair Caroline Parr. “Young readers will learn about an extraordinary time through the detailed, intricate art and the simple but powerful text.”
2008 Honor Books
Lightship by written and illustrated by Brian Floca (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)
In simple, stately prose that perfectly complements his luminous watercolors, Floca introduces the lightship Ambrose, its crew and cat. Masterful use of the historical present tense, deft, humorous touches and detailed endpapers engage young children while acknowledgments and notes in the book, fore and aft, provide context.
Nic Bishop Spiders written and illustrated by Nic Bishop (Scholastic Nonfiction, an imprint of Scholastic)
Even the squeamish will be awed by Bishop's oversized, dramatic and vibrant up-close color photographs of more than a dozen types of spiders in “Nic Bishop Spider.” His compelling, conversational and knowledgeable text provides basic information and startling facts which all ages will relish.
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 poetry and traditional literature are not eligible. 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.