Elizabeth Partridge, Lauren Tamaki win 2023 Sibert Medal

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/30/2023


ALA Media Relations

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association


NEW ORLEANS — Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki, creators of "Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration” were named the winners of the 2023 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2022. 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’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held January 27-30, in New Orleans. 

“Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams’s Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration,” published by Chronicle Books, centers on three different photographers and how their work frames understandings around the American incarceration of people of Japanese descent during World War II.

“This visually stunning book engages readers by inviting them to explore primary sources and to critically question the world around them and how it is documented,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Elisa Gall.    
Partridge lives in Berkeley, California. She has written more than a dozen books for young readers. Her books have received many honors, including National Book Award finalist, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Tamaki is a Canadian illustrator living in New York. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, the Society for News Design, AI-AP, and the National Magazine Awards.

The Sibert Medal Committee selected four Honor Books.

“Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement,” written by Angela Joy, illustrated by Janelle Washington and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. 
This powerfully told story pairs striking papercut images with poetic language to detail the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, the memory of her son Emmett Till, and the legacy of Till-Mobley's activism and how it connects to contemporary movements for racial justice.

Joy currently resides in southern California. Washington resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

“A Seed Grows,” written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis, published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Holiday House. 
Portis thrillingly presents the life cycle of a sunflower. Palette, font size, and endpapers illuminate the habitat, while text and illustration echo each other in pitch-perfect harmony to convey the wonder that comes from the falling of a sunflower seed.  
Portis lives in Southern California. 

“Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” written by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and published by Random House Studio, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 
Exceptional writing sheds light on an everyday civil rights hero while rich illustrations fill the eye with vibrant colors and period details in this thoroughly researched picture book biography of Georgia Gilmore.
Rockliff lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Christie lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia. 
“The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs,” written by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Susan Gal and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

With a recurring theme of light and life amidst the darkness, and primary source photographs integrated into illustrations, this book excellently contextualizes Eliach’s life and her work building the “Tower of Faces” exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

Stiefel lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. Gal lives in Berkeley, California.

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

Members of the 2023 Sibert Medal Committee are Chair Elisa Gall, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools; Cynthia Alaniz, Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Coppell, Texas; Justin Azevedo, Sacramento Public Library, California; Judy Ehrenstein, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Bethesda, Maryland; Adrienne Gillespie, Tumwater Middle School, Beaverton, Oregon; Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez, Washington County Library, Minnesota; Laurie Reese, Felipe de Neve Branch, Los Angeles Public Library; Aaron Stefanich, Grand Forks Public Library, North Dakota; and Ashley Waring, Reading Public Library, Massachusetts.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website 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


The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” For more information, visit www.ala.org.

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