One of my very favorite informational book writers is Russell Freedman - this year his LAFAYETTE AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Russell Freedman was designated as a Sibert Honor Award book. I've loved each of his books ever since I discovered his Teenagers Who Made History (Holiday House, 1961 - wish they'd reissue that one). He won a Newbery for his Lincoln: A Photobiography, published by Clarion, 1989 [I think]).
So now congratulations to Freedman and to Holiday House for publishing such a great book in a continuing series, Russell Freedman's Library of American History, which includes Washington at Valley Forge (Holiday House, 2008)
The Robert F. Sibert award honors the most distinguished informational book published in English in the preceding year for its significant contribution to children’s literature. More about the award and past year winners is available at http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?template=/CFApps/awards_info/award_detail_home.cfm&FilePublishTitle=Awards,%20Grants%20and%20Scholarships&uid=CC2FC724C44501B8
The over-sized book at 88 pages is a great read for grades 5- 8, and anyone interested in a balanced and extremely readable book about this 19 year old hero of the American Revolution and how he developed as a leader here and in his French homeland. Previously the only book on Lafayette written for this target audience was Jean Fritz's Why Not, Lafayette (Putnam 1999), but Freedman is more complete and fills in many gaps of information in Lafayette's life. Filled with pictures and facts this book will do much to interest readers in the history of this period of time - and will do much to interest readers in history in general. A great read - a great writer.
Other Sibert books this year --
| Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot |
by Sy Montgomery, illustrations by Nic Bishop (Houghton, 2010) Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop is the team that brought readers The Tarantula Scientist (Houghton, 2007) or Quest for the Tree Kangaroo (Houghton, 2006) both Sibert Honor books in previous years. This title focuses on a New Zealand bird that is very endangered and only in the 90s in terms of population. A highly engaging look at the efforts to recover and restore this species by Scientists in the Field (series).
Another -- 2011 Honor
| Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring |
written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca, a Neal Porter Book, published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing
Other awards named on January 10, 2011 at the American Library Association's MidWinter Conference, including the Newbery and Caldecott Awards, are listed on the association's website at http://www.ala.org/ala/awardsgrants/