Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Mock Sibert 2018

It's the best time of the year. Not because of the holidays but for book lovers, the chatter about books increases as the "Best Of" lists start to pop up.  Everyone has been reading lots of books and speculating what books will make the end of the year "Best of" lists. Amid all of the buzz around the "Best Of" books is the chatter about which titles might win which awards. Well, around this blog, I am always ready to talk about the outstanding books in the world of Children's Nonfiction. 

The ALA Youth Media Awards , the biggest awards in Children's Literature, will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018. In the past there nearly no Mock Sibert groups; however, the last few years has seen a significant increase in teachers and librarians sharing titles with students and making predictions. If you hadn't thought about hosting a Mock Sibert group at your school or library, the good news is that you have nearly an extra month this year to share and discuss books with your students.  If you haven't hosted a Mock Sibert group before, here are some guidelines to help you out.


What is the Sibert Award? The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award goes to the most distinguished informational book published in the United States. To be honored/win the Sibert Award, the book must include these important elements and qualities:

  • Excellent, engaging, and distinctive use of language.
  • Excellent, engaging, and distinctive visual presentation.
  • Appropriate organization and documentation.
  • Clear, accurate, and stimulating presentation of facts, concepts, and ideas.
  • Appropriate style of presentation for subject and for intended audience.
  • Supportive features (index, table of contents, maps, timelines, etc).
  • Respectful and of interest to children.
March Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Top Shelf Production) - Winner of the 2017 Sibert Award.

March Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Top Shelf Production) - Winner of the 2017 Sibert Award.

Some years, I have joined with friends to promote great nonfiction titles.  This year, I am hearing lots of buzz about Mock Sibert Groups and Sibert Smackdown events.  If you pop over to Michele Knott/Mrs. Knott's Book Nook, you can check out her post.  If you are curious about the Sibert Smackdown, Melissa Stewart has written an excellent post, here.

If you are interested in participating here is what you need to do.

  • Decide whether you will do your Mock Sibert predictions as an individual or with students or children from your school or library. 
  • Go back through the new release posts found at this blog and think about which ones would be eligible (based on the criteria above).
  • Read, read, read. Either by yourself or with students and begin to create a top 5 list. 
  • Post about your top 5 books and if you have students participating in your Mock Sibert indicate which ones they would like to see win.
  • By February 7, 2018, share with everyone which of your favorites that you think will walk away with the "gold".  If you share your posts via social media, please use the hashtag #mocksibert2018
  • If you need to tweak the above suggestions in order to participate, please do. Make this fun and no stress.

On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, I will post the winners of the Sibert Award announced on Monday, February 12, 2018.

Please indicate in the comments if you think you will be participating in the 2018 Mock Sibert event or a Sibert Smackdown event. And I do hope to see many of you participating this year.

Don't forget to check my Early Thoughts post on Mock Sibert book selections. After Thanksgiving, I will post another list of books for teachers and librarians to consider. 

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews....

#Road2Reading Challenge: Pugs, Engineers, and Spies

My bookstack keeps growing and I look forward to Thanksgiving break to make a dent in it. In looking through some of the books I have received lately, I moved to the top three books. 


Cowboy Pug by Laura James; Illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans (Bloomsbury, May 2017)


Cowboy Pug is a follow up to Captain Pug. Both books make for a perfect transitional chapter book for readers moving from early readers to books with a few more chapters and pages. There are approximately six chapters in the each book and there is a nice balance between text, illustrations, and white space. Pugs may not be the most likely of adventure heroes but Miranda and her pug may just change your mind. 


Also, look for the first book in the series called Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas by Laura James (Bloomsbury, 2016). 

In my bookstack:
If you are looking to 2018 and some upcoming releases, I came across these two upcoming books. I have started them but haven't yet finished. I hope to finish them up over Thanksgiving break.


Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce (Bloomsbury, January 16, 2018)


I love the concept of this book. It reminds me of a few conversations I have had recently with women school administrators who keep their own toolboxes in their offices for those times when a hammer or screwdriver is needed to fix something. 


Spy Toys by Mark Powers; Illustrated by Tim Wesson (Bloombury, February 16, 2018)


Another upcoming chapter book with a great premise. Spy Toys is about toys that are a bit different and ready to save the day. 


All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Each week, Michele Knott and I post about new early readers and transitional chapter books. 

#Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Some Early Thoughts on Mock Sibert

It's November. Holiday season is in full swing by the look at TV commercials and a glimpse at any store. The Hallmark Channel is running their holiday movies. And newspapers, libraries and others are beginning to share their end of the year best of lists. So, I have started to scroll through the 2017 nonfiction releases that I have read with an eye towards my own best of list. I am still am frantically looking for titles that I haven't read yet and know I need to find and read.

Aside from the end of the year best of lists, I have been chatting with friends about ALA's Sibert Award and Mock Sibert or Sibert Smackdown lists. Last year, when the Sibert Award was announced, I was surprised that it skewed towards the higher age range. Only one picture book made the list.  I keep wondering about this year. Will it lean towards the older or younger end of the age range? Will it somehow resonate with where we are as a country? 

Here are a few titles that are popping up onto an early Mock Sibert list for me....


Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, Illustrated by Shawn Harris (Chronicle Books)


Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton, Illustrated by Victo Ngai (Millbrook Press)


How to be An Elephant by Katherine Roy (David McCaulay Studios)


The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Weschler (Charlesbridge Publishing)


The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Check back in a couple of weeks for my official 2018 Mock Sibert post.

Some related posts to check out: Melissa Stewart's Getting Ready for the Sibert Smackdown | Sibert Smackdown Wrap-Up | My Mock Sibert 2017 | My Mock Sibert 2017 Winners Post | Mrs. Knott's Book Nook Mock Sibert 2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews....