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....