Friday, September 29, 2017

Getting Ready for . . . the Sibert Smackdown! 2017/2018

The Sibert Smackdown is an activity intended to build enthusiasm for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, which is given each year as part of the American Library Association’s annual Youth Media Awards. It focuses on picture books because they are more manageable to read in a school setting.

Last year, when I announced the ten nonfiction picture books I was recommending for the Sibert Smackdown! in early December, some people wished I had posted the list sooner.

I completely understand their dilemma. It can be hard to plan and implement this kind of activity in just 6 weeks, especially with a major holiday right in the middle.
So I have good news. In 2018, ALA Midwinter is later than normal, so the YMA ceremony isn’t until February 12. That gives us all more time to read and consider.

Still, I know it’s helpful to have as much advance notice as possible, so today I’m posting the list I’m currently considering. The final list, which will be posted in early December, may be slightly different. 

Grace Hopper: Queen of ComputerCode by Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler

How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy

I recommend reading this post now. It describes how some educators modified or enhanced the Sibert Smackdown! to create learning experiences that were perfect for their particular students.


  1. Oh, so many books I love on this list!

  2. Awesome list!! I didn't know about a few of these books and will now make a point to go and get them. Thanks for posting.

  3. Looking forward to following it again this year, Melissa!

  4. Can't wait to read the ones I haven't and to follow the process.

  5. Ooh, I haven't read all of these yet. I need to add them to my tbr pile.