Annal: 2001 Sibert Medal

Results of the Sibert Medal in the year 2001.

Book:Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado

Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado

Marc Aronson

Sir Walter Ralegh played the starring role in a life that was a series of romantic, almost-too-spectacular-to-be-true adventures. From the dazzling court of Queen Elizabeth to the dense jungles of South America, from daring sea raids to the epic struggle against the Spanish Armada, from his luminous historical writings to his intimate poetry, Ralegh left his mark on the age. His life was as dramatic and complex as a Shakespearean play.

Ralegh was a man of great contradictions: He participated in the massacre of Catholics in Ireland, yet later supported religious toleration; he was a calculating courtier resented by many, yet he spoke so eloquently for the rights of individuals that he became a popular hero. His quest to find the legendary city of El Dorado and the fate of the famous Lost Colony he had sponsored in the New World are representative of both the soaring hopes and nightmarish realities that Europeans brought with them across…[more]

Book:Blizzard!

Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America

Jim Murphy

On March 12, 1888, the skies from Virginia to Maine turned an angry gray, and snow began to fall. Long-range weather forecasts didn't exist at the time, so no one knew that a howling white monster was about to strike.

This is the riveting story of a region brought to its knees by the three days and nights of hurricane-force winds and unrelenting snow. Hundreds of trains were caught in its icy grasp, tens of thousands of workers found themselves trapped between work and home, telephone and telegraph lines went dead, and streets everywhere were choked with great waves of drifting snow. Cities and towns came to an absolute, frozen standstill.

In the kind of skillful, dramatic narrative for which Jim Murphy is so well-known, readers can experience the Great Blizzard of 1888 through the eyes and words of survivors and victims alike. They will learn about the men, women, and children who battled the storm head-on, the many problems that developed when it finally stopped, and how life in the United States was forever changed by one of the most devastating natural disasters in its history.

Book:The Longitude Prize

The Longitude Prize

Joan Dash, Dusan Petricic

By the start of the eighteenth century, many thousands of sailors had perished at sea because their captains had no way of knowing longitude, their east-west location. Latitude, the north-south position, was easy enough, but once out of sight of land not even the most experienced navigator had a sure method of fixing longitude. So the British Parliament offered a substantial monetary prize to whoever could invent a device to determine exact longitude at sea.

Many of the world’s greatest minds tried — and failed — to come up with a solution. Instead, it was a country clockmaker named John Harrison who would invent a clock that could survive wild seas and be used to calculate longitude accurately. But in an aristocratic society, the road to acceptance was not a smooth one, and even when Harrison produced not one but five elegant, seaworthy timekeepers, each an improvement on the one that preceded it, claiming the prize was another battle.

Set in an exciting historical framework — telling of shipwrecks and politics — this is the story of one man’s creative vision, his persistence against great odds, and his lifelong fight for recognition of a brilliant invention.

Book:My Season with Penguins

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal

Sophie Webb

What is it like to live in a tiny polar haven for two months? To paint penguins outdoors in freezing weather? To be flipper-slapped by a bird whose wings are powerful enough to propel it swiftly through frigid waters? To look into the oddly expressive eyes of a penguin chick?

With charming watercolors and intriguing journal entries, this book inspires our curiosity. Sophie Webb gives readers a vivid, frank, firsthand account of what it is like to spend a season in a land not yet affected by people, yet populated for centuries by true dwellers of the Antarctic — the fearless, round-bellied, pink-footed, gliding, diving, utterly adept Adélie penguins.

Book:Pedro and Me

Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned

Judd Winick

You are eighteen years old. You get up in front of a thousand people — your classmates, your friends, basically the people who make up your entire existence — and announce, “I'm HIV positive.”

Told entirely in sequential art, here is the story of the life-changing friendship between the author, a cartoonist from Long Island, and Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive AIDS activist, which was filmed day by day on MTV's Real World San Francisco.

As a speaker and educator, a guest on many talk shows (including Oprah), and when his tragic death received front-page coverage in the press, Pedro taught a generation that AIDS was not a punishment for moral defects or a mere killer that reduced humans to wraiths. Rather, he showed how those afflicted with the disease could live and love nobly with intelligence, humor and great…[more]

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