Annal: 2002 Sibert Medal

Results of the Sibert Medal in the year 2002.

Book:Black Potatoes

Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850

Susan Campbell Bartoletti

In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people.

Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland.

Black Potatoes is the compelling story of men, women, and children who defied landlords and searched empty fields for scraps of harvested vegetables and edible weeds to eat, who walked several miles each day to hard-labor jobs for meager wages and to reach soup kitchens, and who committed crimes just to be sent to jail, where they were assured of a meal. It's the story of children and adults who suffered from starvation, disease, and the loss of family and friends, as well as those who died. Illustrated with black and white engravings, it's also the story of the heroes among the Irish people and how they held on to hope.

Book:Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Lynn Curlee

“It so happens that the work which is likely to be our most durable monument, and to convey some knowledge of us to the most remote posterity, is a work of bare utility; not a shrine, not a fortress, but a bridge.”

So wrote one architectural critic of the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the grandest and most eloquent monuments to the American spirit that our country has produced. Its magnificent site, breathtaking span, cutting-edge technology, and sheer beauty have made it the subject of poems, paintings, photographs, novels, plays, and movies.

Beneath the Brooklyn Bridge's triumphant arches lie astonishing tales of death, deception, genius, and daring. Over the fourteen-year course of its construction, there were many deaths, including that of John A. Roebling, designer and chief engineer; an underwater fire; and even fraud.

Finally, though, the bridge was finished, and as part of the opening day festivities, the president, and two mayors crossed it.

In this stunning visual history, Lynn Curlee tells the fascinating story of the history and construction of the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Book:Surviving Hitler

Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps

Andrea Warren

“Think of it as a game, Jack. Play the game right and you might outlast the Nazis.”

Living happily in Poland, twelve-year-old Jack Mandelbaum is hardly aware that he is Jewish. Then Hitler comes to power. Forced to work for the Nazis, then torn from his family as they are herded into a concentration camp, Jack fights to survive. Each day is a struggle to get enough food, stay clean, and avoid physical harm. Jack's friend tells him to think of it as a game, to work hard and not take anything personally. But life in the camps is brutal, and Hitler's guards are skilled at crushing a prisoner's spirit.

Award-winning author Andrea Warren has crafted an unforgettable true story of a boy becoming a man in the shadow of the Third Reich.

Book:Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist

Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jane Jordan

Vincent van Gogh–one of the 19th century's most brilliant artists – will forever be remembered as the Dutchman who cut off his ear. But this incident only underscores the passion that consumed him – a passion that, when he took up painting at age 27, infused his work.

Whether painting a portrait, a landscape, or a still life, Van Gogh sought to capture the vibrant spirit of his subject. It didn't matter that others found his work too unconventional. Van Gogh persevered. And as he moved from the cold climate of Holland to balmy southern France, he pioneered a new technique and style.

In a career spanning only a decade, Van Gogh painted many great works, yet fame eluded him. This lack of recognition increased his self-doubts and bitter disappointments. Today, however, Van Gogh stands as a giant among artists.

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