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Garden City School Library: Mock Sibert

How It Works

Ms. Moore reads dozens of new nonfiction picture books each year, and chooses about 10 to share with grade 2 during second trimester. While she reads, the students take notes on a graphic organizer that matches the text's structure (e.g., description, problem/solution, or sequence).

After each readaloud, the students discuss what they liked, what they didn't like, and whether the book should remain in the running. We are focusing on the "Delight" factor of the "Three Ds" developed by Melody Allen (and shared with me by colleague Steph Mills): can the reader tell that the author is passionate about the subject? is the book written in a lively, engaging style? are explanations clear? We also discuss one of the "Design" factor questions: do the graphics/illustrations help further explain the facts?

In February, they cast ballots for the winner and we compare ours to the American Library Association Sibert Award winner.

Past Mock Sibert Winners


2023: The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan


2022: I Am the Shark


2024 Nominees

All book summaries courtesy of Goodreads. 


How Do You Spell Unfair?: MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee - Writtcn by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison

In 1936, eighth grader MacNolia Cox became the first African American to win the Akron, Ohio, spelling bee. And with that win, she was asked to compete at the prestigious National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, where she and a girl from New Jersey were the first African Americans invited since its founding. She left her home state a celebrity—right up there with Ohio’s own Joe Louis and Jesse Owens—with a military band and a crowd of thousands to see her off at the station. But celebration turned to chill when the train crossed the state line into Maryland, where segregation was the law of the land. Prejudice and discrimination ruled—on the train, in the hotel, and, sadly, at the spelling bee itself. 


Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider - Written and illustrated by Jessica Lanan

What if you were small as a bean,
Could walk on the walls and ceiling,
Sense vibrations through your elbows,
And jump five times your body length?

That is Jumper's world.

Open this book to discover the hidden life of a backyard jumping spider.



The Day the River Caught Fire: How the Cuyahoga River Exploded and Ignited the Earth Day Movement - Written by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Jessie Hartland

After the Industrial Revolution in the 1880s, the Cayuhoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, caught fire almost twenty times, earning Cleveland the nickname “The Mistake on the Lake.” Waste dumping had made fires so routine that local politicians and media didn’t pay them any mind, and other Cleveland residents laughed off their combustible river and even wrote songs about it.

But when the river ignited again in June 1969, the national media picked up on the story and added fuel to the fire of the recent environmental movement. A year later, in 1970, President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency—leading to the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts—and the first Earth Day was celebrated. It was a celebration, it was a protest, and it was the beginning of a movement to save our planet.

Standards Addressed

AASL: I.B.3 - Generating products that illustrate learning; II.B.1 - Interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives; II.C.1 - Learners exhibit empathy with and tolerance for diverse ideas by: 1. Engaging in informed conversation and active debate. 2. Contributing to discussions in which multiple viewpoints on a topic are expressed.; III.B - Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks; III.D.1 - Actively contributing to group discussions; V.A.1 - Reading widely and deeply in multiple formats and write and create for a variety of purposes.

Common Core: SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1/2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups; SL.2 Ask and answer questions about/recount or describe key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media; RL.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text; RL.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events; W.1 Write opinion pieces in which they name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure

Rhode Island Cross-Curricular Proficiencies: Collaboration - Incorporate diverse perspectives to promote an exchange of ideas with reasoning and evidence; Communication - Organize information to communicate ideas and responses when using any mode of communication

Rhode Island School Library Curriculum Priority Skills: 1.1 - Shares what is known about the general topic; With help, finds facts and briefly summarizes them via writing, drawing, or verbalization to answer basic research questions; Develops own opinion about a topic with evidence to support the opinion; 2.1Participates in discussions about stories and other texts that have been read aloud; 3.2 - Participates in collaborative conversations with peers and adults to share ideas and information