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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 several to share with grades 2 and 3 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 Last Plastic Straw: A Plastic Problem and Finding Ways to Fix It - Written by Dee Romito, illustrated by Ziyue Chen

From reeds used by ancient Sumerians to bendy straws in World War II hospitals, people have changed the straw to fit their needs for 5000 years. Today however, this useful tool is contributing to the plastic problem polluting our oceans. Once again, the simple straw needs a reinvention.






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.


Butt or Face? - Kari Lavelle

Move over, Jeopardy, Family Feud, and The Price Is Right—this book will be your new favorite laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts family game! In Butt or Face, weird animals are introduced with a close-up photo. Kids must guess: are they seeing the bottom or the top?

Readers will learn about animals like Cuban Dwarf Frogs, whose backsides look like a pair of eyes, and the Mary River Turtle, which not only has a unique face, but even breathes through its butt! On every reveal page, complete photos and fascinating facts explain how the critters' camouflage and trickery help them to engage with their habitats.


Jerry Changed the Game! - Written by Don Tate, illustrated by Cherise Harris

As a boy, Jerry loved playing with springs, sprockets, and gadget-y things. When he grew up, Jerry became an engineer—a professional tinkerer—and in the 1970s, he turned his technical know-how to video games. Back then, if players wanted a new video game, they had to buy an entire new console. Jerry was determined to fix this problem, and despite roadblocks along the way and having to repeat a level or two, it was never game over for his mission. 


Glitter Everywhere! - Written by Chris Barton, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat

If you love glitter, this book is for you. If you hate glitter, this book is also for you.Everyone seems to have strong feelings about glitter. But how much do you actually know about it?

Who invented glitter? How is it made? Why does it stick to everything? Is it bad for the environment? And of course: What makes glitter . . . glitter?



Bears are Best! - Written by Joan Holub, illustrated by Laurie Keller

Hello! I am Brown Bear, and in this book, you'll get to learn about ME--the only bear in the forest!

Hold on a minute. Polar Bear here, and I am the only bear in this book. Though I live in the Arctic, not a forest.

Hey now, Spectacled Bear here, and we are bearly-scratching the surface. There are tons of great bears to learn and laugh with in this fact-filled picture book!


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