Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize Shortlist - Come and spot some truly dazzling science books for inquisitive minds

Hugely exciting news for fellow Science buffs! The Royal Society has today announced the six inspiring science books that make up this year’s Young People’s Books Prize shortlist.

Publishers across the UK have submitted their best recent science books for young people to the 2015 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize and now an expert adult judging panel has narrowed them down to six carefully selected books.

The winning book will now be selected entirely by groups of young people from over 100 schools and youth groups across the UK. These groups will judge all the shortlisted books and choose the final winner.

The Prize celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people aged up to 14 and Professor John Burland FRS, Chair of the judges said:

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience reading all of the books entered this year. We think the shortlist has enough in it to interest young people from all sides. These books will definitely make science accessible to people who might feel that it’s not. It was important to the judges that the shortlist cover the full spectrum of science and exemplified what makes it so exciting – the shortlist definitely delivers on that aim. It’s now over to the young judges to select what they think is the top book!”

The six books shortlisted by the judges are:

365 Science Activities, Various Authors (Usborne)

The judges said: “Children are hard-wired to do experiments, to handle things with their own hands, to get a feel for how things work and why they work. This book is a wonderful resource for children who want to create their own experiments and find out more about how everything around them works.”

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Brian Biggs (Amulet)

The judges said: “It’s a great balance of English and Science and if you are interested in either of those things, this is really the book to read this year.”

Jake’s Bones, by Jake McGowan-Lowe (Octopus Books)

The judges said: “This book has a wonderful personal feel. It’s the story of one boy’s collection and his own fascination with bones. It will push children not just to learn from a book but also to go out and explore the countryside.”

Night Sky Watcher, by Raman Prinja (QED Publishing Inc.)

The judges said: “Night Sky Watcher is a great introduction to stars and will definitely get you out looking for them. It introduces you to well-known stars and constellations like The Plough and Leo and then encourages you to star hop to planets and galaxies you may not have come across before, all the while explaining our amazing universe.”

Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies (Walker Books)

The judges said: “You might not have even heard of microbes before reading this book however it brings to life beautifully what they are and why they are so important. It’s also an absolutely gorgeous picture book.”

Utterly Amazing Science, by Professor Robert Winston (DK)

The judges said: “It’s a lovely book. The pop-ups beautifully illustrate a whole wide range of science from atomic science to volcanic eruptions. We also think the hand-on experiments it suggests will be very popular with a young audience.”

The winner will be announced in November 2015.

The judges on the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize panel this year who selected the six shortlisted books are:

Professor John Burland FRS– Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

Dr Stephanie Schorge – Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Institute of Neurology, University College London

Katie Thistleton – Television presenter and host of the CBBC Book Club

Dr Shaun Long – English teacher at Royal Society Associate School, Bodmin College, Cornwall

Julia Eccleshare – Writer, broadcaster and lecturer, and the Guardian's children's books editor

More information about the prize can be found at: