The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize Nominees for 2015 have been announced. They are a collection of old and new voices, ranging from microbes to outer space with a variety of narrative, activity and guide books. Make sure you check them out, the winner will be announced in November. For more information, click here.
365 Science Activities by Various authors
There’s a new scientific discovery to be made each day of the year in this inspiring book full of easy and exciting experiments. Why is bread full of holes? What does DNA look like? How are rainbows made? Children can find out the answers to all of these questions themselves through the simple experiments in this book. Activities include splitting light into different colours using glass and white paper, making food for birds and insects and watching cells shrink and grow by placing carrots in salty water. This book also includes Usborne Quicklinks to specially selected websites with more information and experiments.
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 books 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
Frank Einstein loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. Frank Einstein is a kid genius who loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination and definitely unusual. After an uneventful experiment with a garage-lab artificially intelligent RoboBug, a lightning storm and a flash of electricity, Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—suddenly come to life. Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wise-cracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank are a help nonetheless as Frank attempts to perfect his Dark Energy Drive . . . that is until Frank’s arch nemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! With the help of his friends, Frank sets out to rescue the robots and stop T. Edison from carrying out his twisted plans! Using real science and drawing inspiration from the classic pulp stories of Tom Swift, Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction.
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
In this unique book, Jake will tell you all about his own collection and introduce you to his bones, including: Oscar the hedgehog, Vulpy the fox and Wilma the deer. He’ll take you round the world to see the biggest, smallest and most amazing bones on the planet, and he’ll travel back in time to look at dinosaurs – the most incredible bones of all. Plus, Jake will teach you how to be a bone detective and share with you all the surprising things that animal bones can tell us.
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
Get ready to explore the magical night sky. Find out everything there is to know about what you can spot in the sky, such as how explorers used constellations as a form of navigation. Also discover when is the best time to spot comets and why the Moon’s appearance has changed over time. Includes everything from the Sun and Moon, to the stars and planets. Symbols are used within the book to show what can be seen in the northern or southern hemispheres. This means that wherever you may be in the world, it will show what you can view in the sky. Features fun facts and amazing activities. Explore everything from constellations and how they interconnect, to lunar eclipses and meteor showers. All you need is a pair of binoculars and a clear night sky!
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.”
There are living things so tiny millions could fit on a dot. Although they are invisible, they are everywhere and they multiply very quickly. They are vital for life on earth, and do all sorts of things – from giving us a cold and making yoghurt to wearing down mountains and helping to make the air we breathe. With charming illustrations by Emily Sutton, this friendly, clever book by Nicola Davies succeeds in conveying the complex science of micro-organisms simply and clearly, and opens up an exciting new avenue for young non-fiction.
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
Learn about the awe-inspiring world of science with pop-ups, pull-outs, and fantastic facts with Professor Robert Winston. Utterly Amazing Science is an engaging, eye-catching approach to exploring what makes the world go round. Professor Robert Winston unravels the mysteries of science alongside pop-ups, pull-outs, flaps, sliders and incredible science facts to make learning about science fun and interactive. Use push and pull sliders to feel the force! Understand the building blocks of matter with a pop-up atom or lift the flaps on the periodic table. Discover the incredible core topics in the world of science, including forces and motions, light and colour, elements and matter, and magnets and electricity with clear explanations and fun activities to help your child understand the building blocks of science. Perfect for budding scientists with the combination of information and interactivity, Utterly Amazing Science will leave you thoroughly blown away!
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.”