2016 The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize Nominees
The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize Nominees for 2016 have been announced. It looks like a great range of books for kids interested in science. Make sure you check them out, the winner will be announced in November. For more information, click here.
The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Roger Simo
A funny and fascinating how-to guide for budding astronauts, providing a crash course on what it takes to travel into space with a personal message from Tim Peake and exclusive insights from the UK and European Space Agencies. This book answers all the big questions about space travel, from “How do rockets work?” and “What do astronauts do all day?” to “How do you go to the toilet on a spaceship?” With pages on the technology that astronauts use, from space suits to Soyuz spacecraft, and the scientific experiments they do on the International Space Station, plus internet links to recommended websites to find out more.
The judges said: “This is a superb book all about how to become an astronaut. It’s a step by step guide for would-be astronauts and space scientists – plus it has a foreword from a really inspirational astronaut, Tim Peake. There’s a lot of humour in it, and it’s full of those little details that just make a book special.”
Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: How do flowers grow? by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Christine Pym
How do flowers grow? Where do seeds come from? Why do leaves fall? Little children can find out the answers to these questions and more in this beautifully illustrated lift-the-flap book. Each page asks a different question and the colourful illustrations, large and simple text and chunky flaps reveal the answers. Children can discover a bee’s favourite flower, look inside a spiky conker shell, see how trees lose their leaves in winter and lots more. A brilliant introduction to nature and science for curious young minds.
The judges said “This book is exquisitely illustrated, a delight to look at, it’s the sort of thing that really intrigues young children. But it’s also really informative. What it has is the correct science and at the level that’s right for its young readers – and it’s beautiful to look at.”
How Machines Work by David Macaulay
David Macaulay’s How Machines Work uses pop-ups and award-winning illustrations to demonstrate the technology of six simple machines.
Follow the mad antics of Sloth and his side-kick Sengi as they try to break out of the zoo with the help of levers, pulleys, screws, inclined planes, wedges and wheels. Brought to life through pop-ups and pull-outs meaning you can explore six simple machines, from bicycles and cranes to hammers and drills, through interactive science. Packed with engaging, hands-on activities, David Macaulay’s How Machines Work will gear kids up for scientific and engineering greatness!
The judges said: “This book isn’t just dry pages about what engineering is. It’s a very exciting story about a sloth that has to get somewhere and in order to get to where he’s going; he has to build levers, he has to build bridges. Each of the pages is about how he designs a solution to a problem – just what an engineer must do.”
How to Change the World by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Esme Lonsdale
Living with chimps, experimenting with exploding eggs and delving into dinosaur dung… Do you have what it takes to become a scientist? How to Change the World looks at the exciting stories behind the greatest scientific breakthroughs, and the people who made them. Discover the secrets of their success and learn how you can change the world too!
The judges said: “We love this book because it’s a book about the future and it encourages curiosity and thinking for yourself. It’s about how the reader of this book can learn from what’s gone before, what other scientists have achieved and asks how you might change the world to make it a better place or make it safer or to get us to the moon… It shows how things can become quite surprising when it comes to science – including a chapter called ‘avoid being boiled alive’. It’s got some great top tips: don’t be too quick to accept the way things are being done, question whether there’s a better way. I think a book that encourages you not to be afraid to think outside the box has got to be a good thing.”
Project body by John Farndon
Go on an action-packed interactive journey through your body, bursting with super-cool facts, hands-on activities and flaps to lift. Each spread features stunning scientific photos, ultra-detailed artwork and fun cartoons. Illustrated step-by-step projects throughout encourage practical learning, and the spectacular central fold-out pages allow readers to really get under the skin of this important and fascinating subject.
The judges said: “This book about the human body and how it functions is packed with absolutely amazing pictures, illustrations and real life pictures. It has so many facts and activities – this is a great educational book with a great balance between reading and interactive parts.”
Rebel Science by Dan Green, illustrated by David Lyttleton
From ground-breaking discoveries to disastrous dead ends, science isn’t always, well…scientific. Without some catastrophic mess-ups, the world might never know modern marvels, miraculous medicines, magnificent machines and much more. This dynamically illustrated book brings to life the rebel scientists who stuck out their necks to achieve our greatest leaps forward, and uncovers the shocking truth about the biggest blunders and most unexpected successes ever to happen in the lab.
The judges said: “This is a brilliant book. It’s about science in a really novel way. It has fantastic bits in it, like a rap battle between Sir Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke, and funny bits like the Great Atomic Bake Off. It talks about the unsung heroes of science that are not usually mentioned in text books. It’s a really fun way for children to explore science and the story of science.”