2011 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize
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This issue’s cover illustration is from All I Said Was by Michael Morpurgo and Ross Collins. Thanks to Barrington Stoke for their help with this March cover and to Simon and Schuster for their support of the Authorgraph interview with Sophie McKenzie.
After a two year gap when, due to funding issues it was not awarded, The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2011 will be awarded on Thursday 1st December, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
The prize celebrates the books that best communicate science to young people aged up to 14 and there are six books on the shortlist. They are:
The Icky Sticky Blood and Snot Book by Steve Alton and Nick Sharratt (Bodley Head)
The judges said: "This book does exactly what it says on the cover, using some really yucky facts and pop-ups to explain the fascinating science of the human body. We liked the fact that it is easy enough for young children to understand at the start, but then builds up to some fairly complex science which parents or teachers can help with."
What's the Point of Being Green? by Jacqui Bailey (Franklin Watts
Described by the judges as, “A book that covers the key environmental issues for this generation of young readers in an accurate and measured way. The book pulls no punches - but it also remains balanced and positive, pointing to practical solutions that its readers and their parents can easily put into practice."
How the World Works by Christiane Dorion and illustrated by Beverly Young (Templar Publishing)
The judges said: "We loved the way this book uses pop-ups and other mechanisms to explain the science of the Earth - covering everything from the hydrological cycle to plate tectonics."
What Mr Darwin Saw by Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)
The judges said: “This book uses the story of Charles Darwin’s life to make the science of evolution and the wonders of nature truly accessible to young people.The reader really feels immersed in Darwin’s world and the story of his younger years should prove an inspiration to any child."
The Story of Astronomy and Space (Usborne)
The judges said: “Beautifully illustrated, this wonderfully engaging book uses superb images from space missions and astronomy alongside quirky hand-drawn illustrations to explain the science of space and the story of the scientists who explored it."
What Goes On In My Head by Robert Winston (Dorling Kindersley
The judges said: "An astonishing book for slightly older readers, which explains how the brain and nervous system work and how they influence our abilities and behaviour. Wonderful and intriguing illustrations make the book attractive to a wider age group."
This year’s shortlist includes five authors who are new to the prize, four who have been previously shortlisted (Jacqui Bailey, Robert Winston, Mick Manning and Brita Granstöm) and one previous winner (Robert Winston in 2005).
The winning book will be selected entirely by groups of young people from over 100 schools and youth groups.
Professor Michael Lockwood FRS, Chair of the judges said: "These books cover a huge range of science - from the science of the human body to the story of the universe - but they all have one thing in common, making science exciting, fun and accessible to younger readers. We can't wait to see what the real experts - the young people who will be choosing the winner - make of them."