2019 Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize

Planetarium: Welcome to the Museum by astrophysicist Raman Prinja and artist Chris Wormell has been chosen by children as the winning book for the 2019 Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize. The prize was awarded at a ceremony hosted by CBBC’s Lindsey Russell at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford on November 13.

Planetarium (published by Big Picture Press) was selected by a record-breaking number of young judges. Over 10,600 young people drawn from 471 schools and youth groups from across the UK cast their votes for their favorite science book from a shortlist of six titles, chosen by a panel of adult judges, including author Michael Rosen and Royal Society Fellow Professor Sheila Rowan.

The Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize champions the best science books for under-14s. The winning authors receive an award of £10,000 and the shortlisted authors each receive £2,500.

Planetarium is a beautifully illustrated, eye-catching large-format tour of our solar system and beyond – a must for any budding young astronomer. From planets and moons to far-flung exoplanets, all are depicted with stylistic flourish by Wormell, who also illustrated Phillip Pullman’s best-selling La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One. Alongside each illustration, Professor Raman Prinja, Professor of Astrophysics at the University College London, delves into the science and history with text on the array of celestial subjects.

Prinja has written several successful books on the subject, including Night Sky Watcher which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize in 2015.

Wormell is a self-taught engraver and celebrated printmaker. He creates his timeless illustrations using wood engraving and linocut, as well as digital engraving working with tablet and computer.

[Based on a press release.]

Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2019 Shortlist

The six titles on the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2019 shortlist were announced May 28.

  • 100 Things to Know About Numbers, Computers & Coding by Alice James, Eddie Reynolds, Minna Lacey, Rose Hall and Alex Frith, illustrated by Federico Mariani, Parko Polo and Shaw Nielsen (Published by Usborne Publishing)

Judge Sarah Eames said: “Coding and computing are subjects normally difficult to make entertaining, so the authors have cleverly turned them into narratives, making the topics engaging with little stories you can just dip in and out of. They’re the perfect length, too, so readers will really feel like returning to them again and again.

  • Kid Scientists by David Stabler, illustrated by Anoosha Syed (Published by Quirk Books)

Judge Michael Rosen said: “This was a great idea: ‘Why don’t you do a book on the childhood of scientists?’ You know that wild-haired guy with the moustache? Well Einstein was a child, too. It is handled very well, too – conceptually, writing-wise. Told real stories of real young people struggling through hardship. It has modern scientists, classic science figures: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jane Goodall, Nikola Tesla.”

  • Planetarium by Raman Prinja, illustrated by Chris Wormell (Published by Big Picture Press)

Chair of the judges, Sheila Rowan, said: “The illustrations in this book are fantastic and they really capture the vast scale of space – you get to see inside Neptune, the life cycle of stars, and learn about exoplanets. The writing is clear, informative, and a pleasure to read, with descriptions that draw you in. I can really imagine Planetarium inspiring young people about the wonders of the universe.”

  • Science Makers: Making with States of Matterby Anna Claybourne (Published by Wayland)

Chair of the judges, Sheila Rowan, said: “What is special with Making with States of Matter is the way it uses activities such as art, crafts and cooking to draw young people into science. It takes a very creative and practical approach to its subject, and presents it in new and unexpected ways, really bringing it to life.”

  • The Bacteria Book by Steve Mould (Published by Dorling Kindersley)

Judge Francisco Suzuki-Vidal said “My son really liked this – especially the viruses. The topics are an ideal primer to microscopic life, infectious or otherwise, and the history of science in discovering its richness. The book is very engaging, well presented, a great combination of photos, graphics, and bite-sized chunks of text.”

  • The Element in the Room written by Mike Barfield, illustrated by Lauren Humphrey (Published by Laurence King)

Judge Josh Gabbatiss said “I never imagined seeing the periodic table presented this way, but here it is, and it really works. From hydrogen right through the table, this book explores each element, their discovery, and how they pop-up in everyday life, from food to technology, to life itself. The writing and illustrations are fun and I know the kids will appreciate that.”

An adult judging panel selected the finalists, led by Professor Sheila Rowan FRS, with children’s author, Professor Michael Rosen; environment journalist, Josh Gabbatiss; astrophysicist and Royal Society University Fellow, Dr Francisco Suzuki-Vidal; and teacher, Sarah Eames.

The winner, chosen by 10,000 young readers across the UK, drawn from over 450 schools, science centres, reading clubs, community groups, Scouts and Brownies, will be revealed at an awards ceremony in November.

Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2018 Shortlist

The 2018 Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize shortlist was revealed June 18.

UK publishers submitted their best science books for under-14s to the 2018 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize and an adult judging panel has narrowed them down to the six best. The Prize celebrates books that communicate science to young people in an accessible, creative way and has been running for over 25 years.

The overall winner of the prize will be selected entirely by young reader judging panels drawn from over 300 schools, science centres, reading clubs, community groups, scouts and brownies.

The winner will be announced in November 2018.

Chair of the 2018 judges is Professor Yadvinder Malhi FRS. Joining Professor Yadvinder Malhi FRS on the judging panel are Dr. Martin How, Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Bristol; teacher Alison Price, Head of Science at St. Faiths in Cambridge; Nicola Davies, zoologist and author; and Jo Marchant, science journalist and author. Their shortlist is:

  • Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum (Publisher Walker Studio)

Discover the incredible story of the search for life on Mars, told from the unique perspective of Curiosity, the Mars Rover sent to explore the red planet. Markus Motum’s stylish illustrations and diagrams reveal how a robot travelled 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet where no human has ever been.

  • Exploring Space by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Stephen Biesty (Publisher Walker Books)

The extraordinary story of space exploration, from Galileo’s telescope to the launch of the International Space Station – and beyond! Martin Jenkins’ accessible and wide-ranging narrative covers early astronomy, the history of flight, the Space Race, the day-to-day of astronauts in the International Space Station and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and considers where future missions might take us. Stephen Biesty’s magnificent cross-section illustrations lay bare the intricate workings of space probes and shuttles, the Mars Curiosity Rover, spacesuits and Soyuz rockets. Back matter includes a comprehensive timeline and glossary of terms. With hours’ worth of detail to pore over, this is the perfect gift for all space enthusiasts, young or old

  • Lonely Planet Kids’ Dinosaur Atlas by Anne Rooney, illustrated by James Gilleard (Publisher Lonely Planet Kids)

It’s time to explore lost prehistoric lands and the huge variety of dinosaurs that roamed them with Lonely Planet Kids’ Dinosaur Atlas. Kids can unfold maps and lift the flaps to reveal amazing illustrations and facts about how dinosaurs lived and where they were discovered. They’ll also learn about famous paleontologists and measure themselves against life-size bones, teeth and claws.

From giant sauropods and horned dinosaurs, to duckbills and ferocious theropods, kids will discover how the dinosaurs evolved, what they looked like and how they hunted. Plus, we’ve included the latest finds and theories.

Created in consultation with Dr David Button, a dinosaur expert at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and featuring iconic illustrations by James Gilleard

  • Optical Illusions by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber (Publisher QED Publishing)

The brain is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t always get things right when it comes to sight! This book is packed full of mind-boggling puzzles and diagrams that showcase the science at work behind those illusions that make us laugh, gasp and wonder HOW!?

  • Scientist Academy by Steve Martin, illustrated by Essi Kimpimäki (Publisher Ivy Kids)

Do you love experimenting, testing, making and discovering?

If the answer is yes, sign up for the Scientist Academy. As well as learning all about famous scientists, you’ll record your own heartbeat, calculate your age on Mars, create a chemical reaction and much more. Packed full of activities, puzzles, games and stickers, this is the perfect handbook for budding biologists, curious chemists and fans of physics.

So, grab your goggles, put on your lab coat, and get ready to investigate!

  • Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky (Publisher Hachette Children’s Group)

A gloriously illustrated celebration of trailblazing women. Women in Science highlights the contributions of 50 notable women to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, from both the ancient and modern worlds. The book also contains fascinating infographics and an illustrated scientific glossary.

The extraordinary women profiled include well-known figures like the physicist and chemist Marie Curie, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists and beyond…