Children’s science books shortlisted for national prize

Six incredible science books have been shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

The prize celebrates the very best science books for under 14s, highlighting books that communicate science to young people in an accessible, creative way.

An adult judging panel, including NHS paediatrician, TV presenter, and co-creator of BBC’s BAFTA-winning Get Well Soon, Dr Ranj Singh, and bestselling author and plastics campaigner, MG Leonard, have narrowed down the best of this year’s children’s science books to a shortlist of six.

The decision is now in the hands of the young judging panels, drawn from schools, youth groups, and reading clubs across the country. The young judges will get stuck into the six shortlisted books and deliberate over the pages to declare their winner.

The winning book will be unveiled at an award ceremony in March 2024.

Chair of the judges, Professor Usha Goswami CBE FRS FBA, said: “Children have an immense curiosity about the world around them and reading a good science book satisfies this curiosity. 

“I was impressed to see so many books that didn’t shy away from complex topics, and explained the science in such a comprehensible, imaginative way that will appeal to children of all ages. The young judges have a difficult decision ahead of them, I know I would struggle to pick a winner.”

The shortlisted books for the Young People’s Book Prize 2023 are:

  • Step inside Science: Germs by Sarah Hull, illustrated by Teresa Bellón (Usborne)
  • A Bug’s World by Dr Erica McAlister, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Wren and Rook, Hachette Children’s Group)
  • Live Like a Hunter Gatherer by Naomi Walmsley, illustrated by Mia Underwood (Button Books)
  • Ben Rothery’s Deadly and Dangerous Animals by Ben Rothery (Ladybird, Penguin Random House Children’s)
  • Am I made of Stardust? by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, illustrated by Chelen Écija (Buster Books, Michael O’Mara Books)
  • Bodies, Brains and Bogies by Paul Ian Cross, PhD, illustrated by Steve Brown

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