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Editor's Blog

Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


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  • Has the blizzard of 2016 stranded you at home with young children? Hopefully you remembered to stock up on library books along with your milk and bread. If you didn't, don't despair. Here are five inexpensive kid's books that can turn a blizzard into a fun and engaging learning experience, all under five dollars! Start reading them now on Amazon Kindle by clicking on the book cover! The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Step into Reading), by Natalie Stanford. (Illus. by Donald Cook). Random House: September, 2014. It is one of the worst storms ever - the snow has not stopped for days and it is 30 degrees below zero. But somehow Balto must get through. He is the lead dog...      Read more...
  • Mythbusters , the seven-time Emmy®- nominated series premiered on Discovery in January, 2003. Little did the network imagine that when it introduced two special effects artists, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the show would still be going strong after thirteen years. These two men had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and they found a loyal audience that was eager to learn along with them. But all good things come to an end and now, after 248 episodes, 2950 experiments, 1050 myths, and 900 explosions, hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will say goodbye to the series this winter. Mythbusters will be back for one final season, starting January 9, 2016. Before they say goodbye, though, Adam...      Read more...
  • Are you looking for middle grade books to support learning in the content areas, especially science? If so, the finalists and commended books identified for the 2016 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes deserve your consideration. Students in the middle grades are ready to delve into interesting topics in more depth. Presenting them with interesting and challenging nonfiction can make reading pleasurable and informative. The books on our list also provide great models of good writing which can help students become better writers. To select the finalists and ultimate winner in the middle grades category, the judges use these criteria: The book is appropriate for children in grades 5-8. The book contains...      Read more...
  • Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November. Every day in November, the Picture Book Month features a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. What better time, then, to focus on the 2016 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize finalists in the Children's Science Picture Book category? The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize has very specific criteria for the award in this category. It is the only category in which the author and illustrator are both honored. To select the finalists and ultimate winner, the judges use these criteria: The book is appropriate for children in grades...      Read more...
    Published 11 Nov 2015 9:12 AM by Maria Sosa
  • Last month, as part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative, Science NetLinks launched a new blog series called Spotlight on Science Writers . To launch the series, we have begun with some of the authors whose books are being featured in the Subaru Loves Learning August Book Drive that was conducted by Subaru retailers in the Northeast region of the United States. Over 16,000 books that were winners or finalists in for the SB&F Prize will be donated to schools this month as part of this very successful program. We wanted to highlight some of the authors that were selected for this program in the blog series by having them share their thoughts with readers about why they wrote the books and...      Read more...
  • The American Library Association (ALA) announced today that The New York Public Library has joined as one of the co-sponsors of the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library will work with the ALA in the promotion of the award and the selection process. “The New York Public Library is honored to become a co-sponsor of the I Love My Librarian Award,” said Tony Marx, President and CEO of The New York Public Library. “Our libraries are only as strong as our staff – the dedicated people who devote their days to helping, teaching, and enriching the experience for visitors. We're excited to participate in an award that celebrates and recognizes these everyday...      Read more...
  • Here's a bonus book review from our archives in honor of World Turtle Day. Self-Portrait with Turtles: A Memoir , by David M. Carroll. (Illus.) Boston Houghton Mifflin 2004. xii+182pp. 2003047895. ISBN 0-618-16225-9. Louis Agassiz wrote, “Study nature, not books.” It is through the study and observation of living organisms that one gains the ability to truly see and appreciate the intricate details of our world. In an engaging memoir, David Carroll describes how his own studies of nature--in particular, turtles--honed his powers of observation. Indeed, he aptly illustrates the importance of developing search images when he states, “One has to find a turtle, before one can...      Read more...
  • Last year in April we posted Lucretius: Science in Verse and Reflections on a Dinoflagellate to commemorate National Poetry Month. This year we are offering another short series of stories that continue the conversation, beginning with this introduction to the poetry of Emily Rolfe Grosholz. Science, philosophy, and poetry have many intersections. The three disciplines share a history and are all considered traditional pillars of a liberal arts education. Poet, critic, and philosopher Emily Rolfe Grosholz lives and works in this intersection. Grosholz is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies and English, and a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory / Institute...      Read more...
  • A Book Recommendation for World Penguin Day ! Penguins: The Ultimate Guide , by by Tui De Roy , Mark Jones , and Julie Cornthwaite. (Illus.) Princeton, NJ Princeton 2014. 240pp. $35.00. 2013956959. ISBN 9780691162997. Index; C.I.P. Although not a scientific treatise, Penguins is built on a solid foundation of scientific research. Furthermore, and importantly, the three authors of Penguins have extensive firsthand experience with penguins making readers feel as if they are on an ecotourism trip under knowledgeable guides. A plethora of large, color photographs lend themselves to the feeling of ecotourism and are an integral component of the book. Indeed, the stunning detail and broad scope of...      Read more...
  • As part of our occasional series of Throwback Thursday reviews, here is one from 1991. Prairie Visions: The Life and Times of Solomon Butcher , by Pam Conrad . (Illus.) NY Harpercollins 1991. 85pp. For her award-winning novel, Prairie Songs , Pam Conrad researched the achives at the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln. There, she came across a collection of photographs taken by a man named Solomon Butcher. His pictures documented the people and the prairie of Nebraska in the late 1800s. She incorporated Butcher into her novel, embellishing his personality with her own imagination. In Prairie Visions: The Life and Times of Solomon Butcher, Conrad reflects upon the life of the real Solomon...      Read more...
  • We thought that the 25th anniversary of Earth Day would be a good day to share this review. Klein, Grady, and Yoram Bauman. The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change. (Illus.) Washington, DC: Island Press, 2014. This book provides a balanced analysis of climate change and fossil fuel use in cartoon form. What's not to like? The authors express deep concerns about what the future holds if we do not change our fossil fuel consumption behaviors, but they do an excellent job of presenting data and evidence about a highly polarized issue and allowing readers to draw their own conclusions. Humor eases the way for personal contemplation of serious issues. Some of the many complex concepts addressed...      Read more...
  • It's been a pretty rough season so far; you know it's bad when it snows the first day of spring! As I write this post there are floods in the Midwest, and several days ago it snowed across large parts of the country, including Colorado, New York, and Michigan. Nevertheless, I'm going trust that we will eventually see signs of more inviting weather that will entice us to head outdoors and explore the season. And in that spirit I offer up this bibliography published in the April 2015 issue of SB&F in which we share 28 books with a spring theme that can be used to engage children with the science of the season. Included are seven fiction selections that can be paired with the nonfiction...      Read more...
    Published 10 Apr 2015 11:48 AM by Maria Sosa
  • Like many people, I am fascinated by tardigrades, small invertebrates with 8 legs, segmented bodies, and mouth parts that make them look like nothing else in nature. Also known as water bears or moss piglets, they always capture my attention because they are certainly extraordinary looking. One might say that they are 50 parts grotesque and 50 parts adorable. While it's true that I always stop and stare at photos or videos of tardigrades, I actually know very little about them. This morning, a friend shared a link to a story about 3D-printed tardigrades . This inspired me to go on a quest for more information about the real thing, and here are some interesting facts I discovered: Tardigrades...      Read more...
  • National Wildlife Week is the National Wildlife Federation's longest-running education program designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife. I'd like to mark it this year by sharing the review of a very special book on wildlife featured in our February/March issue. Traer Scott's exquisite Nocturne: Creatures of the Night contains 42 portraits of nocturnal animals. These are classic studio-type portraits and not the kind of wildlife photography we are accustomed to seeing. Instead, the animals are shown against a black background that emphasizes their magnificence and beauty, compelling us to look at them in a fresh way. Nocturne: Creatures of the...      Read more...
  • National Readathon Day ( NRD) is a nation-wide marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24 from Noon – 4pm (in respective time zones). Sponsored by The National Book Foundation, and Penguin Random House, NRD asks book lovers across America to pledge to read for four hours today starting at noon. To help you find a good STEM book to read, we've added a section to our online Amazon store that links to 9 great science books for your Kindle . The list includes Kevin Fong's Extreme Medicine , winner of the 2015 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize in the Young Adult Category. In addition to reading a great book, you can join in the National Reading Day celebration by tweeting a picture of...      Read more...
    Published 24 Jan 2015 11:58 AM by Maria Sosa
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