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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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  • With the goal of encouraging book clubs everywhere to choose a nonfiction science book to read and discuss, SB&F has launched its first four book club suggestions with accompanying reading guides. Many popular science books written today have gripping narratives, stranger than fiction storylines, and interesting insights in to current scientific issues. These characteristics make for great discussions of the book. No need to have in-depth knowledge of the subject at hand. Popular science books are written for the general public and are meant to give a broad, but fascinating, look at the world around us. From tales of adventure and discovery around the world to the complexities of the human...      Read more...
    Published 17 Jun 2010 10:29 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • As editor of SB&F I am always on the lookout for new, interesting and unique science books to share with our readers. I’d like to say that I am pretty successful at uncovering little known science books, having them reviewed, and publishing those reviews as quickly as possible. But once and awhile I miss one. Or nearly miss one, as is the case with a book that was recently brought to my attention (thanks to my friends at Science magazine’s Books et al column!). This gem of a little book is called You Can Count on Monsters: The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters by Richard Evan Schwartz. The book was published in February of this year by the science and technology publishers...      Read more...
    Published 10 Jun 2010 6:51 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • For 44 days the government has been scrambling to clean up and abate the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as the public stands by waiting, hoping for a solution. The numbers are bleak: 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day are pouring into the gulf. Assuming a rate of 19,000 barrels a day, about 35 million gallons of oil have been spilled to date (from the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group). Researchers now believe that the oil will reach not only the Gulf Coast beaches, but East Coast beaches as far north as Cape Hatteras, NC as well. News of the oil spill is abundant online, on TV, in newspapers. But if you are really interested in the science behind the spill check out Science...      Read more...
    Published 4 Jun 2010 7:14 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • There has been a lot of buzz around the AAAS Education Programs department (where SB&F resides) regarding the new book about Henrietta Lack’s interesting and important life and legacy. ( The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks written by Rebecca Skloot, Crown Publishing, 2010) So much interest in fact that our very own Dr. Shirley Malcom happily agreed to write a review of the book for SB&F. The enthusiasm of Dr. Malcom and others in our department for this book has inspired us to create SB&F Book Club guides for other important, engaging science books for general readers. We hope that these guides can serve as a tool and encourage book clubs all over the nation to choose a science...      Read more...
    Published 27 May 2010 11:09 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • Celebrated since 1919, Children’s Book Week is a week long event meant to encourage and foster a love of reading in young children. The week is marked with celebrations, special events, and activities at libraries, schools and bookstores for children that are designed to encourage a love of books. Children’s Book Week is administered by the Children’s Book Council . The Book Council has created a special website devoted to Children's Book Week . Here you will find bookmarks you can download and a variety of activities for kids and teens, plus tips and resources for teachers, librarians, publishers and booksellers. We’d like to recommend celebrating Children’s...      Read more...
    Published 11 May 2010 10:43 AM by Heather Malcomson
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  • Contextual teaching and learning helps students relate subject matter content to real world situations. It motivates students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives. Contextual teaching experiences can include such things as interdisciplinary activities across content areas and problem-based learning activities. A recent study published in the International Reading Association’s Reading Research Quarterly also suggests that contextual teaching can help improve a foundational element of reading comprehension—vocabulary. The April 23 issue of Science (Vol. 328. no. 5977, p. 406) summarized the new research: Can integrated approaches to literacy instruction...      Read more...
    Published 30 Apr 2010 3:00 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • We would like to congratulate Dr. Sallie (Penny) Chisholm on receiving the Alexander Agassiz Medal from the National Academy of Sciences for her “original contribution in the science of oceanography.” The NAS honored Penny at an awards ceremony on April 25 in conjunction with their annual meeting for her “pioneering studies of the dominant photosynthetic organisms in the sea and for integrating her results into a new understanding of the global ocean.” Along with being a preeminent oceanographer, Penny is also the co-author of this year’s SB&F Prize winning children’s book, Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life . If you have not seen this...      Read more...
    Published 26 Apr 2010 10:35 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • One of my very favorite children’s science book authors has re-launched a kid-friendly, fun, colorful, smart new website. After poking around the site this week, I thought it was definitely worth mentioning to our readers. Seymour Simon is a recipient of the SB&F Prize Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to children’s science literature. Seymour’s interest in science and passion for bringing science to kids shines through on his new website, www.SeymourSimon.com . The new site is easily navigable by children and is full of noteworthy features for children, parents and teachers. For children there are science jokes and riddles, an online science dictionary...      Read more...
    Published 20 Apr 2010 1:34 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • The April issue of SB&F is now available to subscribers. Please visit the current issue section to read the issue online or to download and print the issue. In this issue you’ll find a feature article on the children’s science series Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out. Learn about the history of this renowned series from current editor Phoebe Yeh. Several of the book’s celebrated authors and illustrators, such as Aliki, Wendy Pfeffer, and Anne Rockwell, talk about their experience writing and illustrating the series too. The April issue also includes over 50 new science books reviews. A few of my favorites reviewed this month are the latest installment in the Scientists in the...      Read more...
    Published 13 Apr 2010 7:58 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April. The month long celebration presents a great opportunity for us to feature a list of SB&F recommended books for children that integrate poetry and science. Here’s a look at a couple the poems you’ll find in the books featured on our list. Giant Sequoias from Poetrees by Douglas Florian Ancient seers Of three thousand years. Heavenly high. Friends to the sky. Spongy thick bark. Large as an ark. Gargantuan girth. Anchored in earth. Growing by degrees To world's tallest trees. Never destroy a Giant sequoia. Listen for Me from Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pong Poems by Joyce...      Read more...
    Published 26 Mar 2010 1:49 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • The first day of spring is just a few days away. Having made it through the snowiest winter in Washington, DC since records have been kept, I am exceedingly happy to welcome spring this year. This year, spring starts Saturday, March 20, because that is when the vernal equinox occurs. Equinoxes mark the onset of spring and fall and solstices mark when summer and winter begin. Both are points in time and space that mark a transition in Earth’s annual trip around the sun. During equinoxes the sun is directly above the Equator, while during solstices the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined away or towards the sun. That’s just a little bit of the science of spring! A few other...      Read more...
    Published 17 Mar 2010 10:24 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • As far as I am concerned Jean Craighead George is a national treasure! She has inspired a love of the natural world in thousands of children over the years with her beautiful stories. Probably best known for her books My Side of the Mountain and Julie of the Wolves , Jean has written over 100 books on about the environment and its inhabitants. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Jean at the AAAS Annual Meeting where she received the SB&F Prize Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished and lasting contributions to children’s science literature. She was so lovely in person and her passion and enthusiasm for writing about nature was palpable. Although she may move a little slower...      Read more...
    Published 2 Mar 2010 2:01 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • Please join us in honoring the SB&F Prize winners ! A celebration with authors, Robert Gardner, Molly Bang, Pamela S. Turner, Andy Comins, and Idan Ben-Barak. Here's the details: What: 2010 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Awards Ceremony & Cocktail Reception When: Saturday, February 20, 2010, 5:00pm – 6:30pm Where: San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, Del Mar Room, 333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego Why: Because great science books deserve to be celebrated! The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prizes are meant to encourage the writing...      Read more...
    Published 29 Jan 2010 1:55 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • This is my favorite time of the year to be the editor of SB&F! It’s this time of year that I get to call publishers to let them know that one of their books have been chosen as winner of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Sure, calling publishers is fun, they are always very excited to hear that their books are going to be honored by AAAS. But even more rewarding is talking to the authors, illustrators and photographers of these winning books. After reading through hundreds of science books each year, I relish the opportunity to hear the voice behind the book and share in their excitement. Every book that has been honored with the SB&F Prize shares at...      Read more...
    Published 7 Jan 2010 1:33 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • The new SB&F Online launched in August, but one major component of the site was missing at launch: the SB&F searchable database of reviews. The staff of SB&F decided to launch with out the availability of the searchable database because we were still working out some kinks. Now, four months later, kinks gone, our searchable database is up and running and available to our users. This is really exciting to me! As the editor of SB&F I use the SB&F database everyday. I use it to search for books to create bibliographies, to find books to compliment online lessons for Science Netlinks, to locate reviews of classic books, to create reading lists for other programs here at AAAS,...      Read more...
    Published 15 Dec 2009 10:34 AM by Heather Malcomson