The AAAS/SubaruSB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prizes, meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups, are awarded in four categories: Children’s Science Picture Books, Middle Grades Science Books, Young Adult Science Book and Hands-on Science/Activity Book. Previously, we announced the finalists in the Young Adult Category. We are pleased now to announce the Finalists for the 2015 Prizes in the Children's Science Picture Books, Middle Grades Science Books, and Hands-on Science Books categories. One book will be chosen as the winner in each category, and the authors will be honored at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA. In the Children's Science Picture Book category, both the author and illustrator will be honored.
Buried Sunlight: How
Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth, by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. NY: The
Blue Sky Press, 2014.
Acclaimed Caldecott artist and author Molly Bang teams up with
award-winning M.I.T. professor Penny Chisholm to present the fascinating,
timely story of fossil fuels. What are fossil fuels, and how did they come to
exist? This engaging, stunning book explains how coal, oil, and gas are really
"buried sunlight," trapped beneath the surface of our planet for millions
and millions of years. Now, in a very short time, we are digging them up and
burning them, changing the carbon balance of our planet's air and water. Using
simple language and breathtaking paintings, Bang and Chisholm present a clear,
concise explanation of the fossil-fuel energy cycle that began with the sun and
now runs most of our transportation and energy use in our world.
Have You Heard the
Nesting Bird, by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Park. NY: Houghton,
Mifflin, Harcourt, 2014.
In this book, we hear all the different bird calls in
counterpoint to the pervasive quiet of a mama bird waiting for her eggs to
hatch. While the sparrow, the woodpecker, the swallow, and other birds sing
with joyous abandon, the mother robin quietly sits and waits. This lovely book
helps children understand why. Fun and informative back matter takes the shape
of an interview so that readers learn more right from the bird’s "bill." Ken
Pak’s expressive illustrations, paired with Rita Gray’s melodious text, create what is sure to be an enduring picture book to be read and enjoyed by young naturalists again and
Puerto Rico, by Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth. NY: Lee & Low Books, 2013
Puerto Rican parrots lived on
the island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth
forever. In this compelling (and visually stunning) book, Roth and Trumbore
recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery
Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrot’s
story is a brief history of the island, from before the first human
settlers to the present day. With striking collage illustrations, a unique
format, and engaging storytelling, Parrots
Over Puerto Rico invites readers to witness the amazing recovery efforts
that have enabled Puerto Rican parrots to fly over their island once again.
Tiny Creatures: The
World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies, illus. by Emily Sutton. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2014.
All around the world — in the sea, in the soil, in the air,
and in your body — there are living things so tiny that millions could fit on
an ant’s antenna. They’re busy doing all sorts of things, from giving you a
cold and making yogurt to eroding mountains and helping to make the air we
breathe. If you could see them with your eye, you’d find that they all look
different, and that they’re really good at changing things into something else
and at making many more microbes like themselves! From Nicola Davies comes a
first exploration for young readers of the world’s tiniest living organisms. Emily Sutton's endearing illustrations make this important scientific subject engaging to the youngest readers.
Middle Grades Science Book
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific
Mystery, by Sandra Markle. Minneapolis,
MN: Millbrook Press, 2013.
Honeybees are a crucial part of our food chain. As they gather nectar
from flowers to make sweet honey, these bees also play an important role in
pollination, helping some plants produce fruit. But large numbers of honeybees
are disappearing every year...and no one knows why. Is a fungus killing them?
Could a poor diet be the cause? What about changes to bees' natural habitat? In
this real-life science mystery, scientists and beekeepers are working to answer
these questions...and save the world's honeybees before it's too late. Another great addition to Markle's critically acclaimed series.
Eyes Wide Open: Going
Behind the Environmental Headlines, by Paul Fleischman. Somerville, MA: Candlewick:
Paul Fleischman offers teens an environmental wake-up call
and a tool kit for decoding the barrage of conflicting information confronting
them. Science, politics, history, and psychology are joined to provide the
briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century Take 250 years of human
ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle
never before seen and in which suddenly everything needs rethinking – suburbs,
cars, fast food, cheap prices. This book explains the changing world, clearly
articulating the principles driving attitudes and events that have brought us
to this point, to the young audience whose future will be most affected by
Handle With Care: An
Unusual Butterfly Journey, By: Loree Griffin Burns Illustrated By: Ellen
Harasimowicz. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2014.
You may have seen the butterfly life cycle before in books, but never quite
like this. How do you raise a
butterfly? Award-winning team Burns and Harasimowicz take readers to a butterfly farm in Costa
Rica and show how it’s done. Stunning photographs and informative, engaging
text show how workers care for these delicate, winged creatures as they change
from eggs to caterpillars to pupae. Like any other crop, the butterflies will
eventually leave the farm. But where will they go? And just how do you ship a
butterfly? Very carefully! To discover how it works, follow these butterflies
on a remarkable journey!
by Pascal Lee. NY: Scholastic, 2013.
Lee, a planetary scientist
with the Mars Institute and the SETI Institute, explains what it takes to send humans to Mars--from spacesuits
and rovers to surviving subzero temperatures and raging dust storms. The United
States plans to send astronauts to Mars around 2035, and MISSION: MARS shows
kids how they could start training to join the first crew to the Red Planet!
Lee shows the "Future Mars Explorers"
the latest designs for spacesuits and exploration rovers. Readers will also
learn how to navigate a spaceship, search for alien life, and get a up-close look
at some of the world's leading space scientists at work. Mission: Mars is
visually-driven and written in exciting kid-friendly language. It acts as both
a training manual and a reference book for future Mars explorers!
Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by Patricia Newman,
illustrated by Annie Crawley Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2014.
Plastic is used to make everything from drink bottles and
bags to toys and toothbrushes. But what happens when it ends up where it
doesn't belong—like in the Pacific Ocean? How does it affect ocean life? Is it
dangerous? And exactly how much is out there? A team of researchers went
on a scientific expedition to find out by exploring the Great Pacific Garbage
Patch, where millions of pieces of plastic have collected. For nearly
three weeks at sea, researchers gathered bits of plastic and ocean organisms.
These samples helped them learn more about the effects of plastic in the ocean.
Follow along on the expedition to find out how scientists studied the Garbage
Patch—and what alarming discoveries they made.
Hands-on Science Book
Junk Drawer Physics:
50 Awesome Experiments that Don’t Cost a Thing, by Bobby Mercer. Chicago: Chicago
Review Press, 2014.
Physics teacher Bobby Mercer provides readers with more than
50 great hands-on experiments that can be performed for just pennies, or less. Each
project has a materials list, detailed step-by-step instructions with
illustrations, and a brief explanation of the scientific principle being
demonstrated. Junk Drawer Physics
also includes sidebars of fascinating physics facts, such as did you know the
Eiffel Tower is six inches taller in summer than in winter because its steel
structure expands in the heat? Educators and parents will find this title a
handy resource to teach children about physics topics that include magnetism,
electricity, force, motion, light, energy, sound, and more, and have fun at the
Kids Guide to
Exploring Nature, by Brooklyn Botanic Educators. NY: Brooklyn Botanic
This gorgeously illustrated guide will inspire children to
look closely at the world around them! Created by the experts at the Brooklyn
Botanic Garden, it teaches children how to observe environments as a naturalist
does and leads them on 24 adventures that reveal the complex ecosystems of
plants and animals in the woods, at the beach, and in a city park. Detailed,
scientifically based drawings help young scientists identify hundreds of North
American plants and animals, while dozens of fun projects include keeping a
journal, conducting field experiments, and exploring nature with all five
senses. It is a guide book, an inspiring environmental primer, a call to
action, and a hands-on science.
Plant a Pocket of
Prairie, by Phyllis Root. (Illus. by Betsy Bowen). Minneapolis, MN: University
of Minn. Press, 2014.
This inspiring and
exquisite children’s book introduces children to the endangered prairie
ecosystem and how we can help restore it. Phyllis Root and Betsy Bowen
take young readers on a trip to one of Minnesota’s important ecosystems—the
prairie—teaching children how changes in one part of the system affect every
other part. The book shows what happens when we work to restore the prairies,
encouraging readers to “plant a pocket of prairie” in their own backyards. 10
pages of detailed and informative back matter provide information that can be
shared by parents and teachers, and also extend the appeal of the book to upper
elementary aged students and above.
For more information about the prizes, see the judging criteria.
21 Oct 2014 3:50 PM