The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books celebrate outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prizes are meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups. AAAS believes that, through good science books, this generation, and the next, will have a better understanding and appreciation of science.2010 Winners:
The prizes emphasize the importance of good science books and encourage children and young adults to turn to science books, not only for information, but for enjoyment too!
Children’s Science Picture Book
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life (Blue Sky, 2009) by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm.
This account of photosynthesis is narrated by the sun. Shining on every page, it celebrates its power with bursts of bright yellow connecting with the greens of the Earth. Circular paintings emphasize the continuity of nature, while the spare, poetic narrative describes the process of converting energy and carbon dioxide into sugar. Back matter gives further information about the scientific process of photosynthesis.
Middle Grades Science Book
The Frog Scientist (Houghton, 2009) by Pamela S. Turner with photographs by Andy Comins.
Discusses the work of Tyrone Hayes and his efforts to study and protect frogs, and follows Hayes into the field with his students to perform experiments with various types of frogs.
Young Adult Science Book
Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes (Basic Books, 2009) by Idan Ben-Barak.
Australian microbiologist Ben-Barak gives an enthusiastic tour of single-celled life. Avoiding jargon, he adopts colloquial language that illustrates how the world works for, say, E. coli. Fun facts are one attraction of Ben-Barak’s work, another is the importance the author accords to what microbes do to us. Perhaps readers will become furious hand washers after learning about the culpability of viruses and bacteria in diseases; perhaps they’ll be inspired by the possibilities of enlisting them to kill cancer or clean up pollution; certainly, they’ll be better informed by Ben-Barak’s entertaining approach.