Science Online | Books & Reports | Newsletters | SB&F | Annual Report | Store
Home About AAAS Programs Membership Publications News Career Resources
Publications

Science Books & Films

Triple-A S: Advancing Science, Serving Society

Publications of AAAS and Science


sbflogo Sign In | Create Account Advanced SB&F Search
Go Search

 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books 


Previous Winners of the SB&F Prizes

(Click HERE for a list of past year's finalists.)

 

2013 SB&F Prize Winners

 

The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prizes, established in 2005, are meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science book for all age groups. Solely supported by Subaru since their inception, the prizes recognize recently published works that are scientifically sound and foster an understanding and appreciation of science in young readers. This year’s finalists were selected by a selection panel made up of librarians, scientists, and science literacy experts. The panel selected 19 finalists and 4 winners out of nearly 170 books up for  onsideration across all four categories. From this distinguished group, four winners were selected.

The 2013 Prizes are notable because this is the first year that we have had repeat winners in any of the categories; and in fact we have two. Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm won in the Children’s Picture Book category in 2009 for their previous collaboration, Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life. Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz won in the Middle School Science Book category in 2011 for The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe.

Also of note this year is the depth of the entries in the Hands-on Science category. In previous years, the selection panel has had difficulty finding enough high quality books in the category to nominate as finalists. In those years, we have opted to award a Lifetime Achievement Prize to an author who has made a significant contribution to hands-on science books over the course of a career. This year, however, marked a great improvement in the genre and the panel identified five outstanding nominees. As inquiry and hands-on science are very important elements of science learning, we were heartened to find such a rich field of nominees.

Finally, we were also pleasantly surprised to find that many of the finalists were books either written by female scientists or highlighting the work of female scientists, including Sylvia Earle, Rachel Carson, Temple Grandin, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Loree Griffin Burns, and Terrie M. Williams. Books by or about female scientists were included in every category. All of these wonderful resources can play a role in sparking young girls to explore a career in science. In addition, Sy Montgomery’s excellent biography of Temple Grandin focuses not just on Grandin’s research and accomplishments, but also on the role her autism played not just in terms of obstacles, but also in terms of opportunities to see things differently. This is also an important message for children with autism or other disabilities because it provides them with a role model who broke barriers and made significant contributions to science and to society.

The winners will be honored at an Awards Reception on February 16th as part of the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

Children's Science Picture Book

Ocean Sunlight : How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas, by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm; illustrated by Molly Bang. Blue Sky Press, 2012.

 

Acclaimed Caldecott artist Molly Bang paints a stunning, sweeping view of our ever-changing oceans. In this timely book, Bang uses her signature poetic language and dazzling illustrations to introduce the oceanic world. From tiny aquatic plants to the biggest whale or fish, Bang and Chisholm present a moving, living picture of the miraculous balance sustaining each life cycle and food chain deep within the oceans. The lyrical text provides a clear explanation of the role of the sun in photosynthesis on land and seas as the ocean’s role in the food chain is introduced. Young readers are introduced to "the great invisible pasture of the sea," phytoplankton. Bang uses somewhat complex page designs to deliver considerable information about the way the ocean works, continuously creating a strong sequence of esthetic images. She often uses multiple frames to isolate specific interactions, while retaining an overall sense of unity.

Middle Grades Science Book

Temple Grandin : How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery.  Houghton Mifflin, 2012.

This is an effective and truly engaging biography that communicates a prodigious amount of information about autism. Temple Grandin, a pioneer for the humane treatment of animals by both the livestock and food industries, dealt with and learned to manage autism. Both cursed and blessed by autism, Temple, with the support and assistance of family and educators, learned to utilize the special talents she possessed because of the disorder to revolutionize the treatment of livestock, especially cattle, as they progress through the food supply chain, from birth on the farm to dinner for humans. The story of Temple Grandin's life and achievements is fascinating in its own right, but the accurate information on autism makes the book much more than just a biography. Grandin’s story provides a great example for children about succeeding against the odds, not just because of her autism but also because of her persistence in establishing her credibility and scientific acumen as a lone women in a male dominated field. The book is written at a level that is high enough to make it interesting and educational, yet simple enough that middle or junior high school students could read and learn from it. 

Hands On Science Book

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery From Your Own Backyard, by Loree Griffin Burns; photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz.  Henry Holt, 2012. 

With informative and engaging text and high-quality photographs, Citizen Scientists introduces children (and adults) to 4 projects in which participation of ordinary people is part of important research. The projects profiled are Monarch Watch, in which citizens catch, tag, or report information from tagged butterflies; the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in which citizens count winter birds ; Frog Watch which involves listening for frog and toad calls; and Lost Ladybug in which citizens help chronicle ladybug abundance and diversity. Each chapter describes the project and its importance while reporting on the experience of young people who are participating. There is much information about the butterflies and birds, frogs and ladybugs throughout the book. This is a science book that will definitely lure in young readers and will leave them anxious to participate and be informed about these creatures that for the most part live right in our backyards.

Young Adult Science Book

The Odyssey of KP2: An Orphan Seal, a Marine Biologist, and the Fight to Save a Species, by Terrie M. Williams. Penguin Press.

 

 

Williams’ interesting, well-told story of a single Hawaiian monk seal pup illustrates how scientific research increases knowledge while helping draw attention to the fate of a declining species. Her story is a good mix of “hands on” science and how human and animal culture play roles in the natural cycle of life. She also poses for readers the question of the value and appropriateness of government intervention in helping preserve species for scientific research. Because the book focuses around a few key personalities, it provides students with an up-close look at scientists. Additionally, the presence of a female scientist opens up the possibility that girls reading The Odyssey of KP2 will be more likely to pursue science when they see it in the context of this story, especially since the narrative conveys not only Williams’ work, but also how she developed into a scientist, and her passion for her work - all good things for young people to see. 

The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books is sponsored by Subaru.

 

2012 SB&F Prize Winners

Read more about the winners in the AAAS News article.

Children's Science Picture Book

A Seabird in the Forest: The Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet. Joan Dunning. (Illus. by the author.) Boyds Mill Press, 2011.  

Focusing on one pair of murrelets and their newborn chick, the author reveals the hidden nest in the canopy of the old-growth forests and the secret life of these birds before their fledgling sets off for the sea. 


Middle Grades Science Book

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery. Sandra Markle. Millbrook Press, 2011. 

Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwide in this real-life science mystery. .


Young Adult Science Book

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle. Thor Hanson. Basic Books,  2011.

In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Vicki Cobb 

Sometimes referred to as the “Julia Child of hands-on-science,” Vicki Cobb is the highly regarded author of more than eighty-five nonfiction books for children.   

 

2011 SB&F Prize Winners

Children's Science Picture Book

Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge. Joanna Cole. (Illus. by Bruce Degen; from the Magic School Bus Series.) Scholastic, 2010.  

Read more about this book.          


Middle Grades Science Book

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe. Loree Griffin Burns. (Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz; from the Scientists in the Field Series.) Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 

Read more about this book.


Young Adult Science Book

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca Skloot. Random House, 2010.

Read more about this book.


Hands-On Science Book

The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science. Sean Connolly. (Illus.) Workman, 2010. 

Read more about this book.

 

 

2010 SB&F Prize Winners

SB&F Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Robert Gardner, award-winning author of more than 100 hands-on science books for children and young adults.

Read more about Mr. Gardner. 


Children's Science Picture Book

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life. Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm. Blue Sky Press, 2009.

Read more about this book.

 

Middle Grades Science Book

The Frog Scientist. Pamela S. Turner. (Photographs by Andy Comins; from the Scientists in the Field Series.) Houghton Mifflin, 2009.

Read more about this book.

 

Young Adult Science Book

  

Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes. Idah Ben-Barak. Basic Books, 2009.

Read more about this book.



Outstanding Science Series
  

Let's-Read-and-Find-Out. HarperCollins.

Read more about this series.

 


2009 Winners

Lifetime Acheivement Award

Jean Craighead George is an award-winning author of over 100 children's science books, including Newbery Medal winner, Julie of the Wolves and most recently, The Wolves Are Back.

Read more about Jean.

Children's Science Picture Book

Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World. Steven Jenkins & Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2008

Read more about this book. 

Middle Grades Science Book

How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists & Kids Explore Global Warming. Lynne Cherry & Gary Braasch. Dawn, 2008

Read more about this book.

 

Young Adult Science Book

Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life. Sandra Aamodt & Sam Wang. Bloomsbury, 2008

Read more about this book.

 

Hands-on Science Book

True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet. Kim McKay & Jenny Bonnin. National Geographic, 2008

Read more about this book.

 

__________________________________________________________________________
2008 Winners  
Children's Science Picture Book
Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures Concealed and Revealed by David Schwartz and Yael Schy, with illustrations by Dwight Kuhn. Tricycle Press, 2007.

Read more about this book.

   
Middle Grades Science Book
Dinosaur Eggs Discovered: Unscrambling the Clues! by Lowell Dingus, Luis M. Chaippe, and Rodolfo Coria. Twenty-First Century Books, 2007.

Read more about this book.

   
Young Adult Science Book
The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston. Random House, 2007.

Read more about this book.

   
Hands-on Science Book
  Exploratopia by Pat Murphy. Little Brown & Company, 2006.

Read more about this book.

___________________________________________________________________________ 

2007 Winners
Children's Science Book
An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston, with illustrations by Sylvia Long. Chronicle Books, 2006.

Read more about this book.

   
Middle Grades Science Book
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Read more about this book.

   
Young Adult Science Book
Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations by Eric Dinerstein. Island Press, 2006.

Read more about this book.

   
Hands-on Science Book
Thomas Edison for Kids: His Life and Ideas: 21 Activities by Laurie Carlson. Chicago Review Press, 2006.

Read more about this book.

____________________________________________________________________________   

2006 Winners
Children's Science Picture Book
Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Ann Jonas. HarperCollins, 2005.

Read more about this book.

   
Middle Grades Science Book

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands
, written and photographed by Sneed B. Collard, III. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

Read more about this book.

   
Young Adult Science Book
Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives by Jeanette Farrell. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005.

Read more about this book.

   
Hands-on Science Book


The Amateur Naturalist by Nick Baker. National Geographic Press, 2005.

Read more about this book.