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The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

2022 nominations are closed

AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize

The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. The prize is meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups.

The Prize will be awarded in the following categories: Children's Science Picture Book (prize to author and illustrator), Middle Grades Science Book (prize to author), Young Adult Science Book (prize to author), and Hands-On Science Book (prize to author).

Winning authors and illustrators will be honored at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Each winner will receive $1,500 and a commemorative plaque.

Visit the awards submission guidelines page from April 15 through July 19, 2021, to submit a book. To get the most up-to-date information on the prize, visit the prize website and follow the prize on Twitter and Facebook.

The AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books is sponsored by Subaru. We thank them for their generous support.


  1. Submission of books will be open from April 15 through July 19, 2021.
  2. Submitted books must have a publication date between July 31, 2020 and August 1, 2021.
  3. The SB&F Prizes cover all aspects of science, including technology, mathematics, medicine, history of science, and biographies of scientists. Only nonfiction, science books are eligible.
  4. Publishers may submit as many books as they wish in each category.
  5. Books published by AAAS, Science, or Subaru will not be eligible.
  6. The books must be in the English language.
  7. Books from a series must be submitted individually and will be judged individually.
  8. Books will be judged based on the aforementioned eligibility criteria.
  9. Winners of the SB&F Prize are not eligible to win consecutive years.
  10. The closing date for entries is July 19, 2021. No entries received after this date will be considered.


Please carefully read the criteria for each category before entering.


  1. The judging panel is selected by AAAS. The judges' decisions are final.
  2. Publishers of nominated books will agree to contribute up to 10 copies of the book for the judging process.
  3. In the event that a book chosen as a finalist for the Prize, publishers will agree to:
    • contribute up to 10 additional copies of the book for final judging
    • check with authors' availability to attend the virtual awards ceremony at the AAAS Annual Meeting, February 17-20, 2022.
  4. Publishers of winning books will agree to contribute up to 10 additional copies of the book.


Nominations are open from April 15 through July 19, 2021, for the 2021 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize. Visit the awards submission guidelines page to nominate a book.

For questions about a book's eligibility, please contact Sarah Ingraffea.



Children's Science Picture Book

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Teresa Martínez

Middle Grades Science Book

Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Shelley Tanaka

Hands-On Science Book

This is a Book to Read with a Worm by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, illustrated by Margaret McCartney

Young Adult Science Book

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another by Ainissa Ramirez


Visit the prize website to find previous winners listed by year and by category.



Each year, AAAS recognizes significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. Learn more about these awards and nominate a scientist, engineer, author, journalist or public servant for their outstanding work.

All award winners are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics* and scientific integrity.
*Breaches of professional ethics might include sexual misconduct, racial discrimination, or other ethical violations. Sexual harassment or retaliation for declining, objecting to, or reporting harassment or other sexual conduct may constitute a serious breach of professional ethics.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories. AAAS seeks as diverse a pool of award nominations as possible from a wide range of disciplines, institutional types, and geographical locations. Nominations that will result in a candidate pool having an equitable representation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged.