As part of the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting, the winners of this year's AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books received their honors at a reception on Saturday, February 13, in Washington, D.C.
AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books celebrate outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. Now in their second decade, the prizes are handed out annually in an effort to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups.
Honored at the event were:
- Sy Montgomery, author of The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk, in the Middle Grades Science Book category. Part of the award-winning Scientists in the Field series, Montgomery's eloquent book focuses on a group of scientists working on a remote South Pacific island, studying the decision-making behavior of octopuses.
- Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction, in the Young Adult Science Book category. Shapiro, an evolutionary molecular biologist, highlights in accessible text the cutting-edge field of bringing species back from extinction and the science behind what is involved, including genome modification.
- Melissa Caughey, author of A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, in the Hands-On Science Book category. Caughey's book, which evolved out of her website on raising a flock of backyard birds, engages kids by focusing on the skills they will need to acquire in order to help their own chickens flourish.
Shapiro's final remarks underscored the reason why quality science writing is so important, particularly for children and young adults: "I like the idea of being able to go out and have conversations about science with kids and adults who come up to me afterward and ask hard and interesting questions about the ethics of this and the ecology of this and the science of this. It's been a really wonderful experience."
Robin Page, who won the Children's Science Picture Book category for A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl, was also honored. Her first solo book as both author and illustrator answers questions young children may have about chickens with accessible and interesting text and illustrations that, as SB&F Editor-in-Chief Maria Sosa noted, just "pull you in" to her story.
Montgomery and Page are both repeat winners of their respective categories. Montgomery's book, Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, won in 2013. Page won with Steve Jenkins in 2009 for Sisters and Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World. Read more about these authors and their books in the Spotlight on Science Writers series. Additional Science NetLinks resources for previous winners are available on our prize collection page. Educators may also find this post on using award-winning children's science books to support the implementation of Common Core standards in the STEM classroom interesting.
Finalists for this year's AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books can be found here.
Photo Credits: (Top) Suzanne Thurston; (Body: Sy Montgomery; Melissa Caughey; Maria Sosa and Beth Shapiro) Kirstin Fearnley.