How can we inspire the next generation of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs? Publishers across the UK have submitted their best recent books communicating science to young people to the 2012 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

An adult judging panel – comprising scientists, a teacher, an inventor and one self-confessed ‘daredevil science geek’ – have narrowed down the choice to a shortlist of six books. Each of the shortlisted books should prove inspiring to young readers and the winning book will be selected entirely by groups of young people from over 100 schools and youth groups.  These groups together form a judging panel that will look at all the shortlisted books and choose a winner.

Dr Andrea Brand FRS FMedSci, Chair of the judges said: “The books on this year’s shortlist are all very different, but each of them uses skilful writing and creative design to get across a huge range of scientific content.  Some of the books cover well-trodden subjects in unusual ways, while some of them explore areas that we don’t often see in science books for young people, but all of them manage to get the science across in a way that is fun, fresh and engaging.  We can’t wait to find out what the real experts – our judging panels from schools and youth groups across the UK – think of them!”

You can keep up to date with all the news from the Young People’s Book Prize, including information for and about the judging panels, on our Scribbles blog.

The six books shortlisted by the judges are:

  • How the Weather Works, by Christiane Dorion, illustrated by Beverley Young (Templar Publishing)
  • Out of this world: All the cool bits about space, by Clive Gifford (Buster Books)
  • Plagues, pox and pestilence, by Richard Platt, illustrated by John Kelly (Kingfisher)
  • Science Experiments, by Robert Winston and Ian Graham (Dorling Kindersley)
  • See Inside Inventions: An Usborne Flap Book,by Alex Frith, illustrated by Colin King (Usborne)
  • The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins, illustrated by Dave McKean (Bantam Press)

The winner will be announced on 15 November 2012.

The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize did not take place in 2008 – 2010 due to funding issues but from 2011 the Prize is offered thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

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