The Royal Society: Young People’s Book Prize 2020

The Royal Society Young People's Book Prize aims to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science. It also supports the writing of excellent, accessible STEM books for under-14s.

The shortlist was selected by an adult judging panel, chaired by Professor Mike Kendall FRS, including Cressida Cowell, the Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, and former Blue Peter presenter and author Konnie Huq.

Then it was over to the scrutinising eyes of over 13,000 young judges, drawn from over 500 schools, science centres, and community groups from across the UK, to read and declare their champion. The winner was announced at a virtual award ceremony in March 2021.

These groups can be formed anywhere, from schools and libraries to youth groups, scout/brownies or science centres. Participation is open to any group under 14 who are able to read and discuss the shortlist and vote for what they think is the best book.

Each group taking part mirrors the adult short-listing panel, forming their own judging panel. They elect their own Chair, hold judging meetings, discuss the merits of each book and submitting their vote and comments to us to collate and determine the winner. All participating groups have an equal say in deciding the winner. Each group receives a judging pack with all the information they need to take part. The results from all the groups are then collated to determine the winner.

Over 450 judging panels receive a free set of shortlisted books – it’s a great opportunity to receive six brilliant books aimed at enthusing and exciting children about science. You can sign up here for 2021.

Full details of the 2020 shortlist can be found here together with videos about getting involved and other resources for schools

Winner 2020: Cats React to Science Facts by Izzy Howell. ISBN: 978-1526310538 (Wayland)

Judge and Royal Society Research Fellow Professor Rosalind Rickaby said: “This book makes science fun and engaging by breaking down difficult information in a relatable way. The book introduces topics like forces, energy and climate change — the real fundamentals — in a fun and engaging way” A book that contains adorable cat images together with actually amazing facts make this an irresistible read. A completely brilliant concept for book that will most definitely be read with pleasure. Real learning by stealth!


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