Young People’s Book Prize

The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2015 is now underway and groups of young people from across the UK will choose a winner.


Each year the Royal Society awards a prize to the best book that communicates science to young people. The prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the best science writing for the under-14s.

Publishers across the UK submitted their best recent books and an adult shortlisting panel has narrowed down the choice to a shortlist of six.

The winning book will be selected entirely by groups of young people from schools and youth groups around the UK. Each group forms a Judging Panel that looks at all the shortlisted books and chooses a winner.

Each shortlisted book will receive prize money of £1000 and the winner will receive £10,000.

Shortlist 2015

365 Science Activities

by Various authors (Usborne)

The judges said: “Children are hard-wired to do experiments, to handle things with their own hands, to get a feel for how things work and why they work. This books is a wonderful resource for children who want to create their own experiments and find out more about how everything around them works.”

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor

by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Brian Biggs (Amulet)

The judges said: “It’s a great balance of English and Science and if you are interested in either of those things, this is really the book to read this year.”

Jake’s Bones

by Jake McGowan-Lowe (Tick Tock – an imprint of Octopus Books)

The judges said: “This book has a wonderful personal feel. It’s the story of one boy’s collection and his own fascination with bones. It will push children not just to learn from a book but also to go out and explore the countryside.”

Night Sky Watcher

by Raman Prinja (QED Publishing Inc.)

The judges said: “Night Sky Watcher is a great introduction to stars and will definitely get you out looking for them. It introduces you to well-known stars and constellations like The Plough and Leo and then encourages you to star hop to planets and galaxies you may not have come across before, all the while explaining our amazing universe.”

Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes

by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker Books)

The judges said: “You might not have even heard of microbes before reading this book however it brings to life beautifully what they are and why they are so important. It’s also an absolutely gorgeous picture book.”

Utterly Amazing Science

by Professor Robert Winston (DK)

The judges said: “It’s a lovely book. The pop-ups beautifully illustrate a whole wide range of science from atomic science to volcanic eruptions. We also think the hand-on experiments it suggests will be very popular  with a young audience.”

The shortlisting panel are:

  • Professor John Burland FRS – Emeritus Professor of Soil Mechanics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London
  • Dr Stephanie Schorge – Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Institute of Neurology, University College London
  • Katie Thistleton – Television presenter and host of the CBBC Book Club
  • Dr Shaun Long – English teacher at Royal Society Associate School, Bodmin College, Cornwall
  • Julia Eccleshare – Writer, broadcaster and lecturer, and the Guardian's children's books editor

Professor John Burland FRS, chair of the judging panel: “It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience reading all of the books entered this year. We think the shortlist has enough in it to interest young people from all sides. These books will definitely make science accessible to people who might feel that it’s not. It was important to the judges that the shortlist cover the full spectrum of science and exemplified what makes it so exciting – the shortlist definitely delivers on that aim. It’s now over to the young judges to select what they think is the top book!”

Previous winners

The previous winners are listed below. 

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Royal Society Young People's Book Prize

Announced 14 May 2015

Announced November 2015



The winning book is chosen by groups of young people from across the UK

See the Judging Panel page for more information.

The Prize is for books written for young people aged up to 14 that have science as a substantial aspect of their content, narrative or theme. Publishers are invited to submit entries in January. Each shortlisted book receives a monetary prize.