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Young People's Book Prize

Each year the Royal Society celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people through our Young People's Book Prize. 

The Prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the writing of excellent, accessible books for under-14s.

A panel of expert adult judges chooses a shortlist of six books, announced each May, before the winner is chosen by groups of young people in judging panels across the UK.

See all past winning and shortlisted titles and all past judges.

Involve your school or youth group 

Every year we invite school and youth groups to join our collection of judging panels from across the UK who pick the winner of the Young People's Book Prize.

75 judging panels receive a free set of shortlisted books, so this is a great opportunity to receive six brilliant books aimed at enthusing and exciting children about science.

Find out more about judging panels

Prize winner 2016

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Young People’s Book Prize 2016 is How Machines Work by David Macaulay.

How Machines Work book cover

The winner was chosen by over 1,500 young people in Judging Panels around the country and the Prize was presented at an award ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. 

What did the judges think?

Jenny, 9: I loved this book - it's the best book I've read. I did loads of the activities and love sitting with my friends and playing with the seesaw with the teddy on it.

Atiyaah, 12: An interesting book to read about machines a topic which is quite hard for me to understand.

Allegra, 10: Interesting, funny and good pictures. It is clear, but really scientific as well.

What did the adult judging panel think?

“This book isn’t just dry pages about what engineering is. It’s a very exciting story about a sloth that has to get somewhere and in order to get to where he’s going; he has to build levers, he has to build bridges. Each of the pages is about how he designs a solution to a problem - just what an engineer must do.”

Shortlist 2016

Recent winners

Robert Winston: Utterly Amazing Science (2015)

Clive Gifford: 'Eye Benders: the science of seeing and believing' (2014)

Rob Lloyd Jones: 'Look Inside Space' (2013)

Robert Winston and Ian Graham: 'Science Experiments' (2012)