Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2017 shortlist revealed

26 May 2017

A raspberry tasting cloud, a caterpillar inspired spacesuit, the cost of a space toilet and other amazingly unexpected facts about space; a poetic journey throughout the animal kingdom, and a guide to creating monster marshmallows, sticky slime and other wacky experiments in your own home lab are just some of the creative and inspiring topics on offer in the six science books shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

UK publishers submitted their best science books for under-14s to the 2017 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize and now an adult judging panel has narrowed them down to the six best books. The prize celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people in an accessible, creative way and has been running for over 25 years. 

The overall winner of the annual prize will be selected entirely by groups of young people across the UK. The adult judging panel hand over the reins every year to young readers to make the final decision. The young readers judging panels are made up of up schools, science centres, reading clubs, community groups, scouts and brownies. 

More than 1,000 young people from across the country will be getting stuck into the six shortlisted books and will have the final say on the winner, which will be announced in November 2017. 

Chair of the judges Professor Christl Donnelly FMedSci FRS, said: “Serving as Chair of the judges was a fantastic experience. I was able to delve into nearly 100 books on all different areas and styles of science. It was really hard to whittle down to six books as there were so many lovely, innovative books and I wish we could’ve chosen more. The judging panel and I were looking for books that made you want to pick them up, read them, look at them again and tell all your friends about them but out of all those we’ve chosen the six best books and are excited to see what the children judges will make of them.”

The judging panel includes Professor Christl Donnelly FMedSci FRS Statistician and epidemiologist at Imperial College London; Dr Amélie Saintonge lecturer in Astrophysics at University College London; Ian Murphy Deputy Head teacher of Heron Hill Primary School in Cumbria; Lucy Hawking author, journalist and original creator of the George Greenby books, and Martin Chilton a culture and arts writer.

Their top picks are:

Find out more about the shortlisted books.