Finalists for 2019 Middle Grades Science Book Award Announced

AAAS and Subaru are proud to announce the finalists for the 2019 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Middle Grades Science Book category. The Prize celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults and is meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all ages. Longlists for all four categories were announced in September.

The 2019 winner will be selected from among the following finalists. (For information about a book, click on its cover, which will take you to a page with additional details about the title and a link to purchase it from Amazon.)

  • Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree, by Sally M. Walker. Henry Holt and Company. 2018.

    Today, the American chestnut is making a comeback. Narrative nonfiction writer Sally M. Walker offers a detailed background of chestnut history, and thorough descriptions of various potential restoration options. Both historical and modern sections feature personal profiles of several researchers, giving an intimate and accessible feel to the history and science.

  • Impact! Asteroids and the Science of Saving the World, by Elizabeth Rusch (Author) and Karin Anderson (Photographer). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2017.

    This book follows the work of scientists as they search for dangerous asteroids in space, study asteroids that have smashed into the ground, and make plans to prevent an asteroid strike if one ever threatens our planet.

  • Itch! Everything You Didn't Want to Know About What Makes You Scratch, by Anita Sanchez (Author) and Gilbert Ford (Illustrator). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2018.

    Itch combines history, anatomy, and funny illustrations to take readers on an exploration of what makes people itch. The book also provides tips on how to avoid—and soothe—the itch.

  • My First Book of Quantum Physics, by Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferron (Author) and Eduard Altarriba (Illustrator). Button Books. 2018.

    My First Book of Quantum Physics is an entertaining, illustrated guide for kids into the world of quantum physics. It explains key concepts and big ideas in a simple and accessible way, giving children a fun and engaging introduction to the fascinating and mysterious world of physics.

  • Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance, by Jane Drake and Ann Love. Annick Press. 2017.

    In this comprehensive look at rewilding, the authors present examples of how endangered animals have been rehabilitated and returned to their natural habitats. From pandas and peregrine falcons to jaguars and wolves, their stories testify to the fact that the extinction of species can be avoided.

  • Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle, by Erica Fyvie (Author) and Bill Slavin (Illustrator). Kids Can Press. 2018.

    Using the contents of an average kid’s backpack as a starting point, this book explores the production, use, and eventual end of products involving water, paper, food, plastic, clothing, metals, and electronics. The text offers information about the life cycle of common and necessary materials.

AAAS’s Science NetLinks will create lesson plans and other resources around the 2019 finalists, and once again the books will be offered to schools across the country as part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative. Through this partnership between AAAS and Subaru, more than 85,000 books were donated in 2018.

Winners will be announced in December and awarded at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., February 14-17, 2019.

The finalists for the children’s science picture book category was announced earlier in the week.