Northampton School for Boys


Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2017

Royal Society Young Peoples Book Prize thbs

We proudly present the NSB Judging Panel 2016: Harry Briggs 9S, Shakeel Osmani 9P, Prince Murandu 9J, Jake Pedley 8S and Alfie Pullen 8I

The panel was chaired by Mrs Hennah.

Each year the Royal Society celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people through the Young People's Book Prize. The prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promote the writing of excellent, accessible books for under-14s. A panel of expert adult judges choose a shortlist of six books, from which the winner is chosen by groups of young people in judging panels across the UK.

The books and what we thought of them:

Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: How do flowers grow? By Katie Daynes, illustrated by Christine Pym

Shakeel, aged 13, thought that, “This is very good for younger children, very colourful. A good way to learn as well as looking at the pictures the flaps let young ones have fun.”

How Machines Work by David Macaulay

Jake, aged 12, said, “I didn’t feel I should read, just play.”

Alfie also aged 12, thought, “It is good, all the pop-ups and flaps makes it interesting and easy to read.”

Tree Tops in Fact: How to Change the World by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Esme Lonsdale

Prince, age 12, liked “the use of images making it clear with less writing” but it wasn’t his favourite.

Project Body by John Farndon

This was rated most highly by Alfie he thought that, “It was good for older children as the layout made it tricky to read”. Shakeel agreed saying, “the writing is very complex but the facts are interesting. I recommend it for children over 10 years old.”

Rebel Science by Dan Green, illustrated by David Lyttleton

Of all the books reviewed this was the one which produced the most polar views.

Harry, aged 13, loved it “I love the layout and the way it gets you involved.”

Prince liked the way it was presented but said, “it need bigger writing to help people who find it difficult to read.”

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Roger Simo

Harry said, “I like the amount of pictures but it could be made easier to read for younger people. I love some of the jokes.”

Jake thought it was great and set out like a comic, Alfie was in agreement commenting that, “the text is easy to read and I like the layout.”

The winner chosen by NSB judges with the score 17/20

How Machines Work by David Macaulay

This book is packed with moving parts and develops an understanding of physics through the sloths attempt to escape the zoo. Prince summed the book up well, “enough text is used around the book to bring interest to the reader. It could easily get broken and certain pieces get lost.”

It had a huge appeal and the boys all wanted to interact with it playing before reading! However they all had concerns about its cost and the likelihood of it getting damaged.

In second place with a score of 16/20

The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell

We all liked this brightly coloured, fun and appealing book and felt that it was very topically featuring Tim Peake. Shakeel told me, “I like the book; it is very informative and interesting.

Our results and comments were sent back to the Royal Society to help determine the national winner. 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.

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

The books are available in the library for you to read.