2009 AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film Prizes help promote science literacy

February 11, 2009

Children's science books exploring sibling relationships in the animal world, global climate change, and neuroscience earned top honors in the 2008 AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film (SB&F) competition, sponsored by Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2009 prizes, intended to promote science literacy by drawing attention to the importance of good science writing and illustration, honored 10 authors, one illustrator, and a total of seven books. AAAS and Subaru co-sponsor the prizes to recognize recently published works that are scientifically sound and foster an understanding and appreciation of science in readers of all ages.

"These prizes encourage science literacy in children and young adults by recognizing authors who convey the excitement of science in ways that engage young minds," said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of its journal, Science.

The prizes this year recognized efforts across four categories: Children's Science Picture Books, Middle Grades Science Books, Hands-on Science/Activity Books, and Young Adult Science Books. Topics highlighted by this year's winners included a list of 100 steps that children can take to help "save the planet," plus a creative exploration of how the human brain works.

The winning books typically wind up in libraries, said Heather Malcomson, AAAS senior project associate who administers the AAAS/Subaru award. Podcast interviews with the winning authors and lesson plans based on the books are other ways that the award fosters scientific literacy, Malcomson added.

Winners will receive their awards -- $1,500 and a plaque - during the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting. The awards ceremony and reception will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, 13 February at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago.

"Subaru of America would like to congratulate the award winners for their outstanding contribution to science writing and illustration," said Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer, Subaru of America Inc. "This type of contribution is one that can be appreciated for generations to come."

The 2009 recipients are:

Children's Science Picture Books

Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World
Author: Steve Jenkins
Illustrator: Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin

Why are nine-banded armadillos always born as identical quadruplets? What motivates hyena cubs to fight to the death, while falcons play hunting games in the air? Jenkins and Page created the ultimate book for animal lovers.

Middle Grades Science Book

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientist and Kids Explore Global Warming
Authors: Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

To explain how scientists know that the Earth's climate is changing, authors Cherry and Braasch take young readers behind the science headlines to examine evidence from the natural world. The underlying message is that children can help make a positive difference.

Hands-on Science/Activity Book

True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet
Author: Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin
National Geographic Society

This activity book encourages families to take part in fun eco-adventures in the home and outdoors. Bright color illustrations and engaging text promote environmental awareness and conservation efforts.

Young Adult Science Books

Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life
Author: Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang

Authors Aamodt and Wang take readers on an investigation of how the human brain processes sensory and cognitive information, regulates emotional life, and forms memories. They also explore how human brains differ from those of other mammals, and reveal the mechanisms of dreaming.
About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

For more information on AAAS awards, see http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards/.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2007. In addition, Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero- landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

About Science Books & Film (SB&F)

Since 1965, Science Books & Film (SB&F) has been the authoritative guide to science resources, bringing expert information to bear on choices of materials for a library, classroom or institution. Published by AAAS, SB&F is the only critical review journal devoted exclusively to print and nonprint materials in all of the sciences and for all age groups. Every year, SB&F (www.sbfonline.com ) evaluates nearly 1,000 books, videos, DVDs and software packages for general audiences, professionals, teachers and students from kindergarten through college.

The awards will be bestowed at the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago on Saturday, 14 February. (See http://www.aaas.org/meetings.) For more information on these or other AAAS awards, go to http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards.

AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, dedicated to "Advancing science ∙ Serving society."

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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