At the Royal Society

The Royal Society is the world-famous and historical organisation which promotes science in the UK. Its past presidents include such great figures as Wren, Pepys and Isaac Newton.

The society has an excellent book prize to promote science books for children and this year I was invited to be one of the judges to draw up a shortlist of six titles which will then be voted on by panels of kids from 150 schools. Being part of The 2016 Young People’s Book Award was a terrific experience and I really enjoyed the whole process.

At the start I was sent two big boxes of 45 science books to read. Wow, there are some wonderful non-fiction authors and illustrators out there! It was tremendously hard trying to pick the best but I found three that I thought were really outstanding.

After that it was down to London to the amazing home of The Royal Society, just off The Mall, where I met the other four judges to select the six books to go onto the 2016 Book Prize shortlist.

There was a lively debate but overall quite a lot of agreement. I was especially pleased to meet fellow judge Zoe Toft who is a book blogger, reviewer and fantastic fan of children’s non-fiction. The other judges all had science backgrounds and they were awesome too. He we are relaxing after the big decision:

That’s Zoe, second from left next to me

Here are the final six shortlisted books – all excellent – and I’m delighted to say that my three favourites made it onto the list: YAY! I won’t say which they are just yet….

The photographer then asked me to be my normal self…

I really enjoyed the day and was delighted to do something to promote #CNFbooks (children’s non-fiction). Do try and get hold of the books on the shortlist – they are wowsome.
And as for picking the overall winner (the author/illustrator get £10,000!) – that’s up to those kids on the judging panels. They are in for a TREAT.

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