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Subaru of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Announce the 2020 AAAS/Subaru Book SB&F Prize Winners

Subaru Celebrates Outstanding Science Writing and Illustration for Children and Young Adults Through the “Subaru Loves Learning” Initiative

Published 01-27-20

Submitted by Subaru of America, Inc.

Above: Children™s Science Picture Book: Moth: An Evolution Story, by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Below: Middle Grades Science Book: Owling: Enter the World of Mysterious Birds of the Night, by Mark Wilson.

 Today, Subaru of America, Inc., along with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), announced the winners of the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. A powerful and visually spectacular evolution story of animal survival; a one-of-a-kind look into the mysterious lives of owls; an introduction to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes; and the art of cracking ciphers and cryptography are the stories told by the winners of the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books.

The award program, now in its 15th year, aims to spur the creation of new, high-quality books about science for children of all ages. Awards are given in four categories: children’s science picture book, middle grades science book, young adult science book and hands-on science book. The prizes are presented to the authors, except in the case of the picture book award, which is given to both the author and the illustrator. As part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative, Subaru and AAAS will donate the winning books to K-12 schools across the country through their local participating Subaru retailers. Last year, Subaru along with 541 retailers, participated and donated over 91,000 books to local schools. Since the program’s inception in 2015, the Subaru Loves Learning initiative has provided over 278,000 books to K-12 schools across the country.

“At Subaru, we believe education is a fundamental right and are dedicated to supporting organizations, like AAAS, to broaden the world of children through the study of science and innovation,” said Thomas J. Doll, President and Chief Executive Officer, Subaru of America Inc. “Through the Subaru Loves Learning initiative and our partnership with AAAS, Subaru of America and our retailers have been able to provide an enriching and more accessible science education for K-12 schools by helping to recognize and donate books that enlarge the world of science for children. We congratulate this year’s award winners, whose books will inspire the next generation of science leaders.”

Judged by panels of librarians, scientists and educators, the winning works feature accurate science and cannot perpetuate misconceptions or stereotypes. The criteria also require that each book be age-appropriate: For the youngest readers, a winning picture book should pique their curiosity about the natural world around them; for older readers, books should encourage the discussion and understanding of scientific ideas. Hands-on science books for any age must include inquiry-based activities that encourage problem-solving skills.

Winners will be honored at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in February.

The Winners:

Children’s Science Picture Book
Moth: An Evolution Story, by Isabel Thomas. Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2019.

Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden. Until the world begins to change... Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot. In a beautiful landscape changed by humans how will one little moth survive? A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children.

Middle Grades Science Book
Owling: Enter the World of the Mysterious Birds of the Night, by Mark Wilson. Storey Publishing, 2019.

From Hedwig, the Snowy Owl of Harry Potter fame, to Winnie-the-Pooh’s beloved friend Owl, this wide-eyed bird of the night has found its way into young hearts and imaginations everywhere. Owling invites young readers into the world of real-life owls, to learn about their fascinating behaviors and abilities. Wildlife photojournalist and nature educator Mark Wilson presents a one-of-a-kind look into the mysterious lives of these distinctive birds. Dramatic images of the 19 owl species of North America nesting, flying, hunting, and catching prey are accompanied by information about the birds’ silent flight, remarkable eyes and ears, haunting calls, and fascinating night life. Kids will learn how to spot owls; identify their calls, plumage, and pellets; and even carry on a hooting conversation with a nearby owl.

Young Adult Science Book
Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live, by Rob Dunn. Basic Books, 2018.

Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination. In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution. These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us–prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.

Hands-On Science Book
Can You Crack the Code?: A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography, by Ella Schwartz. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2019.

Codes can carry big secrets! Throughout history, lots of good guys and lots of bad guys have used codes to keep their messages under wraps. This fun and flippable nonfiction features stories of hidden treasures, war-time maneuverings, and contemporary hacking as well as explaining the mechanics behind the codes in accessible and kid friendly forms. Sidebars call out activities that invite the reader to try their own hand at cracking and crafting their own secret messages. This is the launch of an exciting new series that invites readers into a STEM topic through compelling historical anecdotes, scientific backup, and DIY projects.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. 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. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

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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, as well as Science Translational MedicineScience Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science AdvancesScience Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see


Diane Anton
+1 (856) 488-5093
Subaru of America, Inc.
Anne Q. Hoy
+1 (202) 326-6696
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