Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2022 – Winner Announced!

7 March, 2023

Congratulations to Jackie McCann and Aaron Cushley whose thought-provoking read If the World Were 100 People was today declared the winner of this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

The Young People’s Book Prize highlights the finest and most accessible STEM books for under-14s. Young people from over 500 UK schools, science clubs and youth groups took part in the judging to choose their favourite science book from a shortlist of six titles selected by a panel of adult judges.

If the World Were 100 People explores the differences, similarities, challenges and privileges experienced by people around the world. Imagining the Earth’s population as a village of 100 people where every person represents 80 million people in the real world, the book offers a unique and accessible introduction to some of the big questions that affect us all.

Comments from the judges:

Professor Alan Wilson, chair of the 2022 adult judging panel, said: “The power of this book lies in its simple yet relatable numbers and powerful imagery, which conveys how much we all have in common but also how many people still do not have things many of us may take for granted, from clean water to the internet. I hope the data and ideas in this book will help the younger generation think about how we can work together to tackle these issues, and what the world’s ‘global village’ may look like in the future.”

Fellow adult judge and award-winning author Nathan Bryon added: “I was blown away by this book – the illustrations are so diverse, and you can really get a glimpse into everyone on our planet. This book is a brilliant way to understand the complexities of the world.”

Here’s what some of the young judges had to say about the winning book:

  • “It shows you the world isn’t like ‘Wonderland’. Not everyone is safe, and not everyone has food to eat.” – Latymer Upper School, London
  • “This book enlightened me about what is going on in the world today.” – Perth Academy, Scotland
  • “This book highlights issues many people have on the planet and reveals what we have in common.” – Tynecastle High School, Scotland

Also shortlisted for the Young People’s Book Prize 2022:

How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures by Roma Agrawal, illustrated by Katie Hickey (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Fourteen Wolves by Catherine Barr, illustrated by Jenni Desmond (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Beetles for Breakfast… and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways to Save the Planet by Madeleine Finlay, illustrated by Jisu Choi (Flying Eye Books)

Fantastically Great Women Scientists and their Stories by Kate Pankhurst (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Microbe Wars by Gill Arbuthnott, illustrated by Marianna Madriz (Templar Publishing)

Cover images of the five remaining shortlisted titles for the RS Young People's Book Prize 2022

Applications to judge next year’s Young People’s Book Prize will open in the summer term. Read our interview with science lead Dawn McCann from Hillside Primary School to find out more about running a young judges panel and the benefits of getting involved.

Logo for Young People's Book Prize