Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing by Clive Gifford (Ivy) has won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014.
The book, written with consultant Anil Seth and which was described by the judging panel as “both fascinating and fun”, explains how the science of optical illusions works.
The prize awards the book that best communications science to young people, and aims to inspire young people to read about science.
The winner was chosen by groups of young people in judging panels across the UK, with the shortlist chosen by a panel of scientists and experts.
The judges said: “Warning: this book will try to trick you! It is full of optical illusions you can try for yourself, and we love how interactive this is. What this book does really well is explain each trick of the eye through the science behind it. Both fascinating and fun.”
Professor James Hough, chairman of the judging panel and associate director of the Institute for Gravitational Research, Glasgow University, said: “Chairing the shortlisting committee for the Young Peoples Book Prize was a real educational adventure, making me wish I was young again. There was a remarkable range of really attractive books covering the majority of the sciences, medicine and mathematics suitable for children over a wide age range, and deciding between them was quite a challenge.”
The shortlisted books were What makes you YOU? by Gill Arbuthnott (A&C Black); How Animals Live by Christiane Dorion (Templar Publishing); We've Got Your Number by Mukul Patel (Kingfisher); The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets by Emily Bone (Usborne); and Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body by Katie Daynes (Usborne).