ASE Book of the Year 2023 - Shortlisted Winners Announced

2023 Shortlists

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for ASE’s Book of the Year 2023. As with previous years we have had lots of a lovely submissions and it been a tough choice for our reviewers. We want to thank all those who submitted publications and the authors and illustrators for all their hard work in producing some very high-quality books.

This year we have launched two shortlist categories, one for primary and one for secondary. We are also excited to introduce a Reader’s Choice award and we want to know which books will get your vote! We are asking readers to nominate which books they would want to win and to consider several factors, including content (e.g. subject knowledge), visual appeal and writing style. You can submit your reader’s choices here.

The Reader’s Choice award will be given in addition to the usual judge’s choice. To vote please use the links below:

Primary Category Reader's Choice / Secondary Category Reader's Choice

Primary Shortlist

The Bedtime Book of Impossible Questions

By Isabel Thomas, Illustrated by Aaron Cushley

A fabulous book full of the brilliant questions that children bombard, bamboozle and bewilder grown-ups with every day. A great bedtime read, which will develop children’s curiosity. This is a difficult book to put down, so you may end up reading more than one question and answer per bedtime. The illustrations complement the text perfectly. Pick up a copy of the book if you want to be able to answer questions such as ‘Could I swim in ice cream?’

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Gary Vity

By Jules Pottle, Illustrated by Rufus Cooper

This is a fantastic story all about a young child called Rosa. She goes on a quest, along with her Italian grandmother, in search of the mysterious Gary Vity, who she thinks is playing tricks on her.  Along the way, Rosa learns all about gravity (which turns out to be a force and not a fictional character after all).  This is the perfect way to introduce the topic of forces to children, through a wonderfully funny and beautifully illustrated story. Definitely a book to add to your class library or home bookshelf. One not to miss.

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The Tigers’ Tale

By Catherine Barr. Illustrated by Tara Anand

This is a dramatic conservation story, which illuminates the importance of working together to protect one of Earth’s precious animals. This informative text shares the plight and real-life story of the tigers who roam the forests and grasslands of Asia. It highlights how the tigers’ numbers have dropped from 100,000 to 4,000. The serious message of The Tigers’ Tale is nicely conveyed and is a highly engaging read. A beautifully illustrated text.

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Darwin and Hooker

By Alexandra Stewart, Illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton

What an immersive read! We have no doubt that you will love reading about lifelong companions, biologist Charles Darwin and botanist Sir Joseph Hooker. Spanning many years, countless adventures and numerous letters, this is the story of one of the greatest friendships the science world has seen. This is a highly relatable tale, and the amazing illustrations really bring the characters of Charles and Joseph to life. You may even have a tear in your eye by the end.

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Paper World: Human Body

By Ruth Symons, Designed and Paper engineered by Richard Ferguson, Illustrated by Gail Armstrong

You may have seen pop-up books before, but this book is the next generation of pop-up. ‘A one-of-a-kind paper-cut book where the human body comes to life!’ Children (and adults!) will adore poring over this book and peeking behind the superbly crafted flaps to find the hidden gems of knowledge explaining how each part of the body works. I think that this is the first time I have fully understood about the structure of the brain! 

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Secondary Shorlist

Organs, Systems, and Surgery (Oxford Biology Primers Series)

By William Fullick and James Fullick

A wonderfully written book that budding medics as well as their biology teachers will find valuable. Written primarily for 16-19 year-old students, this primer covers the anatomy and physiology of the key organ systems in the human body. It provides students with an overview of the anatomical details and physiological principles of the organ systems of the body and discusses the pathophysiology of common diseases that can affect them. 

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The Cell – The Heart of All Life

By Ben Martynoga. Illustrated by Moose Allain

An engaging page-turn, this book is an interesting and fun read that covers more than you might expect in 150 pages! With full colour illustration, the book is brought to life for the reader, taking them through the fascinating story of life’s building blocks! After all, none of the fabulously diverse range of all life on Earth could exist without the astonishing workings of cells.

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The Gene – What Makes You, You?

By Ben Martynoga, Illustrated by Moose Allain

Your definitive guide to what makes you, you! This book will help bring science to life for both children and adults alike and take you through all the incredible things that e can learn from gene science. It clearly and accessibly explains the code that all life uses to make more of their species – and how mutations make every single one of us individual and unique!

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