2016 Short List Announced

Young Readers

Monster Science: Could monsters survive(and Thrive)in the Real World?

Written by Helaine Becker and Phil McAndrew

Kids Can Press

5 Giraffes 

Written by Anne Innis Dagg

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Inside Your Insides: Guide to the Microbes That Call You Home

Written by Claire Eamer and illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay

Kids Can Press


Adult Readers

At Sea With the Marine Birds of the Raincoast

Written by Caroline Fox

Rocky Mountain Books

North America in the Anthropocene

Written by Robert William Sandford

Rocky Mountain Books

Bad Singer

Written by Tim Falconer

House of Anansi

100 Million Years of Food

Written by Stephen Le

Harper Collins


Leaf image section divider

2016 Lane Anderson Young Readers Award Submissions

Young Readers

5 GIRAFFES by Anne Dagg

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

5 Giraffes shares the stories of five celebrated giraffes: The reticulated giraffe Lmara lives a free life one would wish for all animals. Young Safari, one of the first giraffes ever to be born by artificial insemination, is an important member of a scientific research team. Brave Gemina is an example of a giraffe’s ability to overcome a natural disability in a zoo. Foo8 lives in Jenya and illustrates the deep love a mother can have for her calf, and Msitu demonstrates how learning can benefit animals in captivity.


DEEP ROOTS by Nikki Tate

Orca Book Publishers

Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element—water, air, fire and earth—and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and liveable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world. Facts about trees and hands-on activities throughout help readers discover ways to get to know our giant neighbours better.


INSIDE YOUR INSIDES by Claire Eamer and Marie-Eve Tremblay

Kids Can Press

None of us are ever really alone, not with the trillions and trillions of microbes that call our bodies home. Recent scientific research has uncovered just how interdependent our relationships with these tiny hitchhikers are, and that lots of them are actually good for us! Filled with intriguing information and just enough yuck factor, kids will be thrilled to discover what a big deal these small critters who live in and on their bodies are. No hand sanitizer required!


MONSTER SCIENCE by Helaine Becker and Phil McAndrew

Kids Can Press

Welcome to Monster Science, where you’ll meet six of the world’s most fearsome creatures and put them under the microscope to determine fact from fiction. Could monsters really exist? What science would make that possible?  WARNING: what you discover might surprise – and even terrify – you!


STORIES OF THE AURORA by Joan Galat and Lorna Bennett

Whitecap Books

High above the Earth, glowing bands of color dance, shimmer, and soar across the night sky. Whether you know them as the northern or southern lights, auroras are one of nature’s most dazzling spectacles. It’s hard not to marvel – why do they exist? Joan Marie Galat explores the answer in this addition to the Dot to Dot in the Sky series, revealing the incredible cosmic circumstances that lead to such brilliant displays of light.


THE TOAD by Elise Gravel

Tundra Books

As a child, Elise Gravel was already fascinated by disgusting little creatures. At three-and-a-half, she founded the Organization for the Defense of Disgusting Critters, of which she was both president and the only member. Nowadays, when she’s not busy petting a toad, she writes and illustrates strange children’s books.


WORMS FOR BREAKFAST by Helaine Becker and by Kathy Boake

Owl Kids

If you were a platypus living in a zoo, that would make one dee-lish dish. Just mix in some crayfish and earthworms, plus a pinch of live fly pupae-and breakfast is served!

Curious to see what other zoo animals eat? Then crack open this one-of-a-kind cookbook with real recipes from zoos around the world. You’ll also find fascinating facts on how zookeepers feed the baby animals, challenge their charges to stay active, and create balanced diets for all your favorite carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and insectivores.


ZAP! NIKOLA TESLA TAKES CHARGE by Monica Kulling and Bill Slavin

Tundra Books

Growing up in Smiljan, Croatia, Nikola Tesla dreamed about harnessing the power of Niagara Falls. In 1884, he walked down the gangplank into the New York Harbor with four cents in his pocket, a book of poems, a drawing of a flying machine, and a letter of introduction to Thomas Edison, the “electrical wizard” of America.
Tesla and Edison had different views about electricity; Tesla wanted to develop an alternate current while Edison wanted to stick to the direct current system. Edison offered Tesla a large sum to make his direct current system more efficient, but when the work was done, Edison refused to pay. Tesla quit and when things were looking bleak, he met George Westinghouse, who also thought that alternating current was the way to light up America. He gave Tesla a job and in 1896, Tesla and Westinghouse built a generator at Niagara Falls. The electrification of the world had begun!

Leaf image section divider

2016 Lane Anderson Adult Readers Award Submissions

The deadline for the 2016 Lane Anderson Award has now passed!  Here are the Adult submissions for the 2016 year:


Adult Readers:


Harper Collins

 In 100 Million Years of Food, biological anthropologist Stephen Le explains how cuisines of different regions developed through millennia of ingenious experimentation, resulting in diets that were finely tuned to human biology and the plants and animals that were available to our ancestors. Today, many societies have strayed far from their ancestral diets and lifestyles, contributing to a rise in so-called diseases of Western civilisation. In clear, compelling arguments based on scientific research, Le contends that ancestral ways of eating and living provide the best first line of defence in protecting our health..


A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin

Allen Lane

We are bombarded with more information each day than the mind can process.  It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies.  One of our most trusted guides in the information age, internationally acclaimed author Daniel Levitin, shows us how to recognise misleading news stories, statistics, graphs, and websites, revealing the surprising ways lying weasels can make it so difficult to separate the wheat from the digital chaff.



Rocky Mountain Books Ltd.


At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast combines the natural and human histories of Pacific Northwest marine birds with Caroline Fox’s personal story of her life as a conservation scientist. Accompanied by vivid images, drawings and both archival and modern photography, the narrative follows the author as she sails the coast, documenting marine bird diversity and seasonal shifts in community assemblages. Introducing some of the most fascinating yet poorly understood species, including albatrosses, puffins and cranes, this compelling read calls attention to the urgent conservation challenges faced by marine birds and their ecosystems, as well as their historically complex relationship with human society.


ANTARCTICA by Arnold Zageris

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Breathtaking in its superlatives, Antarctica mesmerises visitors with its compelling beauty, awe-inspiring landscapes and imposing grandeur. No continent is its equal.
Antarctica has the heights, the winds, the climate and the aridity. Moreover, its ever-changing and elusive light can paint and transform the spectacle with often fantastical shapes and colours. From the delicate tingling sounds of tiny ice crystals, to the majesty of its towering peaks, and the ferocity of its relentless storms Antarctica animates, inspires, and humbles.


BAD SINGING by Tim Falconer

House of Anansi Press

Tim Falconer, a self-confessed “bad singer,” always wanted to make music, but soon after he starts singing lessons, he discovers that he’s part of only 2.5 percent of the population afflicted with amusia – in other words, he is scientifically tone deaf. While many tone-deaf people are indifferent to music, or even actively dislike it, for Falconer music is a life-long passion.

Bad Singer chronicles his quest to understand human evolution and music, the brain science behind tone-deafness, his search for ways to retrain the adult brain, and his investigation into what we really hear when we listen to music.


BOILING POINT by Maude Barlow

ECW Press

WE ARE COMPLACENT. We bask in the idea that Canada holds 20% of the world’s fresh water – water crises face other countries, but not ours. We could not be more wrong. In Boiling Point, bestselling author and activist Maude Barlow lays bare the issues facing Canada’s water reserves, including long-outdated water laws, unmapped and unprotected groundwater reserves, agricultural pollution, industrial-waste dumping, boil-water advisories and the effects of deforestation and climate change. Passionate and cogent, this could be the most important book of the year for Canadians.


LET THEM EAT DIRT Saving your Child from an Oversanitized World by B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta

Greystone Books Ltd.

Today babies and young kids are being raised in increasingly sanitized surroundings. As a result, the beneficial bacteria in their bodies are being altered, promoting conditions and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma. But as this book shows, there is much that parents can do about it – including breastfeeding if possible, getting a dog, and avoiding antibiotics unless necessary. And yes, it is OK to let kids get dirty.



Rocky Mountain Books Ltd.

North America in the Anthropocene maintains that human beings have entered a new historical epoch – the Anthropocene – in which our own economic activity has reached such planetary scale and power that we can no longer count on Earth’s natural systems and functions to absorb negative human impacts on landscape and biodiversity.



Doubleday Canada

“I have convinced people they have committed crimes that never occurred, suffered from a physical injury they never had, or were attacked by a dog when no such attack ever took place. This may sound impossible, but it is simply a carefully planned application of memory science. And while it perhaps sounds a little sinister, I do it in order to help discover how severe memory distortions can come about…”

In The Memory Illusion, forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr. Julia Shaw shows the astonishing ways in which our brains can be led astray.



Greystone Books Ltd.

In this highly readable and provocative book, Dr. Jason Fung sets out an original, robust theory of obesity that provides startling insights into proper nutrition.  In addition to his five basic steps, a set of lifelong habits that will improve your health and control your insulin levels, Dr. Fung explains how to use intermittent fasting to break the cycle of insulin resistance and reach a healthy weight – for good.


THE PIPESTONE WOLVES by Gunther Bloch and John Marriott

Rocky Mountain Books Ltd.

While there are many ways to gather information and gain knowledge, this volume is the culmination of decades of observing wolves in their natural environment. The book will elevate your overall understanding of canid behaviour and challenge the conventional wisdom of some long-held myths.


THE PEACE IN PERIL by Christopher Pollon and Ben Nelms

Harbour Publishing

An exploration of the Site C dam’s location and the pending destruction of an irreplaceable stretch of river and land between Hudson’s Hope and Fort St. John, British Columbia.

Equal parts travel adventure, history and journalistic exploration, The Peace in Peril is a story about the dubious trade-off of hydro power for resources like timber and farmland, but also far more: the Peace Valley has been a prosperous home to people for eleven thousand years. How will lives be erased or irrevocably altered when the next great flood rises up to engulf the Peace River valley?



Simon & Schuster

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Acclaimed science writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram wonders the same things. After a long career asking important questions (Does time speed up as we age?  How much Neanderthal is in me? Why do some animals throw their feces?), he’s here to put our scientific quandaries to rest. In this insightful, witty book for curious readers of all ages, Jay shares his favourite head-scratchers and mind-benders, settling pressing questions.

Whimsically illustrated and chock-full of fun science facts (and fictions), this book will delight and surprise your inner science geek.

Leaf image section divider Leaf image section divider

2015 Winners Announced

The Lane Anderson Awards for Excellence in Canadian Science Writing were presented last night during an intimate dinner at Yorkville’s Sassafraz Restaurant.

There were four finalists in each of the categories – adult books, and books for young readers.

The winner in the Books for Young Readers category was Cybele Young for The Queen’s Shadow; a story about how animals see, published by Kids Can Press. Judges commented : “blends light-hearted mystery with well-researched science….the kind of science book that begs to be re-read….”
Ms. Young lives in Toronto, ON.

Runners up in this category were:

Footprints: the story of what we eat by Paula Ayer, published by Annick Press.

Judges commented: “A book that both educates teen readers and empowers them to make their own choices…”
Paula Ayer lives in Vancouver, B.C.

Head Lice by Elise Gravel, published by Tundra Books

Judges commented: “…fosters a love of science books while providing the tools to understand – and deal with- a creepy creature readers may encounter personally.”
Elise Gravel lives in Montreal, PQ..

What’s the Buzz? Keeping bees in flight by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox, published by Orca Books

Judges commented: “By blending her personal experience of bees with current scientific understanding, The author adds humour, authority and conviction that individuals really can make a difference…”
Merrie-Ellen Wilcox lives in Victoria, B.C.

The winner in the Adult category was Alanna Mitchell for Malignant Metaphor: confronting cancer myths, published by ECW Press. Judges commented: “Combining societal and behavioural trends with highly personal interaction with a close relative’s situation (the author) has shone a whole new light on our obsessive fear of, and reaction to this dreaded disease.”
Alanna Mitchell lives in Toronto,ON.

Runners-up in this category were:

Once They Were Hats: in search of the mighty beaver by Frances Backhouse, published by ECW Press.

Judges commented: “ Immensely engaging bio-history of the beaver in North America. Well researched from multiple perspectives…”
Frances Backhouse lives in Victoria, B.C.

Dam Builders: the natural history of beavers and their ponds by Michael Runtz, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Judges commented: “A beautiful pictorial science of the beaver…the pictures are truly incredible.”
Michael Runtz lives in Kingston, ON

Slick Water fracking and one insider’s stand against the world’s most powerful industry by Andrew Nikiforuk, published by Greystone Books and the David Suzuki Institute.

Judges commented: “Remarkable biography interwoven with the science and environmental impact of extraction of fossil fuels…incredibly well-researched..I finished it angry.”
Andrew Nikiforuk lives in Calgary, AB

All Lane Anderson finalists received plaques of appreciation.

Cybele Young and Alanna Mitchell each received a check for $10,000.

The Lane Anderson Award is administered by Christopher Alan of Gowlings in Toronto.

Leaf image section divider

Win the Finalists!

Here’s your chance to have your say and win the 2015 Lane Anderson Award finalists! Tweet your favourite finalist from either the Adult or Young Readers category and include the hashtag:


On Friday, September 30th, 2016, a winner will be selected in each category.

There will be two (2) winners:

One (1) package of the Adult finalists

Dam BuildersMalignant MetaphorOnce They Were HatsSlick Water



Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and their Ponds (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
Malignant Metaphor: Confronting Cancer Myths (ECW Press)
Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver (ECW Press)
Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry (Greystone Books)

One (1) package of the Young Readers finalists

FoodprintsHead LiceThe Queen's ShadowWhat's the Buzz

Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat (Annick Press)
Head Lice: The Disgusting Critters Series (Tundra Books)
The Queen’s Shadow: A Story About How Animals See (Kids Can Press)
What’s the Buzz?: Keeping Bees in Flight (Orca Book Publishers)

Contest opens on August 24th, 2016 at noon EST and closes on September 29th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.

Leaf image section divider

Finalists for 2015 Lane Anderson Awards Announced

We’re excited to announce the finalists for the best Canadian science books written in 2015!

Adult Category

Once They Were Hats

Frances Backhouse
Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver
Publisher: ECW Press


Malignant Metaphor

Alanna Mitchell
Malignant Metaphor: Confronting Cancer Myths
Publisher: ECW Press


Slick Water

Andrew Nikiforuk
Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry
Publisher: Greystone Books

Dam BuildersMichael Runtz
Dam Builders: The Natural History of Beavers and their Ponds
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside


Young Reader


Paula Ayer
Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat
Publisher: Annick Press


Head Lice

Elise Gravel
Head Lice: The Disgusting Critters Series
Publisher: Tundra Books


What's the Buzz

Merrie-Ellen Wilcox
What’s the Buzz?: Keeping Bees in Flight
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers


The Queen's Shadow

Cybèle Young
The Queen’s Shadow: A Story About How Animals See
Publisher: Kids Can Press


Winners will be announced at a dinner in Toronto in late September.

Leaf image section divider Leaf image section divider

2014 Winners Announced

Environmental preservation was the dominant theme tonight as the Fitzhenry Family Foundation presented authors L.E. Carmichael and Stephen Leahy with the prestigious Lane Anderson Award for the best science writing in Canada in 2014.

The Lane Anderson Award honours writers in two categories: adult and young reader. Winners receive a $10,000 cash prize for their work.

L.E. Carmichael, a Halifax-based science writer, received the award for her book Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild (Ashby-BP Publishing). The book, aimed at elementary school aged children, uses forensic science (e.g. DNA sampling) to solve crimes against wildlife.

In Your Water Footprint (Firefly Books), Stephen Leahy introduces readers to the Virtual Water Concept and to readers’ awareness of how much water is used in our everyday activities. Leahy is an environmental journalist from Uxbridge, Ontario.

“The Fitzhenry Family Foundation is excited to award two pieces of work that ultimately encourage protection of the earth’s resources and animal welfare,” said Holly Doll. “It’s important to us that Canadians are encouraged to read about science and the environment at both young reader and adult levels.”

The juries based their decision on the relevance of each book’s content to the importance of science in today’s world, as well as the author’s ability to connect the topic to the interests of the general trade reader. Books must have been published in English between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014.

Dr. Francois Reeves (Adult Finalist), Jim Handman (representative for Adult Finalist Bob McDonald), Lionel Koffler (representative for Adult Winner Stephen Leahy) Young Reader winner L.E. Carmichael, Young Reader Finalist Maria Birmingham, Yvette Ghione (representing Young Reader Finalist Daniel Loxton) photo taken by Emma McIntyre.
Dr. Francois Reeves (Adult Finalist), Jim Handman (representative for Adult Finalist Bob McDonald), Lionel Koffler (representative for Adult Winner Stephen Leahy) Young Reader winner L.E. Carmichael, Young Reader Finalist Maria Birmingham, Yvette Ghione (representing Young Reader Finalist Daniel Loxton) photo taken by Emma McIntyre.
Leaf image section divider

Finalists for 2014 Lane Anderson Awards Announced

Today, we are excited to announce the finalists for the best Canadian science books written in 2014.

Our jury panels evaluated submissions in two categories – adult and young readers. They arrived at their shortlist after evaluating the relevance of each book’s content to the importance of science in today’s world, as well as the author’s ability to connect the topic to the interests of the general trade reader.

The winner in each category receives a $10,000 prize.

“The jury adjudicated science books on subjects as varied and topical as space exploration, fracking, and even underwater dinosaurs,” said Holly Doll, Award Manager for the Lane Anderson Award. “Canada has so many talented authors writing about science in today’s world, and the Lane Anderson Award is very pleased to celebrate their work.”

The shortlisted finalists for the 2014 Lane Anderson Award are as follows:

Adult Category
Bob McDonald
Canadian Spacewalkers: Hadfield, MacLean and Williams Remember the Ultimate High Adventure
Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre

Dr. Francois Reeves
Planet Heart: How an Unhealthy Environment Leads to Heart Disease
Publisher: Greystone Books

Stephen Leahy
Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products
Publisher: Firefly Books

Young Reader
L.E. Carmichael
Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild
Publisher: Ashby-BP

Daniel Loxton
Plesiosaur Peril (Tales of Prehistoric Life)
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Maria Birmingham
Tastes Like Music: 17 Quirks of the Brain and Body
Publisher: Owl Kids

Winners will be announced at a dinner in Toronto in late September.

Leaf image section divider