2017 Lane Anderson Award Dinner

On Monday, November 13th, the Lane Anderson Award was celebrate at Stratus Restaurant in downtown Toronto. Finalist and other lovers of science literature attended the event to find out who the 2017 winners were.

Biometrics written by Maria Birmingham and illustrated by Ian Turner and Our Vanishing Glaciers by Robert William Sandford have won in the young reader and adult reader categories, respectively.

Explaining what drew her to write Biometrics, Maria Birmingham described her interest and love for science:  Biometrics (the science of using the body to identify a person) is really new, and growing, there’s a lot of upcoming ideas that people are coming out with, everything from the scent of our bodies is being used to ID us, to the shape of our smile, and the shape of our outer ear. But what I love about science writing, especially for kids, is I get to learn these fun facts, and then figure out a way to write them for kids in a way that is informative, but is also entertaining.  So I really want to inspire kids and stoke their curiosity and help them think about the world around them. And the thing, too, with Biometrics, is it gave me an added layer, in that it helped me to talk to kids about their own uniqueness. So from their eyes, to their hands, to their fingernail beds, they are unique through and through. So thank you again for this night, it is great to be here.

Judges commented that Biometrics: …offers a fascinating exploration into the science behind using our unique physical features to identify and differentiate us from everyone else on the planet. The uniqueness of the subject matter made this book particularly interesting to read.  Its connection to STEM related themes will also appeal to educators. Overall, this book is packed with fascinating information delivered in an engaging, concise, easy to read format that will appeal to a broad range of children.

Our Vanishing Glaciers has been a lifelong endeavor by Robert William Sandford. He is in love with the glaciers, and the Mountain landscape, and has been researching the fresh water, ice and snow for most of his life.  “. What inspired this book, and kept me going on it year after year was my love of these monumental landscapes. Everything I have written has been informed by a deep sense of place. …What would a reader take away, gain or learn from this book? The first thing that I would hope they would take away, is a new appreciation of the importance of global water cycle to our way of life. …Another thing that I would hope they would take away is awe. What makes the glaciers of Canada’s western mountains unique is their relative accessibility. In places you can literally get out of your car, and in a few moments’ walk directly back into the ancient atmosphere, a colder epoch in the Earth’s history, when much of North America was buried under 2 kilometers of ice. Glaciers are born, they live, and they are dying. My deepest hope is that everyone in this room will, at one point in their lives, get to experience the beauty, and majesty, of Canada’s Western Glaciers.

The Lane Anderson Award has been running for 7 years.  It was established by Holly Doll and Sharon Fitzhenry in 2011 to select and support exemplary Canadian science books for children and adults alike. To-date it has awarded $140,000 to Canadian authors who produce modern science books for everyday readers. Said co-founder Holly Doll about the award “Science is what allows us to be curious, not afraid of the world.  We are trying to support a world that fosters this curiosity.” Submissions for next year’s Lane Anderson Award open in April 2019.