BOZEMAN -- A Montana State University professor’s book on the history and science of wheat has been named to the longlist for a national award.

“Amber Waves: The Extraordinary Biography of Wheat, from Wild Grass to World Megacrop,” written by Catherine Zabinski, has been included in the 2022 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the Young Adult Science Book category.

The prize celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults and is meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all ages. Some criteria finalists had to meet include having the ability to engage young adult readers in all aspects of science; encourage the discussion and understanding of scientific ideas; enable high school readers to view science and technology thoughtfully; and more. Finalists for the 2022 prize will be announced in November. The winners will be announced in January 2022.

Cathy Zabinski
Catherine Zabinski - Photo supplied by MSU

The book, Zabinski’s first, was published in September 2020. The professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture said she wrote the book to tell the story of how humans have altered the evolution of wheat for people who don’t necessarily have a science background.

The longlist titles in the 2022 Young Adult Science Book category are:

  • “Amber Waves: The Extraordinary Biography of Wheat, from Wild Grass to World Megacrop,” by Catherine Zabinski. The University of Chicago Press, 2020.
  • “Chemistry for Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life,” by Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim. Illustrated by Claire Lenkova. Translated by Sarah Pybus. Greystone Books, 2021.
  • “Genesis: The Story of How Everything Began,” by Guido Tonelli. Translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021.
  • “Great Adaptations: Star-Nosed Moles, Electric Eels, and Other Tales of Evolution’s Mysteries Solved,” by Kenneth Catania. Princeton University Press, 2020.
  • “How to Make a Vaccine: An Essential Guide for COVID-19 and Beyond,” by John Rhodes. The University of Chicago Press, 2021.
  • “The Loneliest Polar Bear: A True Story of Survival and Peril on the Edge of a Warming World,” by Kale Williams. Crown, 2021.
  • “Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life,” by Jess Phoenix. Timber Press, 2021.
  • “Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet,” by Chelsea Wald. Avid Reader Press, 2021.
  • “A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You,” by Sean B. Carroll. Princeton University Press, 2020.

- By MSU News Service -

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