Powering Our World

Six books explaining energy sources for third grade and up. (Rosen, 2010)

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4–Though they cover similar material, the text in this attractive series is shorter and simpler than that in ABDO’s “Future Energy,” making it accessible to a younger audience. Chapters are confined to a spread each, with the chapter heading in an eye-catching banner on the top left, one important fact placed in a similar banner on the bottom left, and text on clean white space in between. The recto features a clear photograph complementing the information provided opposite. Each book refers readers to a PowerKids Web site with relevant links that will be updated on a regular basis.

 

 Geothermal: Hot StuffGeothermal Energy: Hot Stuff

Named to the  Junior Library Guild list.

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual. … the content is accurate, and the illustrations are both appropriate and well chosen. In this book, students are introduced to geothermal energy with some historical background on the use of hot springs by Romans and other ancient peoples. Geothermal energy comes from deep in the earth; natural hot springs in Iceland heat buildings and greenhouses. Underground hot water is converted to steam in geothermal plants, where it turns turbines to make electricity, as in California’s impressive Geysers plant (illustrated). Scientists can also use dry heat from Earth’s crust by adding water and using heat pumps small enough to fit in a basement. … Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Geothermal Energy was mentioned in the additional resources list on the Washington Post MiniPage newspaper for kids

solarSolar Energy: Running on Sunshine

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual. … In this book, students are introduced to solar energy with some historical background on passive solar power used in ancient Greece and by the Acoma of New Mexico. Students learn that solar energy is captured by photovoltaic panels to make electricity and in thermal solar plants that heat water with the sun’s energy. The author stresses the availability, cheapness, and cleanness as great advantages of solar power, although it does not work at night or in places with little sunlight, when it needs to be stored. …Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

 

Wind Energy: Blown AwayWind Energy: Blown Away

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual. The reader-friendly, slim, square books cover basic information in a format using large sans serif type and a color photo for each page of text (possibly putting off older readers because any photographs of children are of primary-age students). That said, the content is accurate, and the illustrations are both appropriate and well chosen. In this book, students are introduced to the concept of using wind for renewable, non-polluting power. The movement of air (wind) has been used for thousands of years to sail boats and turn the arms of windmills, both attractively illustrated. Today, wind power is being generated by wind turbines, whose blades cause a drive shaft to move gears that turn a generator—hundreds of these turbines make up a wind farm. …  Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

 

Hydro Power: Making a SplashHydro Power: Making a Splash

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual. … In this book, students are introduced to the concept that moving water has energy, captured in many ways. Fast-flowing water as in waterfalls or dams can be harnessed to generate electricity in places like Niagara Falls or Hoover Dam. Illustrated is a weathered watermill in Virginia, built in 1910 and still in use. Scientists are experimenting with other types of hydropower from waves, buoys, and strong tides. Although hydropower is clean and renewable, the author warns that dams can cause flooding and destroy fish and animal habitats, even forcing people to move. …Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

 

Nuclear Energy Amazing AtomsNuclear Energy Amazing Atoms

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual….In this book, students are introduced to atomic particles (protons, electrons, neutrons) circling around a nucleus, and the two ways energy is released: fusion—as in the Sun—and fission, when uranium atoms break apart. … Nuclear energy does not pollute, but uranium is nonrenewable, mining destroys land, and, worst of all, toxic waste is produced. (The author warns that nuclear waste will leak radiation for some 100,000 years.) The danger of accidents is illustrated by the bleak picture of an abandoned town near Chernobyl; another photo shows costumed women protesting the proposed nuclear waste dump under Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Each book includes a fuel time line and a glossary, but teachers will need to plan additional activities and projects, with field trips to nearby sources of energy production. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

 

Fossil Fuels: Buried in the EarthFossil Fuels: Buried in the Earth

Children’s Literature review:
This “Powering Our World” series entry appears designed to bring information about energy sources to a younger audience than usual. ,,,In this book, students are introduced to the concept of nonrenewable energy and the fossil fuels oil, natural gas, and coal. … To her credit, the author focuses on the down side of using fossil fuels and the urgency of finding alternatives. Especially touching and frighteningly timely is the close-up of a black, oil-coated duck suffering as a result of an oil spill; global warming and melting polar ice are illustrated with a sad photo of a polar bear barely balancing on a narrow piece of floating ice. Alternative fuels offer some hope—a photo of wind turbines suggests one. … Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

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