Next Generation Energy series / by Nancy Dickmann and Megan Kopp. 2.15.2017

Energy from Water: Hydroelectric, Tidal, and Wave Power / by Nancy Dickmann. (Next Generation Energy)
Crabtree Publishing ISBN 9780778723806

MS Grades 5-8 Rating: 5

Energy from Wind: Wind Farming / by Megan Kopp. (Next Generation Energy)

Crabtree Publishing ISBN 9780778719830

MS Grades 5-8 Rating: 4

Both of these interesting and well-presented volumes from the juvenile environmental education series, Next Generation Energy, are written at guided reading level S. Both titles in the series present action choices and preferred green options for middle grade students age 10 and up.

For centuries, falling water has been used in parts of the world to create energy to run grinding stones at mills and irrigation systems for crops. Nancy Dickmann’s Energy from Water shows how the use of this clean form of energy, called hydroelectricity, is being expanded to help us build a more sustainable future. Readers focus on how other forms of water-based energy, such as energy from ocean waves and tides, are being harnessed and used to help create electricity to power our homes, offices and factories.

Megan Kopp’s Energy from Wind discusses wind power as a clean, sustainable, and renewable form of energy. The chapter “Power Up” invites its readers to think it through, ask and answer questions, and design wind turbines, testing location distances from the wind source and using different blade sizes to see which one works best. A handy Glossary and Learning More section lists books and website resources for inquiring readers.

Both titles are filled with informational graphs, maps, and charts, as well as color-shaded sidebar features such as Fast Forward (where, Energy From Water notes, hydroelectric power is dependent on a consistent supply of running water) and Rewind (promotes comparative, critical thinking about the early hydroelectric plants compared to the most recent). The student is asked to make convincing arguments for their created answer to questions about difficult choices, with regard to environmental impact. There are positive messages regarding what students and young people can do to promote earth protection, such as living and eating green, and redirecting choices towards sustainable changes.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ