Monday, July 14, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Wired

By Anastasia Suen
Illustrated by Paul Carrick
Charlesbridge, 2007

I loved this book so much, that my grade level recently bought it to use in our electricity unit. It’s very hard to find good trade books about electricity that are written on a kids’ level, give the basic information, but aren’t too basic. Our textbook is okay, but I wanted something more. I found it in this book.

This book begins by talking about what electricity is and how electrons dance. Then it explains how electricity gets from the power plant to your house. Details of step up- and step down-transformers are explained. It talks about substations, transmission towers, and even what all those wires behind a light switch are. The text is easy to read, but doesn’t talk down to kids. Suen even uses interesting language, so that it doesn’t feel like you are reading a textbook. The heading of each page actually becomes a poem if you read just the headings from beginning to end.

The illustrations in this book are pretty, yet informative. They are simple, but detailed. Contradiction? No, they are perfect for this book. They are not the common diagrams and drawings you see in a textbook. Instead they are acrylic mixed media illustrations that are pleasing to the eye, uncluttered, and very detailed for showing the different parts that is talked about in the text.

As a science teacher, I give it an A+. I will be using it every year with my electricity unit!

The author of Wired, Anastasia Suen, has the Nonfiction Monday Roundup at her blog.