________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 34 . . . . May 8, 2015


Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy.

Shaker Paleja. Art by Glenda Tse.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2015.
52 pp., trade pbk., hc., pdf & html, $12.95 (pbk.), $24.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-726-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-727-5 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55451-729-9 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-55451-728-2 (html).

Subject Heading:
Power resources-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

**** /4


Geothermal energy can be used directly to heat and cool homes and other buildings. At the earth’s surface, temperatures change a lot depending on the season and time of day. But about 3 meters (10 ft) below the surface, the underground temperature stays pretty much the same year-round. Geothermal systems pump hot water from underground to heat homes and buildings in the winters. In the summer, the pumps transfer heat from the air underground, cooling the building when it’s hot.


Power Up! is the kind of book both teachers and students have been waiting for. It’s an excellent written and illustrated explanation of all forms of energy and the issues surrounding energy use. Author Shaker Paleja and artist Glenda Tse are to be commended for creating this thoughtful, precise and accessible collection of information.

     The 52-page 8 x 10 inch hardcover book is divided into four major subtopics that are listed in a table of contents – “Introduction to Energy”, “Non-Renewable Energy”, “Renewable Energy” and “The Future of Energy”. Each subtopic has chapters, mostly two pages in length. For example under “The Future of Energy”, the chapters deal with: ‘New Energy Sources’, Global Demand’, ‘Energy at Home’, ‘Energy Efficiency’ and ‘How Can You Save Energy’?

     Each chapter outlines pertinent, up-to-date information using text, charts, maps, diagrams and art, according to the subject matter. Under ‘Energy at Home’, a reader can easily see, through a comparative illustrated diagram, how much power household appliances eat up. It’s enlightening – and for those of us in North America and Europe, a stark and perhaps embarrassing revelation. Consider that a chest freezer consumes 723 litres of natural gas a year. A discussion about ways to reduce energy consumption might ensue because that’s a lot of energy to keep food frozen for our convenience. An interesting timeline of energy sources and use over the millennia provides much food for thought.

     The content about this energy-charged issue is balanced. The chapter on geothermal energy lists the pros and cons of this energy source, as well as a step-by-step illustrated description of how geothermal energy is tapped and cycled up to the surface of the earth, a diagram of geothermal sources in the earth, a drawing of how heat pumps are built into a house, and information balloons about other aspects of geothermal heating. A student reading this book can feel confident s/he has adequate information to form an opinion on the various topics.

     The pages all have a different flat background colour. The colours on each page are bright, but carefully chosen. The drawings are precise and representative, the maps are exact. It’s a pleasure to look at each page, chock-full of information, without being cluttered.

     The book wraps up with a short glossary, a bibliography and a thorough index.

     Teachers will be able to use this book to teach about energy sources and energy use. Power Up! can add to a teaching unit on this topic, providing thorough, yet easily-readable explanations supported by clear, engaging artwork. Students interested in learning about different forms of energy will be able to pick this book up and on their own understand a great deal about this complex and important issue in the world today.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - May 8, 2015 | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive