In book one of this series, Just Right: Climate Science for Young Readers, Tom, who is eleven, and Julie, who is nine, spend the summer with their grandfather on the shores of Cape Cod. Together they learn—through direct outdoor experience and the vast resources of the Internet—what makes the Earth “just right” as a home for living things, and how humans are upsetting that balance.
This sequel begins as Tom and Julie, worried about the impact of climate change on our planet, decide to learn how power can be produced without burning fossil fuels. Talking with Gramps, they identify the main sources of clean energy, and each chooses a specialty: Tom will learn about solar power, Julie chooses water, and Gramps wants to study wind (he already has a wind machine at his home). Julie and Tom convince their science teachers to let them do special projects in each area and recruit friends to join their project teams.
Soon, six middle-schoolers are delving deep into the workings of solar panels and hydroelectric generators. They come to Cape Cod to check out Gramps’s wind machine and imagine how offshore wind systems might work there. Some of them head off to explore a hydropower complex on a Massachusetts river. Others visit Samsø Island in Denmark, where they learn how a community has combined wind, solar, and biofuel to become energy-neutral. Back in the United States, they discover that similar efforts are under way on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Determined to become climate activists in their own community, they set out to organize other youth with help from organizations like iMatter and the Global Warming Express.
Weaving video, photos, infographics and maps into this narrative, Sun, Wind and Water gives nine- to twelve-year-olds a solid understanding of how solar panels, wind generators, and hydroelectric plants work, and ways they can work together to free the planet from the greenhouse effects of burning fossil fuels. Around the globe, awareness is rising that all life is at risk from human-caused climate disruption. The world citizens who will finally mobilize to address this threat are today’s children. This e-book, with its engaging story line, is a powerful tool designed to help educate and equip them for the challenge, and will be an excellent companion to middle-level Earth science curricula.