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WIRED by Anastasia Suen


by Anastasia Suen & illustrated by Paul Carrick

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-57091-599-4
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Raising the awareness of any reader who’s ever switched on a light or wondered what those wires above the street are, Suen traces the long “dance” of electrons from a (water-driven) generator to a home’s plugs, lamps and computer screens. Linked by lines of a poem—“Humming, thrumming, / power’s coming / in the wires / in the wires / from big to small / to power it all”—her commentary offers simple but specific descriptions of how, for instance, step-up and step-down transformers work, what ground wires and circuit breakers do and even what’s behind those ubiquitous switch plates. With help from occasional discreet labels, Carrick’s realistic, low-relief collages follow wires over transmission towers and wooden poles, down through electric meters and cutaway walls. Suen closes with a list of safety tips and, for children curious about topics she doesn’t cover, such as the differences between volts and amps, or AC and DC, a handful of print and online resources. Audiences who find Joanna Cole’s Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip, illus by Bruce Degen (1997), too busy to absorb may come away from this more linear approach with a clearer idea of what powers their everyday infrastructure. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)