The Nuclear Disaster in Japan & Our
March 1 2012 / 9780761386605
Non-Fiction Juvenile (7-12): Technology
by Beth E. McKenzie
I chose to review this book because I have a suspicious nature.
I expected this to be the next big scare book for kids "pulled
from the pages of current events- it could happen to you!"
The brightly colored covers slyly stuffed with the latest anti-nuke
rhetoric spouting hallelujahs for the big three clean energy saviors:
Wind, Tides and Geothermal.
Instead I found a friendly, cheerful discussion about the science
of nuclear power and how a reactor works. Not a judgment about good
or bad ideas, just how it works in a straightforward language that
was very understandable. This leads up to a discussion about what
happened during the earthquake and the days that followed the tsunami
strike on the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex. It doesn't get
in to the gory details of radiation poisoning or the extreme numbers
lost in the ocean wave of death (considering television coverage
and the age group they will manage that just fine on their own).
The treasure that is hidden inside this book is not only the information
about the Japanese incident, although it was good to see that sorted
through in an understandable way. The other thing we find is a connection
to the author's website, Dr. Fred's Place,
http://www.fredbortz.com/about.htm that adds to the experience.
Here is where you get a real appreciation for the dedicated educator
and scientist that authored "Meltdown!" and 19 other books
for kids related to Astrobiology, Space Exploration and Travel,
Materials Science, Engineering, and Technology. There is a featured
section about the effects felt around the world in the field of
nuclear energy production and the progress that is being made in
the Fukushima evacuation zone. This section does include anti-nuclear
articles, but they are balanced by several other opinions so they
are useful in making an informed opinion.
This is definitely a book I would consider for my school-age nieces
and nephews, and adults with no background in technology or energy
production who want a little more information.