Children's LiteratureShould we use nuclear energy for electricity? Should any kind of nuclear weapons be allowed? And how can we address radioactive waste safely? As part of "Science Issues" series, Stoyles and her colleagues address some difficult questions as well as difficult science. The series attempts the Herculean task of looking not only at the basic science and technology that drives our world, but at the moral, safety, and logistic issues surrounding them. In that regard, this series is unique and should be applauded. Not all science and engineering that is possible should be pursued. This book has the tough job of describing nuclear physics quickly so that the issues can be debated rationally. It does this fairly well and then does a good job of asking questions and holding a "debate" about the about the right way to approach the problems. These debates are purposely not resolved, leaving the reader room to make up his or her own mind. It is a good practice, though I would have liked a line inviting the reader to do more research as well. The illustrations of photos and graphics are adequate, although weak in their lack of diversity when pictures include people. The backmatter includes a summary of the issues and arguments, a glossary, and an index. 2004, Smart Apple Media, Ages 8 to 12.
Amy S. Hansen