The world of physics comes to life in this highly enjoyable graphic novel. Written with a middle school audience in mind, it could probably also be used to give high school students a good refresher course in the basic laws of energy. As Super Scientist Max Atom cruises through the city, he reveals real-life examples of energy in the real world—from the kinetic energy kids use to play basketball to the sound energy in thunder to the heat energy in coffee. With each example, Max uses his superpowers to show readers aspects of energy that aren't apparent to most humans—from the electrons that cause electrical energy to the atoms and molecules that create sound energy. Later sections allow Max to define the law of conservation of energy by showing how one form of energy can change to another but not be destroyed. Still later sections reveal how humans have managed to store and generate energy through solar, wind, and hydro power—while also pointing out the long-term dangers of using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as the problems caused by the use of nuclear power. The latest in a line of "Graphic Science" graphic novels published by Capstone Press, this book provides a fun way to supplement and review science lessons. Reviewer: Michael Jung
Agnieszka Biskup is a science writer and editor based in Chicago. She is a former editor for the science section of the Boston Globe as well as the children's science magazine Muse. In addition to children's books, she has also written many articles for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Her books have received awards from Learning magazine, the Association of Educational Publishers, and the Society of School Librarians International. Her book Football: How It Works (Capstone Press, 2010) was a Junior Library Guild selection.