Publication Date: January 9, 2024
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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7
Award-winning author-illustrator Don Brown explores the history of electricity in this installment of the Big Ideas That Changed the World series.
In 600 BCE, the Greek mathematician Thales observed a seemingly strange phenomenon: amber, when rubbed with a cloth, had the ability to attract lightweight objects like feathers, straw, and leaves. He had unknowingly discovered an electric charge. His experiments wouldn’t be picked back up until about 2,000 years later, when another curious mind, inspired by the Greek word for amber (elektron), declared the rubbed object to have an invisible power: electricity. From phones to light bulbs to electric cars, electricity is something we can’t live without today.
Narrated by Jagadish Chandra Bose, a Bengali pioneer in radio technology from the previous century, All Charged Up! is the fascinating story of both tireless experimentation and accidental discovery, of inspiring human progress and dramatic scientific rivalries. Full of facts and colorful historical figures, this nonfiction graphic novel highlights key inventors and breakthroughs, through the earliest discoveries to the Age of Electricity to today, including: Musschenbroek’s Leyden jar, which proved that electricity could be stored; founding father Benjamin Franklin’s famous experiment using a kite as a lightning rod (don’t try this at home!); a fierce competition between two Italian scientists that resulted in the first battery (and inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein); and Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison’s War of the Currents; uses of wind and solar energy, and many more. Breaking down concepts like atoms, current, electromagnetism in a kid-friendly, accessible way, acclaimed author-illustrator Don Brown demonstrates how our world became plugged in and connected by electricity.
Big Ideas That Changed the World is a graphic novel series that celebrates the hard-won succession of ideas that ultimately changed the world. Humor, drama, and art unite to tell the story of events, discoveries, and ingenuity over time that led humans to come up with a big idea and then make it come true.
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