Hydrogen: Running on Water.


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 978-0-7787-2915-0
DDC j665.8'1





Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


Like the other four volumes in the Energy Revolution series, Hydrogen contains some awkward incongruities. For example, a page titled “What is hydrogen?” is illustrated with a full-page background photograph showing the North Cormorant offshore drilling rig, with an appropriate caption about fossil fuels.


Throughout this book and the others in the series there are sidebar “conservation tips,” which really have little to do with the content of the books. For example, one might highlight riding your bike, while the next might deal with composting or recycling. These are all delivered through a bizarre appropriation of Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of women’s contributions to the war effort during Second World War, and an unsubstantiated claim that this image now simply “represents a time when people came together as a society to reach a common goal.” The leap is too great. Rosie the Riveter was about producing the next tank, not alternate energy.


Otherwise, the book is an acceptable introduction to hydrogen energy. It covers hydrogen’s history, methods of creating hydrogen, the development of fuel cells, and hydrogen’s importance as a non-polluting form of energy. As a balance, the author does introduce the difficulties surrounding hydrogen, including the fact that most of it currently is produced from fossil fuels.


This volume, like the others in the series, concludes with a helpful timeline, glossary, and brief index. Because there are few other elementary level books on this subject, school and public libraries will want to purchase these. Recommended with reservations.


Walker, Niki., “Hydrogen: Running on Water.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27082.