Tell Your Parents Book Reviews

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Booklist, October 2009

On All About Electric and Hybrid Cars (and Who's Driving Them)

This title in the Tell Your Parents series uses the latter half of the title (who drives hybrid cars?) as the hook, and the answer (celebrities!) as the bait. While introducing the concepts of carbon footprints, global warming, and green technology, Bearce explains how Cameron Diaz, Al Gore, and Brad Pitt’s embracing of new automotive technologies will hopefully spread the good word. She follows this with a quick tour of automotive history that might surprise kids when they read that electric cars were initially far more popular and prevalent than gas-powered ones. The text can be dry at times, repeating certain bits of information while zooming past others (a clearer picture of what differentiates an engine from a motor would have been useful), but the explanation of eco-friendly innovations—using electricity, hydrogen, or biodiesels—is solid. Plenty of pics of old, new, and futuristic cars enliven the otherwise staid layout. The “tell your parents” angle arrives in a final chapter that discusses various ways kids can contribute to the greening of transportation, even if they can’t yet drive.