Green Machine: The Slightly Gross Truth about Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy by Rebecca Donnelly, illustrated by Christophe Jaques

Green Machine 
The Slightly Gross Truth about Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy 
illustrated by Christophe Jaques
Review Copy from Macmillan Kids


Green Machine: The Slightly Gross Truth about Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy is an excellent introduction to anaerobic digestion and anaerobic digestion facilities for young readers looking to learn more about green resources. As someone who, while I have been composting in my back yard for a couple of decades, did not know that this food waste could be used to create pollution-free energy, Green Machine send me down a research rabbit hole, reading a report (listed in Donnelly's "Find Out More" short list of resources) compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency, to find out where - if any - there are anaerobic digestion facilities in the United States. In case you were wondering, there are approximately 120 facilities in thirty-one states, thirty of which are in California. 

Donnelly's text is simple and sing-songy and Jaques's illustrations are crisp and colorful, his anthropomorphizing of the "bugs in the sludge" brings humor to the page. Starting with a family finishing a meal and collecting the food waste, Green Machine follows the food from table to the food scraps collection machine to the facility where the scarps become biogas that "feeds the engine to generate sparks" and make electricity. A double page spread at the end of the book shows the cycle all in one place, helping readers get a better grasp of the process. This is followed by two pages of information on green energy and anaerobic digesters.

A good place to start, be sure to pair Green Machine with other informational books about the environment and why we need to fight to save it. 

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