Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day

Longlist, National Book Awards 2023 for Young People's Literature

ISBN 9780593125366
Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House
Author photo of Dan Nott. (Photo credit: Hannah Cohen)
Dan Nott

Dan Nott is a cartoonist, illustrator, and educator living in Vermont. Dan’s short comics and illustrations for investigative journalism have appeared in Spotlight PAThe Nib, and Seven Days, and in publications for NJ Advance Media and WBUR, among others. More about this author >

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From the publisher:

We use water, electricity, and the internet every day—but how do they actually work? And what’s the plan to keep them running for years to come? This nonfiction science graphic novel takes readers on a journey from how the most essential systems were developed to how they are implemented in our world today and how they will be used in the future.

What was the first message sent over the internet? How much water does a single person use every day? How was the electric light invented?

For every utility we use each day, there’s a hidden history—a story of intrigue, drama, humor, and inequity. This graphic novel provides a guided tour through the science of the past—and reveals how the decisions people made while inventing and constructing early technology still affect the way people use it today.

Full of art, maps, and diagrams, Hidden Systems is a thoughtful, humorous exploration of the history of science and what needs to be done now to change the future.