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Author: Melissa Stewart

Illustrator: Jacob Packaged Goods, LLC

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008

Material: hard cover

Summary: Two of the most interesting natural phenomena are earthquakes and volcanoes. They are complex, dangerous, destructive and, sometimes, beautiful manifestations of nature's power. This book explains how these phenomena occur and the impact they have on the planet. The photography and illustrations are extraordinary. Links to the Smithsonian web site provide the opportunity to learn even more. This is a nonfiction book about volcanoes and earthquakes.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 8 and up

Reading Level: 6.4

Age of Child: Read by a student at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope, MN. This was part of our Use Your ABCs classroom literacy project.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because it looks like something I would like. I thought it was going to be boring, but then after the first chapter I kept reading and it got better. I liked the book for many reasons. It was interesting to know how earthquakes and volcanoes happen, but I didn't like that it ruined a lot of people's lives and homes.

Adult Reader Reaction: This collaborative effort of author, illustrators, scientists, and the Smithsonian Institution, certainly raises the bar for crisp, accurate, and engaging scientific writing. This is one of the most authoritative, informative, and professionally illustrated book on the subject available. The illustrations and photography are unbelievable.

Pros: Kids will enjoy exploring the photos and text in this book about nature's power.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a fun, well-written series to read. It meets teens at their level of interest, without dumbing down the message (or the content).

If You Liked This Book, Try: EXPLORATOPIA   THE DAY THE WORLD EXPLODED; The Earthshaking Catastrophe at Krakatoa   TIME For Kids: VOLCANOES! (Science Scoops, Confident Reader)

Educational Themes: The book can be used as a text or as a resource. This book provides the reader with all he/she needs to know about earthquakes and volcanoes. The narrative is supported by hundreds of illustrations and photos, and there are links to more topical resources.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, nature, geology, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2008, February 2010

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