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THE DAY THE WORLD EXPLODED; The Earthshaking Catastrophe at Krakatoa

Author: Simon Winchester, adapted by Dwight Zimmerman

Illustrator: Jason Chin

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Publisher: Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: This is a photo-illustrated adaptation of Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa. On August 23, 1883, the volcano named Krakatoa erupted. This event had catastrophic impact around the globe. This illustrated book covers everything you need to know about volcanoes in general and the explosion at Krakatoa, too.

Type of Reading: independent reading, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 10 and up

Reading Level: 9

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: As someone whose forte was never science, I was rather surprised to find myself enjoying this book. It is easy to understand and follow. Each fact was relevant and captivating. All the pictures were very appropriately chosen. The book is a very rewarding read. The overall layout of the book is very cleverly done; it draws attention to every part of the pages. There wasn’t anything I disliked about this book. It’s definitely one I would suggest to middle school students interested in historical science books or in need of a good reference book for a project on volcanoes.

Adult Reader Reaction: This book will mesmerize the reader. The collaboration of the author and illustrator has produced an extraordinary scientific treatise and a beautifully illustrated work of art. This is a "10" on any scale.

Pros: This photo-illustrated book provides factual information about volcanoes, tsunamis, in general and as related to the explosion of Krakatoa in a way sure to engage every reader who picks it up.

Cons: Absolutely none.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Readers who have an interest in earth sciences will find the book exciting, informative, and hard to put down. This is an exceptional nonfiction selection for anyone who has an interest in history, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other scientific phenomena.

If You Liked This Book, Try: EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES FYI   ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD GEOGRAPHY with Complete World Atlas (Usborne Internet-Linked Books)   THE EARTH DRAGON AWAKES

Educational Themes: In addition to learning the technical, scientific aspects of nature, there are two lessons to be learned: (1) nature always gets its way; and (2) humans who inhabit this planet subject to geological consent, which can be withdrawn, without warning, at any time.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, nature, science, geology, middle grade, young adult

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2008

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