Devastated by a Volcano! by P-Bearport


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									Devastated by a Volcano!
Disaster Survivors

Author: Stephen Person

Age Group: 7-12

On June 25, 1997, a volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat erupted, spewing hot lava and ash.
Linda Daley was washing clothes outside her home in the nearby city of Plymouth when she saw fiery
clouds begin to shoot out of the volcano. With clouds of ash and poisonous gases speeding toward her,
how would she survive? Eyewitness accounts and incredible photos bring to life the experiences of
ordinary people who faced catastrophic danger—and lived to tell their stories. Kids will discover the
causes and characteristics of volcanoes, and learn about the scientific advances that now allow earlier
warnings of possible eruptions to be issued. Safety tips show young readers what to do if they are ever
near a volcanic eruption.

This entry in the Disaster Survivors series sandwiches an introduction to the tectonic forces that cause
volcanoes and a survey of the most destructive eruptions in the past two centuries between glancing
encounters with two survivors of 1997's blast on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. Though the color
photos that dominate every page aren't always clear depictions of the looks and effects of various modern
eruptions—and the opening and closing interviews are unsourced—the descriptions of volcanic activity
will give young readers a clear picture of the forces involved while introducing specialized terms like lava
bombs and pyroclastic flow. A page of general safety advice and a set of brief resource lists close this
suitable alternative to the steady rain of titles on the topic.

Students with a penchant for the extreme will relish the dangerous situations described in these fact-filled
works, whose first-person accounts add nail-biting immediacy. The books describe some of the same
threats as those covered in ABDO's "Weather Watchers," but here the pitch of the content and the
appetite of the audience are a perfect match. While focusing on one survivor's experiences before, during,
and after events such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Chicago's deadly 1995
heat wave, the books also relate the history of the event and similar disasters, and scientific cause and
effect. While the authors don't gloss over human suffering, including the poverty that exacerbated
tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina, they refrain from political commentary. Large, clear color
photographs and effective scientific diagrams add to the successful presentations.

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