One of the hottest inhabited places on earth, as well as one of the coldest, is included in this list of deadly danger zones. In this picture book length chapter book, a two-page spread summarizes each location in fact filled prose that is divided into short paragraphs. The climate, geography, plant life, natural phenomenon, man-made infrastructure and animal population, any one of which is very dangerous, are listed in a straightforward, though upbeat manner ("Think you'd have to be nuts to life here?"). Sidebars and captions in contrast color offer interesting details and related facts. The full color photographs serve as a backdrop to the printed information. These collaged visuals "read" like a second, supporting narrative. Donovan's book ends with a list of resources titled "Further Information" and an index. The reader is invited to download additional free, educational resource material from the publisher's website. This book, part of the "Shock Zone Deadly and Dangerous" series that offers "high-energy topics, powerful reads," lives up to its promotional material. As an overview to dangerous locations around the world, Landau's book would be a good addition to an upper elementary school class or library resource on dangerous natural phenomena, plants and animals, and extreme climates and living conditions. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
Sandy Donovan has written many nonfiction books for young readers, including Budgeting Smarts (2012), Job Smarts (2012), Does an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away? (2010),Does It Really Take Seven Years to Digest Swallowed Gum? (2010), The Middle Eastern American Experience (2010), and The Hispanic American Experience (2011) for Lerner Publishing Group.