Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftSan Francisco, Kobe, Pakistannames that evoke images of terrifying shocks and falling buildings. Nature at its most destructive! Part of the "Nature's Fury" series, this title helps middle readers understand types of earthquakes, tectonic plates that cause them, and the impact a quake has on land and people. Cutaway drawings show layers of the earth, fault lines, and movement of plates; clear color photos provide views of fallen buildings, debris, and earthquake victims (especially striking is an antique print of an earthquake rocking Tokyo in 1650). Readers will learn that quakes occur at the edges of the earth's tectonic plates (for example, around the Pacific Rim), that animals seem to feel seismic movement before people, and that some quakes happen beneath the sea, causing tsunamis. Author Rooney explores earthquake effects: buckling roads and bridges, destruction of buildings, aftershocks and fires, loss of life. Why do people continue to live on fault lines despite the ever-present danger of disaster? Young scientists can debate pros (beautiful places to live, tradition) and cons (unpredictable, ever-present danger), read about techniques of rescuing and aiding victims, and learn how scientists measure seismic movement with instruments and satellites, attempting to predict future quakes. Each large book in the series is attractively designed and well written, containing a good deal of fascinating information and extra features like a glossary, a list of web sites and DVDs, and a quick look at the "ten worst" of the various natural disasters. Most devastating earthquake? Shansi, China, in 1556.
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