VOYA, April 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 1)
- Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Heinemann’s five-book series on natural phenomena covers headline catastrophes—earthquakes, hurricanes, meteors, tornadoes, and tsunamis. Numerous sidebars, maps, and pictures illustrate actual destruction and rescue, and offer advice on how to anticipate calamity and protect people and property from harm. Commentary covers a variety of situations impacting communities and animals, and explains the logistics of searches for the missing and dead by local teams and specialists from WorldVision, National Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the United Nations. The authors make judicious use of boldface and bulleted lists, notably, supply pantries and first aid for such injuries as concussion, trauma, and hypothermia. Photos particularize both genders, children and adults, and multiple races, and dramatize the need for earth-movers, cranes, and protective gloves, boots, and hardhats. A valuable element, children’s stories of terrifying experiences offer insight into shantytowns, tent cities, looting, and unstable buildings. Texts precede reading lists, research topics, timelines, glossaries, and indexes. Vocabulary extends to scientific terms (tectonics, telecommunication satellites, gradient, distill), political aspects (expatriate, grant, curfew), engineering (levee, latrine, hydraulic jack), medical (cholera, hospital ship, field hospital), and human intermediaries (missionary, damage-assessment team, psychotherapy). A superbly conceived and executed series, Heinemann’s introduction to disasters prepares readers for global news, as well as threats to home and self. This series is an excellent, sensibly priced choice for homeschooling, classrooms, and public libraries. (Disaster Dossiers) Reviewer: Mary Ellen Snodgrass; Ages 11 to 14.