Earthquakes: Earth's Mightiest Moments

Overview

Each year there are millions of earthquakes. Most are mild tremors that cause no damage. They usually go unnoticed. But a few earthquakes can be devastating, like the one that struck San Francisco in 1989 and destroyed hundreds of homes. Earthquakes happen under the ocean, too. If the quakes are strong enough, the shocks create enormous waves. Such powerful waves roll across the ocean at high speeds and may cause more damage when they hit land than the earthquake itself. What causes the Earth to quiver and shake?...

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Overview

Each year there are millions of earthquakes. Most are mild tremors that cause no damage. They usually go unnoticed. But a few earthquakes can be devastating, like the one that struck San Francisco in 1989 and destroyed hundreds of homes. Earthquakes happen under the ocean, too. If the quakes are strong enough, the shocks create enormous waves. Such powerful waves roll across the ocean at high speeds and may cause more damage when they hit land than the earthquake itself. What causes the Earth to quiver and shake? This basic introduction explains why the Earth's surface sometimes moves. It shows young readers how scientists believe the earth is made, from its hot iron core to the enormous floating plates that form the cool outer crust where we live. David L. Harrison and Cheryl Nathan examine the nature and causes of earthquakes in vivid, easy-to-understand language and bold illustrations.

David L. Harrison holds degrees in science and has a keen interest in how nature works. This is his fifth book in the Earthworks series. He lives in Springfield, Missouri.

Cheryl Nathan has worked as an art director and designer in advertising, journalism, and book publishing, and she has illustrated a number of nature books for children. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Earthquakes are daily happenings throughout the world, although most go unnoticed. Just before Christmas in 1811 pioneer families experience the "worst earthquake in history" with plenty of bouncing, tumbling, and crackling. The author shares the fear-provoking experiences and then attempts to help young readers understand the earthquake phenomenon in relation to the earth's composition. Despite text explanations and colorful, creative collage artwork, the scientific concepts in examining the nature and causes of earthquakes are too difficult for most children to understand. Examples found in the Author's Note provide a more appropriate insight to the topic: he compares tectonic plates to a jigsaw puzzle and illustrates the resemblance of the great Atlantic Ocean rift to a seam in a baseball. Simplistic models, graphs, labels, and comparisons would have strengthened the presentation. A short list of related titles is included in the book. There is no glossary or index. This title is too challenging for beginning learners. Earthquakes by Franklyn M. Branley provides youngsters with a clear-cut introduction to earth's geological changes. 2004, Boyd Mills Press, Ages 5 to 8.
—Barbara Troisi
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A useful yet fun introduction to the topic. Instead of taking the typical cut-and-dried approach to presenting information, Harrison provides a lively text that will draw readers in. The book opens with an attention-grabbing glimpse at a pioneer family in Missouri in 1811, as the settlers experience "the worst earthquake in the history of the United States." The colorful collage artwork and accessible narrative clearly describe the layers of the earth, plate tectonics, the scientists that study earthquakes, and what causes mountains and trenches. The vivid, two-page illustrations are both attractive and informative. Purchase this title if you need to beef up this subject area for the youngest researchers.-Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What is an earthquake? What causes it? The author and illustrator of Caves: Mysteries Beneath Our Feet (2001) tackle this difficult topic for beginning readers with only partial success. It's hard to picture an earthquake, and harder still to imagine "a rock up to sixty miles thick . . . bigger than the United States . . . floating on an ocean of rock 1,800 miles deep." The author describes how tectonic plates rub together and split apart, shaking, breaking, and releasing gasses from inside the earth. He describes how scientists measure the strength of earthquakes with the Richter Scale. Brightly colored illustrations are decorative but not especially helpful. For example, the illustration of one plate slipping below another shows wide bands of magenta, red, orange, a black line, blue, and brown bands, with yellow arrows pointing in opposite directions. Hard to tell what's happening. This entry in the Earthworks series will be tough going for its intended young audience. (Nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590782439
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Earth Works
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 829,709
  • Age range: 6 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Harrison is the author of more than 70 books that have sold over 15 million copies. Pirates, also illustrated by Dan Burr, was placed on the Texas Bluebonnet Award 2010-2011 Master List. Harrison is the recipient of many awards, including the Christopher Award and the Missouri Librarian Association Literacy Award for the body of his work. He lives in Springfield, Missouri.

Cheryl has worked as an art director and a designer. She has illustrated a number of nature books for children. Her art has won recognition from the Society of Illustrators.

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