From the Publisher
"High-stakes science, portrayed in one of the scarier entries in this bar-setting series."
—Kirkus, starred review
"This book gives tragic and terrifying volcanoes a sense of story that other books lack by talking about real-life crises and how individuals came together to keep millions of people safe. . . . A great addition for all collections."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Images of the destruction may initially draw the casual browser, but far more impressive is the balance of vivid photographs that bring the international scientists into the limelight."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[A] terrific addition to the Scientists in the Field series . . . The portrayal of scientific investigation is exceptional."
—The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-Newman
A deep dive into the science of volcanoes, students will be swept up in the photographs depicting the work of the United States Geological Survey. Part of the “Scientists in the Field” series, this book begins with the 1985 Nevado Del Ruiz, Colombia disaster that killed more than 23,000 people, and explains how USGS scientists wanted to better understand when and how future volcanos would erupt, and where the path of ash, rocks, gases and mud would go. The author and photographer were allowed to accompany the scientists in the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program to Mount St. Helens and to Mount Merapi in Indonesia, giving the book a “you are there” feel. It is also noteworthy that there are stories of local villagers, such as people who were evacuated, or who lost their houses. Sidebars include an explanation of seismographs and satellite remote sensing. The one drawback is the 73-page length and amount of text will make it possible for many students to flip through and look at photographs and captions rather than absorb the science. Still, given how many choices librarians have for volcano-themed books, this stands out. Additional features include a list of vocabulary words, bibliography, chapter notes and index. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman; Ages 10 to 13.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—What does another book about volcanoes or natural disasters matter to a nonfiction section these days? In the case of this addition to the series, it matters a lot. This book gives tragic and terrifying volcanoes a sense of story that other books lack by talking about real-life crises and how individuals came together to keep millions of people safe. Young geology enthusiasts may not realize that there are so many volcanoes in the world, erupting constantly and posing threats to so many people, so the maps and personal narratives are eye-opening. The text is easy to understand but does not oversimplify the content, and the captions for the full-color photos give brief but valuable information about the images. In addition to telling the stories of specific, recent volcanic eruptions and how volcanologists reacted, there are also many pages with general information that help readers gain necessary vocabulary and see the big picture of volcanic activity. The book includes an extensive index, a helpful glossary, chapter notes citing sources, and a selected bibliography that is fairly lengthy, covering quite a breadth of sources. A great addition for all collections.—Trina Bolfing, Westbank Libraries, Austin, TX
Rusch (Mighty Mars Rovers, 2012) cranks up the pressure as she portrays scientists whose work requires getting entirely too close to active or soon-to-be-active volcanoes. This entry in the Scientists in the Field series is highlighted by dramatic accounts of three massive modern eruptions: Colombia's Nevado del Ruiz in 1985, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines (1991) and Mount Merapi (2010) in Indonesia. Rusch follows members of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, the "first and only international volcano crisis team," to those and other sites, providing plenty of maps, subterranean diagrams and photos of team members working both in labs and on site with local scientists for visual aids. She explains how volcanologists have learned to identify and evaluate the often ambiguous warning signs of impending disaster in time to make informed decisions about when and how far to evacuate nearby residents (not to mention themselves). Her descriptions, as well as Uhlman's before-and-after photos will leave readers with vivid impressions of the massive destruction that lava bombs, pyroclastic flows and heavy rains of ash can, do and inevitably will wreak. High-stakes science, portrayed in one of the scarier entries in this bar-setting series. (glossary, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)