School Library Journal - School Library Journalea. vol: 32p. photogs. glossary. in dex. (Topics Series). Bookwright Pr., dist. by Watts. Mar. 1986. PSS $9.40. Gr 3-6Two British imports that give cursory introductions to the causes and effects of disasters and to what takes place beneath the earth's surface. Each book has the same format: clear, color photographs and short chapters. Words in bold type are explained in the glossa ry. Some oversimplification occurs in the glossaries. In Disasters a hurricane is defined as ``a ferocious and destruc tive storm'' and in Under the Ground a laser is ``a device that gives out a very strong beam of light.'' Measurement is given in metric but converted to stand ard equivalents in parentheses. Great Disasters describes both natural and man-made disasters. Emphasis seems to be on the number killed and amount of damage rather than on a probing look at the causes and effects. There is some editorializing, such as the statement that ``Humans will never be perfect and will always make mistakes.'' The nu clear bomb is mentioned, including the statement that ``One mistake with them could be our last.'' Fradin's ``Disaster'' series (Childrens, 1982) or Healey's Di sasters (Silver Burdett, 1978; o.p.) will be more useful, although Healey's book is for a slightly older age group. Under the Ground examines animals, minerals, caves and tunnels, pipes and cables, cellars, tanks, and bank vaults. The information given is too brief for the subjects covered. Individual titles on these subjects such as McGowen's Album of Rocks and Minerals (Rand McNally, 1981) will be more useful. Alice Arnett, Greenwood Elementary School, Louisville, Ky.
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