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Children's LiteratureSimon rounds out his collection of other weather books—Earthquakes, Lightening, Storms, Tornadoes, Volcanoes, and Wildfires—with this informational narrative about hurricanes, the swirling havoc-wreaking storms that blow up from the tropics. Calling hurricanes the worst storms because they are more widespread than the compressed tornado, Simon tells readers how to differentiate tropical depressions, from tropical storms and hurricanes. Text explains the natural conditions that cause these storms, the workings of one from the eye out, a hurricane's spawn of tornadoes, and also describes in depth the 1900 Galveston hurricane that killed at least 12,000 people and changed the shoreline of the city. Floyd and Andrew get their day in the sun, as well. In keeping with the format of Simon's informational books, the often eloquent pictures are uncaptioned and readers must view them as complementary to the text but without any extra information appended. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (Category 1 to 5) is explained with generic damage pictures to give readers a visual sense of bad to worst. Simon explains ways in which forecasters foretell hurricanes and explains that this has resulted in fewer modern-day deaths. The text ends with how one can prepare for a hurricane and tips for surviving in the days afterwards. Readable information that seems to flow naturally from part to part, a minimum of italicized words, and large size photographs make the book an inviting introduction to the curious and while the book's depth of information needs someone with a little background to understand it, younger children could learn much by talking about this book with an adult, as well. 2003,HarperCollins, Ages 7 to 11.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.