Children's LiteratureThe very clear, explanatory text makes this an interesting look at one of the most feared natural calamities. Basic geological background is included, making it possible for the reader to understand why earthquakes occur. After an explanation of how the crust of the Earth is divided up into tectonic plates, the text goes on to say, "If you took away the ocean, the Earth's surface would look a bit like a giant jigsaw puzzle." An illustration showing plate edges and earthquake zones adds emphasis. How earthquakes are measured by the Richter Scale and the lesser-known Mercalli Scale is also covered, as are the ways geologists attempt to predict quakes and measure the movements of the Earth. There are noteworthy sidebars, such as the one explaining that the instrument used to measure the creep in the Earth's crust is called a creepmeter. This addition to the "Natural Disasters" series will be a helpful resource to the young student. 2002 (orig. 2000), Chelsea House, $16.95. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library JournalGr 3-4-Bare-bones looks at the what, when, and why of floods and earthquakes. Both titles suffer from changes in voice, poor word choices, and weak sentence structures, all in an attempt to mix a chatty informality with serious subjects. Rarely seen photography taken from Australian photo archives is varied and brings out the kinds of pictures students need to visualize the facts surrounding these disasters. Quakes also includes informative diagrams and drawings that will help children understand what happens during an earthquake, how it is measured, and how buildings are constructed to be more earthquake safe. Both books have insets called "Guess What?," "Disaster Detective," or "Read All About It!" on most pages. While young report writers may find some information here, most will be better served by a good encyclopedia such as World Book, which provides broader coverage.- Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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