Surtsey: The Newest Place On Earth

Surtsey: The Newest Place On Earth

by Kathryn Lasky, Christopher Knight
     
 

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Early on a November morning in 1963, off the coast of Iceland, a volcanic eruption was taking place deep under the ocean. Just before dawn it broke the water's surface, spewing lava miles into the air. By the next morning, though, something even more incredible had occurred. The cinder cone of the volcano had risen above the sea; a new island had been born. It was…  See more details below

Overview

Early on a November morning in 1963, off the coast of Iceland, a volcanic eruption was taking place deep under the ocean. Just before dawn it broke the water's surface, spewing lava miles into the air. By the next morning, though, something even more incredible had occurred. The cinder cone of the volcano had risen above the sea; a new island had been born. It was Surtsey, the newest place on earth.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dia L. Michels
Surtsey is a magnificent exploration of the relationship between destruction and creation. It tells us the story of a new island created in a process as old as earth itself. On Nov. 17, 1963, a massive undersea volcanic explosion off the coast of Iceland became the newest piece of land on the planet. If this book had no photographs, it would be an intriguing and well-written introduction to this mysterious island. With the photos, though, this book is an incredibly fascinating and gripping story of creation. Stunning shots show us the magnitude of the eruption that initially created the island, the intensity of the lava river flows that supported and extended the new land mass, the power of the elements as the inferno inside the land competed for survival against frigid sea waters and powerful winds, and finally, the emergence of flora and fauna in this delicate new ecosystem. Combining history, mythology, geology, chemistry, and botany, Surtsey is children's nonfiction at its best.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
This wife and husband team were among the first 100 people allowed on the island that emerged from the sea near Iceland's coast in 1963. Ms. Lasky's lyrical prose and Mr. Knight's truly spectacular photographs recount Surtsey's development, from its birth through the establishment of grasses and the presence of birds in 1970; a photo-essay at its best. 1994 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-- None of us were there when the Galapagos came thrusting upward from the ocean's floor, nor when the Hawaiian Islands burst into air from the Pacific depths, but we do know what they looked like, sounded like, smelled like: like Surtsey, born in fire on a raw November day in 1963, surging above the waves of the cold North Atlantic some 70 odd miles southeast of Reykjavik, Iceland. Here, in a sometimes lyrical text, accompanied by dramatic full-color photographs and apt quotations from Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda (A.D. 1220-1230), readers are introduced to the brief history of this harsh, bitter land. Along with excited scientists, they enter a living laboratory and watch as life struggles to develop precarious footholds--rather like entering a time machine to Earth's firey beginnings. Well-organized, finely tooled, and beautifully designed--a treat for inquiring minds and eyes. --Patricia Manning, Eastchester Public Library, NY
Stephanie Zvirin
We expect good things from the husband-and-wife team of Lasky and Knight; they've charmed us with such outstanding photo-essays as the Newbery Honor Book "Sugaring Time" (1983) and "Dinosaur Dig" (1990). What they deliver in this slim volume won't disappoint. Their beautifully designed text conveys the dramatic beginnings of the island of Surtsey, which sprang into being off the coast of Iceland in 1963, so well that the book is hard to put down. Knight's crisp, plentiful photographs, many full-page, escort readers back in time to the island's furious volcanic birth, then guide them along as the storm of ash dissipates, the fires cool, and life gradually establishes itself on shore. Equally compelling is Lasky's narrative. Lending a sense of romance and majesty to actual events are the quotes, adapted from an Icelandic epic, that head each chapter. Interweaving the epic's characters and references into her own clear and vivid text, Lasky dynamically presents factual descriptions of plate tectonics and the island's dramatic ecological evolution. A list of additional readings would have been a wonderful way to further reader interest, but even without a bibliography, this is still a book that makes "the newest place on Earth" one of the most fascinating.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781562823016
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
09/01/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 8.35(h) x 0.43(d)
Lexile:
1110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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