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Will It Blow?: Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens

Overview

Mount St. Helens is constantly erupting. It is pushing up a ridge of thick lava that is rebuilding the peak of the mountain that was blown off in 1980. The mountain is being monitored by geologists and volcanologists, all trying to answer the same question: Will it blow? Science is like detective work, and author Elizabeth Rusch presents the work of volcanology in a series of cases that need to be cracked—with Mount St. Helens as the central culprit, a master disguises, adept at sending out false clues. But ...

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Overview

Mount St. Helens is constantly erupting. It is pushing up a ridge of thick lava that is rebuilding the peak of the mountain that was blown off in 1980. The mountain is being monitored by geologists and volcanologists, all trying to answer the same question: Will it blow? Science is like detective work, and author Elizabeth Rusch presents the work of volcanology in a series of cases that need to be cracked—with Mount St. Helens as the central culprit, a master disguises, adept at sending out false clues. But through an understanding of earthquakes, gases that come from underground, infrared measurement of the earth’s temperature, bumps and deformations on the surface of the earth, and kind of rock that is being formed in the crater, readers become volcano detectives. With sidebars about the latest gadgets and gizmos employed at the mountain and activities kids can enact, young people will learn the current science of volcanology and have fun at the same time.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
This book challenges readers to become volcanic-eruption predictors. Using Mt. St. Helens and its spectacular 1980 eruption as well as other smaller eruptions there as "the suspect," a variety of clues-on temperature, ground deformation, etc.-are presented, and their significance to the pre-1980 mountain is explained. Finally, scenarios describe other, smaller volcanic events on Mt. St. Helens, and detective-readers are asked to deduce from the conditions whether an explosion happened or not. A concluding page in each chapter gives the answer. The text is breezy, its light humor masking the fact that it is packed with information. Each chapter contains an easy experiment, ranging from creating a soda-bottle eruption to acting as a "human seismograph," that's suitable for science projects or classroom use. Cartoons and color photographs keep step with the text, and green topic boxes (explaining how scientists collect rocks from inside a crater, how they measure telltale gases in the air, and more) are liberally sprinkled throughout. Team this with titles like Melvin and Hilda Berger's Why Do Volcanoes Blow Their Tops? (Scholastic, 2000), Donna O'Meara's personal Into the Volcano (Kids Can, 2005), and/or Chris Hayhurst's Volcanologists (Rosen, 2003) for expanded use of this work describing a real-life volcano, its geological messages, and the scientists who decipher the language of the Earth to predict the next blast.
—Patricia ManningCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570615092
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 375,625
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Rusch's first children's book, Generation Fix, was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Children's Book. A contributor to numerous magazines, she lives in Portland, OR. Artist K. E. Lewis lives in Seattle.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2008

    Use this book in your class

    As an after school teacher with elementary school students, I find it can be very difficult to engage my students in anything academic. I have used Will It Blow? as the basis for a few of my classroom activities with great success. In the book, kids are challenged to solve the mysteries of Mount St. Helens¿ latest eruption by becoming ¿volcano detectives¿ themselves. The book¿s subject and approach inspires many different kinds of discussions with my students. We¿ve talked about anything from local geography, history, and current eruption activity to volcano science and how the scientific method can be like detective work. The interviews with USGS scientists encouraged my fifth graders to think of how science works in the ¿real world¿ and the hands-on activities described in the book were fun for my second graders (though next time I¿ll be doing the ¿Soda Bottle Volcano¿ outdoors!). I find it to be just a great book for working with kids, for making them aware of the world in their backyard, and getting them excited about science.

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