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School Library Journal
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.