The stage is set on the opening page for learning about the 1946 tsunami disaster at Laupahoehoe, Hawaii. An excellent "hook" encourages readers to discover all they can about that specific experience. First-hand accounts of students and adults greatly enhance the text. Throughout the course of the five-chapter book, the incredible tsunami is examined from all sides. Readers can picture tsunamis as "towering, destructive monsters" or water "no higher than the usual wind waves that lap most shorelines." Five detailed chapters cover tsunami events, history, science, and warnings. Information about tectonic plates is aptly explained. The information is accompanied with labeled illustrations. Facts galore are covered in the text and in side bars. Awesome black-and-white photos of real tsunamis are sprinkled throughout the book giving it a scrapbook appearance. Maps and a full-page newspaper article depicting a teen's tsunami experience are also included. Each chapter is prefaced with a left page illustration resembling a wood cut. Teachers will do well to add this book to science and social studies lessons. In this day and age, student readers are likely to pick this book up on their own.
Focusing on the wave that struck Hawaii in1946, Karwoski presents the event from a variety of viewpoints. The destruction of Hilo harbor leads off, citing accounts of victims from the Japanese neighborhood known as Shinmachi, and is followed by the story of the destruction of a school on Laupahoehoe Point. The author describes the cause of this disaster, a 7.8-scale earthquake in the Aleutians, and discusses other significant historic tsunamis. Sidebars add additional information, distinguish between tsunamis and tidal waves, provide more detail on individuals and the phenomenon, present definitions, and describe the causes of tsunamis. The book presents speculation linking the Atlantis legend with tsunamis, describes underwater sculptures exposed by the 2004 tsunami, and concludes with information on warning systems, such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Very small black-and-white photos enhance the text, touchingly depicting the devastation, for example, with a photo of a floating schoolbook. The bibliography is extensive but there is no index. Overall, this is a solid addition to the material that has appeared since 2004 as it gives a good historical perspective.
Jeffrey A. FrenchCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.