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Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives

Elizabeth Rusch; Illustrated by Tom Uhlman

HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013
Pages : 76
Suggested Ages: 10 and up
ISBN: 978-0547503509

The title and the cover say it all. Eruption! How do populated cities and towns, farms, animals, and people survive an eruption of a volcano? Is it possible to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people that live in the shadows of active volcanoes? If a volcano has been dormant for hundreds of years, is it safe to populate and farm the land hot lava and ash once destroyed? Are there lessons to be learned from the lives and towns that have been lost? 

Elizabeth Rusch takes readers on a nail-biting journey with scientists trying to predict the next eruption of volcanoes around the world. Life often continues as normal, while volcanologists Andy Lockhart, John Pallister, and a group of scientists known as the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program monitor the seismic activity, satellite images, observatories, radar, and an abundance of other data sources. They are then responsible for elevating warnings that may save the innocent people who live below these mountains that can spew lava so hot it can burn everything in its path. Evacuations are planned as cautiously and in as timely a manner as possible to prevent mass chaos and frustration if the predictions do not come true. There are copious risks, many gambles, and a lot of scientific guesswork when tens of thousands of lives are trying to be saved.

Reviewed by : MJI

Themes : SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS. CITIES AND TOWNS. NATURE.

If you love this book, then try:

Heos, Bridget. Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013.

Rusch, Elizabeth. The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity HMH Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Discussion and Activity Guide

Teacher Tips: Eruption! provides extensive information on volcanoes and the work scientists’ employ to lessen death and destruction in the towns that live with volcanoes in their shadows. Use this book as a motivation to begin an in-depth study of volcanoes and build students background knowledge to help develop focus questions and further study.

Critics have said

"This book gives tragic and terrifying volcanoes a sense of story that other books lack by talking about real-life crises and how individuals came together to keep millions of people safe."
- School Library Journal

"High-stakes science, portrayed in one of the scarier entries in this bar-setting series."
- Kirkus