With striking photographs of actual volcanic eruptions and testimony from both scientists and survivors, Rusch’s piece brings the science and action of volcanic activity to life. If not living in an area close to an active volcano, readers may not understand the potential dangers of these “sleeping giants”. For many students, the reality of volcanic activity exists only in the form of mixing vinegar and baking soda together to create “lava” for a science project. However, as the author demonstrates, monitoring volcanic activity is a necessary precaution for public safety. When volcanoes erupt, entire the population of entire cities and villages could be at stake.
I’m not much of a science person, but I really liked this book! It focused on the scientists dedicated to monitoring volcanoes and warning people when they are about to erupt, so it reminded me of Stormchasers or something equally exciting. There was a lot of action and suspense — so much that I didn’t mind when the technical aspects were mixed in! One thing I definitely learned from the book was how many volcanoes there still are today and how dangerous they can be. Some of them don’t erupt for a century or so, but, when they do, it’s devastating! If you’re at all interested in natural disasters or science, you may really enjoy this book. If nothing else, the pictures are fantastic!
*YALSA Award for Nonfiction for Young Adults, Nominee, 2014.
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