Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hurricane Force: In the path of America's deadliest storms

Hurricane Force: In the path of America's deadliest storms

Joseph B Treaster
For ages 12 and up
Kingfisher, 2007   ISBN: 978-0753460863

From June until November of every year the people living in the Caribbean, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and along the east coast of the United States hold themselves in readiness for the arrival of hurricanes. If you live in Florida, as the author of this book did when he was young, you quickly become accustomed to the arrival of these terrifying storms.

Joseph B. Treaster - who has experienced many hurricanes first hand including hurricane Katrina – begins his description of hurricanes by exploring how they are formed in the "storm factory" of the Atlantic. Hot desert winds from Africa blow out across the ocean and there they "spawn clusters of storms." Some of these, if the conditions are right, will turn into hurricanes which then spin their way across the water until they reach the Caribbean.

Scientists do not as yet fully understand how these storms are created and why they take the paths that they do. In an effort to try to predict the behavior of hurricanes better, scientists have, over the years, been developing new machines and new ideas. They use satellite photographs to watch the birth and movement of hurricanes. They send special planes into hurricanes to get scientific readings, and the National Weather Service does its best to warn people who live in the path of an encroaching hurricane that danger is coming.

Packed with first hand accounts, masses of interesting information, and plenty of background material, this book is a must for anyone who is interested in hurricanes. Using his considerable skill as a reporter to tell his story, Joseph B. Treaster's writing captures the feelings of excitement, fear, and anticipation that people experience when they learn that a hurricane is heading their way. He shows his readers how much these storms have affected people over the centuries and he gives the narrative a personal touch when he describes his own hurricane experiences.

This title is full of excellent photographs and maps. In addition, at the back of book, readers will find supplementary information about how to build a hurricane proof house, a listing of some of the more deadly hurricanes which have hit the United States over the years, a timeline for hurricane Katrina, and more.