Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The big storm

The big storm

Bruce Hiscock
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 9 to 12
Boyds Mills Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1590786000

Spring is coming to the Unites States and people are finally putting away their winter clothes and looking forward to warmer weather and outdoor pursuits. It is the last day of March in 1982. Clear weather stretches right across the country and many people are eager for the baseball season to begin.

What many people forget is that spring is a time when the weather can be very temperamental. A big storm comes in from the Pacific and slams into the west coast bringing strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures with it. When the storm reaches the Sierra Nevada Mountains it dumps heavy snow on the peaks, and the drifts pile up so high that avalanches occur.

When the storm reaches the Great Plains new problems arise. Driven by the power of the storm, more than eighty tornadoes form. The spinning spires of wind cause an enormous amount of damage and more than thirty people are killed. And this is not the end of things. The storm has a lot more power left as it sweeps east towards the Atlantic Ocean.

In this carefully researched account the author not only describes what took place in the United States from March 31st to April 6th, but he also provides his readers with plenty of background information about, among other things, how weather systems are created, how tornadoes form, and how people track and try to predict what a weather system is going to do.

With lots of illustrations and diagrams to help readers understand the descriptions in the narrative, Bruce Hiscock takes his readers on a fascinating journey across the country during one special week in spring.