Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Ken Rubin
For ages 10 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416938620

Many of us feel that the earth beneath our feet is "solid" and that mountains and oceans are permanent and unchanging. The truth is that the Earth is not static at all. Beneath its thin crust there lies a mantle, a "zone of partially molten rock" that moves across the surface of the planet. As it moves, the mantle carries with it large "slabs of crust," which are called tectonic plates. These plates collide and move away from each other and often, where these events take place, cracks in the mantle develop. Volcanoes can form at these "hotspots." The rubbing, separating, and crashing together of plates can also bring about earthquakes.

In this superbly presented book from the Insiders series, the author shows his readers how dynamic and often violent planet Earth can be. He explores how volcanoes and earthquakes form, how they are studied, and what they can do to the environment and human settlements. He then goes on to look at the stories of five volcanoes and five earthquake events. These include the eruptions of Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens, and the San Francisco and Kobe earthquakes.

With fabulous annotated three dimensional pictures, maps, photographs, diagrams, and illustrations, this book makes the story of our planet and its upheavals very accessible to the young reader. Though the main text sections are relatively short, there is a wealth of information to be found on the pages, and readers will be left with a very graphic and interesting picture of what takes places beneath their feet.