Monday, February 18, 2008

Disasters Up Close -- book series for children

BooksForKidsBlog has a review on the Disasters Up Close series of non-fiction books for kids (grades 3-8). The series includes titles such as Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Fires, Hurricanes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes.

How do you evaluate nonfiction for young readers? Actually, it's simpler and less subjective than judging the merits of a novel. If you remember the five W's from English class, you're already an expert. Begin with the table of contents. Do the chapter titles and subtitles seem to answer the who, what, when, where, why, (and how) questions? For example, in the case of Tornadoes, who forecasts tornadoes and how do they do it? What is a tornado? When and where do they occur? Why do they happen where and when they do? How powerful are they? How can people protect themselves from the damage tornadoes cause? If the book has an introduction, skim through it to see what methodology the author plans to use to engage with the subject. For example, the authors of Tornadoes use first-person narratives and newspaper accounts of famous tornadoes to focus on the whys and wherefores.

Book titles include: Tornadoes, Volcanoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Droughts, Fires, Mudflows and Landslides, Floods, Avalanches, and Tsunamis. Paperback. 64 pages each. Grades 4-8. The entire book set sells for about $90.

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