Nonfiction Monday: Disasters by Brenda Z. Guiberson
In an effort to appeal to a wide range of readers, nonfiction for youngsters often ignores depth for breadth. The results are books that make dandy casual reading (nothing wrong with that), but don’t deliver much in the way of details to aid youngsters who are really looking to get down to the nitty-gritty. Disasters helps to balance the scales. 10 chapters, 10 calamities, presented with particulars that provide insight and humanity.
The sinking of the Titanic. The Great Chicago Fire. The Johnstown Flood. How well do you know these events? I thought I had a handle on them, but it quickly became clear that I had a lot to learn. As is often the case with historical events, the causes and effects have been simplified over the years. Over the course of 10 chapters, Guiberson counteracts this, bringing each event to life with a keen eye for what readers should know. Related information is often brought into the fold, such as Andrew Carnegie’s association with the Johnstown flood. Guiberson handles the chapters on disease well. The science and effects ofÂ smallpox and influenza are described in a way that is easy to understand. Also welcome is the inclusion of the 2004 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. A bibliography provides resources for further discovery.
The writing is always straightforward, helping clarify the information. The potential of Disasters will be fully realized in a classroom setting and for kids who aren’t satisfied skimming the surface.
So let’s get specific, Disasters is a valuable student research resource and a worthwhile addition to your nonfiction collection.
Review copy from publisher.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
And don’t forget – next May 24th is Nontraditional Nonfiction Monday here at 100 Scope Notes. Allow this video to explain:
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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