Monday, December 20, 2010

Shattering Earthquakes

Shattering Earthquakes
written by Louise and Richard Spilsbury
(Heinemann Library) 2010
Source: Mebane Public Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Simply Science 

On page 6 of Shattering Earthquakes is the clearest, most kid-friendly description of what causes an earthquake that I have ever read. Authors Louise and Richard Spilsbury describe the crust of the earth cracking like the shell of an egg and that the plates formed by this cracking "float like huge rafts on hot, liquid rock that bubbles deep inside the Earth." Throughout this book, they seek to explain scientific phenomena by comparing it to things (rafts, ripples on a pond, etc.) that a kid would understand. There are several other features that I really like about this book. Contained in the book are four case studies of famous recent earthquakes that have taken place around the world. Facts like time, location on a map, and the size of each of these earthquakes is located within each case study. A map of the world on page 10 also shows the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean where many volcanoes and earthquakes occur. In the latter half of the book there is information about the efforts of scientists to predict earthquakes and what you can do if you are in an area experiencing an earthquake. Included in the back matter are a glossary and website addresses including one for a kid's site produced by the U.S. Geological Survey. Check out the animations and an excellent ABC book about earthquakes. Shattering Earthquakes is also a superb book for teaching nonfiction text features.

Other reviews of Shattering Earthquakes:
Karen Timmons/NSTA


  1. Hi Jeff,

    I am glad to have a good kid friendly earthquake book to add to my list. The topic is always hard to explain... Will look forward to checking out this book!

  2. Stacey's right - earthquakes ARE a hard topic to explain to my third grade students. Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc can all be explained by wind, water, and weather. Earthquakes - where to begin. A book like this one would no doubt be helpful.

    Happy holidays.


  3. Happy Holidays, Tim! Thanks for stopping by. This would be a helpful book for third graders.