Discover More series. 112 p. Scholastic, Inc. March, 2013. 978054547938. (Review copy provided by the publisher)
Disasters is one of the newer additions to Scholastic's Discover More series. It delivers on its subtitle promise of "a close-up look at nature's biggest disasters." The photographs, many double-paged, are over-sized, full-color and riveting. Seriously, when your students discover this one, there will be some major rubbernecking in your library or classroom.
The series takes the browse-ability of the Eyewitness series but pumps up the information and focus. Disasters is divided into five sections: Disastrous Weather; Unstable Earth, Troubled Waters: How People Cause Disasters and The Threat from Space. Each section opens with three questions that will be answered. In addition to the spectacular photographs, there are plenty of maps, cutaway illustrations, and artist's renderings, as well as text boxes containing data and "eyewitness" accounts. Each section also contains a color-coded strip entitled, "More here," which lists vocabulary words and books and websites for further reading.
The book does contain an index and an additional glossary at the end as well as photo credits.
Another nice feature of this series is that each book is paired with a downloadable companion digital book. In this case, the book is called Storm Chasers. It's worth looking at as it focuses on the scientists who risk their lives to study these disasters. Sections include: Storm Chasers; Hurricane Hunters; Lifesavers & Heroes of Hurricane Sandy; Lightning Seekers, Avalanche Rescuers: Quake Questers; Eruption Experts; Wildfire Fighters and Sky Watchers. As in the print version, the photographs just pop. Readers can scroll through the book and read continuously or utilize the navigation buttons to skip to videos and interviews. As in the print version, there are plenty of vocabulary words defined in boxes.
Our sixth grade science classes work on a disasters unit. It's a group project in which each member researches the disaster assigned to the group and the team collaborates on a PSA, which is then presented to the rest of the class. They work with a rubric in order to stay on track. This book will be a welcome addition to the resources I've collected so far.
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