Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eruption! by Elizabeth Rusch

Eruption! by Elizabeth Rusch is a high-quality juvenile nonfiction book about volcanoes and the scientists who monitor them.

This book tells the story of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, an agency formed by the United States Geological Survey and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. In 1985, the Nevado del Ruiz eruption in Columbia devastated a large area and killed thousands in the nearby town of Armero. While nobody can prevent a volcano from erupting, scientists devoted their efforts to monitoring volcanoes and predicting eruptions, in the hope of minimizing loss of life in the future. This book looks at two eruptions to which the VDAP responded: the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, and the 2006 eruption of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia. The book focuses on the collaborative work of the scientists as they coordinate with local scientists and government officials in each region. The VDAP also offers training and support for volcanologists around the globe.

Whenever I read a book from the Scientists in the Field series, I am always favorably impressed at the writing and research in each book. Rusch does a great job of creating tension and narrative flow in an informational text, without compromising the facts contained therein. I learned a lot about volcanoes from this book, and I am sure that readers fascinated by this topic will be completely enthralled.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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