Booklist (Carolyn Phelan)
Designed to introduce students to the parts of a nonfiction book (table of contents, headings, sidebars, maps, glossary, index, etc.), the books in the Disaster Zone series reveal types of natural disasters through relatively short texts and large, color photos. Each book ends with suggestions aimed at preventing these events when possible and preparing for those that are unavoidable. The back matter includes an activity, which might be simple (placing two ice cubes on a plate, sprinkling salt on one, and observing what happens) or more involved but less engaging (using the Internet to research a topic and answering a series of questions). Dust Storms includes a 2015 storm in the Middle East as well as the 1930s Dust Bowl in North America. Floods looks at the 1974 flooding in Bangladesh and the 2005 deluge of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The colorful page design and clearly reproduced photos are appealing, but little space is allocated to text, limiting the books’ usefulness. Attractive supplemental material for science collections.