Series of 15 titles
Nature has the ability to turn our world into a disaster zone. From blizzards to volcanoes, this series looks at the science behind the destruction. How is a blizzard different from a snowstorm? What causes hurricanes to form? How do you stay safe in an earthquake? Children can answer these questions and more as they practice reading informational text. Includes infographics, an activity, and a glossary to reinforce new words.
|Interest Level||Grade 2 - Grade 5|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Category||Beginning Readers, STEM|
|Subject||Science and Math, STEM|
|Number of Pages||24|
|Dimensions||7.5 x 9|
|Guided Reading Level||J|
|ATOS Reading Level||2.6-2.9|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||0.5|
|Features||Glossary of key words, Index, and Table of contents|
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.
Series Made Simple
Simple explanations are paired with relevant illustrations to bolster confidence in emerging researchers. In addition to basic facts about the causes and effects of natural disasters, each volume includes a map where they are most likely to occur, plus several historic or contemporary examples. Small diagrams and text boxes help explain terms such as haboob. A hands-on activity, such as melting ice without changing the temperature, precedes the back matter. The exception is Wildfires, which suggests additional Internet research as the accompanying activity. VERDICT Good choices to introduce primary researchers to components of nonfiction.
Series Made Simple
These early readers supply basic overviews of natural disasters. Each volume starts with a “You Are There” scenario to engage interest by describing a specific event. Meister then offers simple explanations of why and where such disasters are most likely to take place and offers some examples of the most deadly occurrences. She concludes with a hands-on activity such as making a small landslide on loose dirt or sloshing corn flakes in milk to simulate tectonic plate movement. Large photos plus maps and fact boxes usually correlate well with the text. However, the photo of children scooping water seems incongruous next to a paragraph about Ethiopia’s drought, and the world drought map includes only a few areas in the United States. VERDICT Well-designed introductory nonfiction about topics that will interest many students, especially beginning readers.
I read and reviewed the Disaster Zone series, which included separate books for hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards. droughts, earthquakes, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these books, probably most of all because of the incredible photography and illustrations/infographics. Each book in the series started with a section guiding parents and teachers through introducing nonfiction to their young children. Succinctly in 3-4 chapters, the disaster was described, and examples were given from around the world and in the United States. Whether longest drought or deadliest tornado, the books gave good information paired with dramatic photos. Each book had an end section containing an index and glossary, and a “try this” section which will help any teacher do a mini science lab in the class. I found the science behind the books to be accurate and I loved the way the author tied in real disasters. The books are also aligned with Common Core (reading informational texts) and NGSS (Physical Sciences/Earth and Space). Frankly, were informational texts as fun to read in my day, I’d have bought all of the different series from this author.