Leveled by an Earthquake!

February 3, 2010

Leveled by an Earthquake!

By Adam Reingold

Bearport Publishers, 2010

ISBN #978-1-936087-53-2


Grades 3-6

“A School Disappears

            Seconds later, Anning felt the ground shake from several more tremors. When the nearby mountains shook, a huge amount of loose earth began to slide toward the school. Within seconds, the buidling was buried completely. Anning and her schoolmates were trapped under the great weight of cracked concrete floor and broken walls. Some could not move. Other could barely breathe. ‘We have to keep going so we can get thorough this,’ said one classmate.”

Beichuan, China, was wiped off the landscape during the great Sichuan earthquake of 2008. The quake registered a magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale. Introduced from the point of view from a 16 year old girl who survived the collapsed school, the book explains earthquakes from a personal experience to the physical aspects of how a quake happens. Earthquake safety and the ring of fire are discussed as well and the book concludes with what happens after the quake. In the case of Beichuan, the city was rebuilt but in a different location.

This book is one in a series of Disaster Survivors by Bearport and includes additional information about famous earthquakes, earthquake safety, a glossary, bibliography, an index, and more reading.

The timely appearance of the book following the disastrous Haiti earthquake should pique interest among readers.  The information is good and well-explained, as Bearport does, and the newly introduced vocabulary is bolded within the text. My only concern is the cover image, which shows a close-up of a young Chinese man and a glimpse of the earthquake damage in the background, rather than a child, which could make the book less appealing to elementary age readers. However, the subject is compelling enough to look inside and the reader should be pleased.

Activity 1

Research the fault that lies under Haiti and locate it on a map. Explain why Haiti was vulnerable to having an earthquake. 

Activity 2

Research the different kinds of faults.

This site has good animated examples.

Activity 3

Look up your state and see how earthquake prone it might be.

Kid-friendly earthquake information

Locate recent earthquakes on this map.

Good geological animations

National Science Standards: properties of earth materials; changes in the earth

Book provided by publisher


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