Susan J. Berger’s Earthquake

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Though earthquakes are something we don’t want to experience, Susan J. Berger’s book, EARTHQUAKE! (2nd edition) is infused with enough humor to keep the reader from being terrified while gaining information and safety precautions about the subject.

EARTHQUAKE! Susan J. Berger

Eugene Ruble’s charts and graphs are easy to read and understand and help to clarify the many facts. In addition, he includes funny illustrations that take the scare out of the topic, for instance, the fellow “quaking” in his bed during a large earthquake.

Susan goes into the causes (faults in the earth’s crust) and what a quake feels like, from quick and jerky to a roller coaster ride. The places on earth that are most likely to experience quakes surround the Pacific Ocean, in what is called the Ring of Fire.

Besides naturally occurring earthquakes, some have been caused by the building of large dams and reservoirs and FRAKING (the forcing of oil from rocks).

Two types of scales are used to measure quakes: the Richter scale that we are familiar with, measures the intensity of a quake, and the Mercalli scale which measures the level of damage after the quake. There is a picture of the very first seismometer, built in China by Chang Heng in 132 A.D.

Interesting statistics are provided about individual quakes. The largest quake in the United States occurred in Prince William Sound in Alaska. It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale. Susan tells about experiencing the Northridge, CA, quake of 1994, which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale of intensity. (This reviewer was in an earthquake in Japan in 1965 that rippled and made me nauseous). The safety precautions and preparedness guides for both children and adults are thoroughly itemized and explained.

EARTHQUAKE! is nicely broken up with sidebar FACTOIDS and science experiments for children ages 7-12. The rice experiment is especially fascinating. And kids will love sloshing water out of the bathtub in an experiment called Seiche (saysh).

I enjoyed reading the pdf of this book which Susan sent me for review.

2/2016 UPDATED SECOND EDITION NOW RELEASED! in softcover, ebook and hardcover. Available at Guardian Angel Publishing,

and other outlets.






14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mirkabreen
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 23:33:23

    I live in earthquake country and only steps from an active fault, the Hayward Fault. I wish I had this book when my kids were young.


    • barbarabockman
      Mar 29, 2016 @ 10:01:36

      Mirka, the information in this book is excellent for people like you, especially that about preparation and safety. It’s even good for people like me who live in hurricane-prone areas.


  2. Barbara Cairns
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 08:05:02

    What an important book for so many living in earthquake areas! Congrats to Susan Berger for the humorous take on such a scary subject and to illustrator Eugene Ruble (He’s also is the illustrator of my books.) for his artwork. Your review, Barbara, provides a concise overview and is definitely a “teaser”, Well done!


  3. pennyannecole
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 13:25:00

    I agree. This is an important book for schools, teachers, parents, students to have and refer to. I reviewed the first edition and the second edition has more facts and updates. Thanks for the review. Wishing this book will reach a widespread audience–especially here in earthquake California!


  4. Karin Larson
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 17:48:46

    Great review, Barbara! Congratulations, Susan.


  5. Brianna Zamborsky
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 10:46:52

    Sounds great! My daughter had already mastered the bathtub water sloshing experiment. Who knew she was learning about earthquakes! Will jot this title down on my list for when she’s older. Thanks!


  6. tinamcho
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 22:17:40

    A much needed book, especially in CA, where we used to live. Nice review.


  7. barbarabockman
    Apr 01, 2016 @ 14:43:31

    Thanks, Tina. Tell your California friends about it.


  8. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 09:00:10

    Sounds like a good approach to a topic that can be scary for children (and adults!)


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