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.
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.