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*Magic Tree House Research Guide: Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters* by Mary Pope Osborne & Natalie Pope Boyce- young readers fantasy book review
Also by Mary Pope Osborne:

Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter

Polar Bears and the Arctic (Magic Tree House Research Guides)

Magic Tree House #34: Season of the Sandstorms

Magic Tree House #36: Blizzard of the Blue Moon

Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn

Magic Tree House Research Guide: Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters
by Mary Pope Osborne & Natalie Pope Boyce
Ages 9-12 128 pages Random House February 2007 Paperback    

The newest addition to the Magic Tree House Research Guide collection is Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters by sisters Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, released in 2007. Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters is meant to accompany the twenty-eighth Magic Tree House release, High Tide in Hawaii, by Mary Pope Osborne. In High Tide in Hawaii, adolescent heroes Jack and Annie follow Morgan le Fay’s secret rhyme to Hawaii in the Magic Tree House with the assignment of building a ship. Guided by their new friends Kama and Boka, the siblings explore cultural traditions and native foods, learn to surf and hula, and face one of their biggest challenges ever: a tsunami.

Though High Tide in Hawaii ends with some basic facts about tsunamis and the danger they pose, Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters continues the scientific exploration in detail. Beginning on the premise that Jack and Annie have been inspired to research natural disasters after the 2004 tsunami, the book showcases their findings in chapter format.

The book covers every possible angle of research, beginning with the true story of the members of the Smith family, who were on vacation in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami struck. It explains the various causes of natural disasters and touches on legend and myth. Key vocabulary terms are highlighted in the margins where applicable. Photographs and illustrations enhance each individual entry. Next, some statistics on earthquakes are provided, along with a detailed lesson in geography and the internal structure of Earth. The plate tectonic theory is explained in detail and specific causes of earthquakes are named. The reader learns how earthquakes are measured. Several cataclysmic American earthquakes in Alaska and California are summarized. Jack and Annie provide earthquake safety tips.

The authors move on to tsunamis specifically and their causes, warning signs, and potential ramifications. The methods scientists use to study tsunamis are followed up with tsunami safety tips. The third natural disaster explored is the volcano. How volcanoes are created is followed by the different types of eruptions and the possible destruction. Volcanoes have the ability to trigger nearly all other natural disasters and appropriately fill a large portion of the text. Each different type of volcano is covered, as well as the type of scientist that studies volcanic activity.

The reader learns of the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean and the historical impacts it has made upon the formation of the Earth as it is today. The last natural disaster covered is twofold: landslides and avalanches. Their causes are explored in depth and safety tips are once again provided. In closing, Jack and Annie tell the reader of the various types of people who respond to natural disasters and the jobs they perform to aid victims.

The last section of the book includes research tips, a list of books about natural disasters for further reading, suggestions of parks and museums to visit, a list of videos and DVDs on the subjects covered, a list of relevant websites, and software suggestions. As with all Magic Tree House releases, Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters is of the highest quality and packed with educational value. Even with the vast amount of facts the book provides, the authors manage to present the knowledge in a way that appeals to children and makes learning fun.

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  Sabrina Williams/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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