Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 books from Manukau Library that I hope will help explain earthquakes to a child and provide ideas for helping

List by Tosca

I, along with the rest of the nation, have spent a good part of the last 24+ hours scouring the internet for snippets of news and updates about the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that affected Christchurch yesterday afternoon. It should not have been a surprise, then, that my nephew Kalani - or Mr. 7 as I call him - came home bursting with questions about earthquakes and volcanoes. And was. So we set some time aside last night to talk about what he knew about earthquakes already, what he'd been told by his teacher and what was actually happening in Christchurch right now. Thanks to numerous online news clips we were able to see how things really are. It left Kalani feeling anxious and concerned - he kept stroking the screen in sympathy - and led to his asking some very technical questions about how earthquakes happen. It left me feeling appalled and saddened and teary eyed. It also made me realise how unprepared I was to discuss seismology with a child and that if I expect him to understand anything about it I need to refresh my own knowledge. Thanks to Manukau Library I now have a selection of books to look over with Kalani that should, hopefully, answer a lot of questions. Last night I wasn't in a frame of mind to build on his initial questions and encourage him to think of ways in which he and I can help the people of Christchurch so tomorrow night that's what we're going to do - list ways we can help and then actually put them into action. I'd imagine it was a lot for a 7 year old mind to process just before bedtime - it was a lot for me to process and I'm 35 - and so it was a very sombre pyjama-clad boy who said to me: 'I'm glad I'm safe but I'm so very, very sorry for Christchurch.' So am I.

Ordinarily my lists proclaim themselves to be the 'Top 5' of anything and are, more often than not, tongue-in-cheek. Today, I'm simply listing 5 books that I'm hoping will tell me how to explain what happened and provide a 7 year old with some ideas for how we can help.

Otautahi: nga whakaaro aroha me nga inoi atu ki a koutou katoa.

Volcanoes & earthquakes / Ken Rubin
Take a trip below Earth's surface and discover a planet that is alive with molten lava and shaking with continents in motion. See Earth's secrets and witness destructive eruptions and quakes throughout history and find out how we might avoid disaster in the future.

Tosca's comment: 3-4 pages with very brief information about the how and why of earthquakes.

Volcano / written by Susanna Van Rose
Be an eyewitness to truly terrifying volcanoes exploding with molten lava, and devastating earthquakes that rip apart the landscape and uproot buildings in an instant.

Tosca's comment: Roughly a quarter of the book looks at earthquakes and discusses intensity, magnitude, state of emergency and preparing for disaster.

Earthquakes and volcanoes / Russell Ferrett
From earth-shattering earthquakes to terrifying tsunamis and violent volcanoes, When the Earth Moves looks at how and why these events occur and how they affect our planet.

Tosca's comment: Contains a section on the science of earthquakes.

Earthquakes / Judy & Dennis Fradin
"Earthquakes" uses eyewitness accounts and pulse-racing narrative to bring readers into the terrifying heart of an earthquake. The first chapter documents the 1964 Alaskan quake that shook Prince William Sound with a 9.2 magnitude force, and set off a tsunami that ultimately caused most of the deaths attributed to this frightening act of nature. The following chapters explore the deadly history of earthquakes and the seismic and geological science of this phenomenon. Readers learn how and why earthquakes occur, and what scientists can do to prevent casualties. The expansive back matter includes a list of sources to discover more about these fearsome catastrophes.

Tosca's comment: Contains witness accounts from scientists, photographers to everyday people. Looks at the science of earthquakes, including the history of famous earthquakes and predicting them.

Earthquakes / by Chris Oxlade
Examines the Earth's physical processes and investigates causes and effects.

Tosca's comment: Discusses the effect on buildings and landscape, where they happen and why, advice, predicting and seismology.


Claire said...

Wow. This is great. Thank you.

catatonia said...

Hi Claire! Thanks for dropping by the blog. I heart your blogging about our libraries and can't wait to read your next post :)