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HURRICANE HUNTERS! by Chris L. Demarest


Riders on the Storm

by Chris L. Demarest & illustrated by Chris L. Demarest

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86168-0
Publisher: McElderry

Demarest continues his tributes to uniformed workers who routinely go in harm’s way with this timely look at a mission flown by the Air Force’s 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. Here, a Mississippi-based crew takes its prop-driven WC-130 Hercules right through the upper reaches of a Force 5 hurricane that’s just passing Cuba, ejecting instruments called “dropsondes” to track the storm’s course and wind speeds so that the National Hurricane Center can send out the proper warnings. Readers will get good views of the cargo plane’s crowded inside and battered outside (there’s even a schematic drawing) in the author’s big, windswept paintings—along with scenes of deceptively serene beaches and onshore preparations for the oncoming blow. Demarest caps his dramatic account with a long afterword about hurricanes and their damages—particularly Katrina’s recent devastation. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)