AMERICA’S GREAT DISASTERS by Martin W. Sandler

AMERICA’S GREAT DISASTERS

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A compendium of disasters tilts toward the sensational but does exert a certain ghoulish fascination. Chapter headings announce their particular brand of disaster, followed by subtitles that seem drawn directly from the six-o’clock news: “Hurricanes: Nature’s Fury Unleashed.” After an introductory paragraph or two, the chapter segues into the main event, which is chronicling the absolute worst disaster of its kind experienced in the US: the Galveston hurricane, the Blizzard of 1888, Mount St. Helens, the 1918 flu epidemic, etc. The accounts are competently written, ascribing blame, where appropriate, to human greed or negligence, but each sketch is so short that despite gestures to lessons learned, the macrabe is necessarily the focus: “ . . . more than a thousand bodies were being placed on a huge funeral pyre . . . ” Quotations are unsourced, and the bibliography is distressingly void of children’s books for further reading. Sandler’s offering will find a following—it’s a pity it’s so shallow. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029107-9
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2003




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