A serious look at a dangerous pursuit.

READ REVIEW

CHASING THE STORM

TORNADOES, METEOROLOGY, AND WEATHER WATCHING

Recognizing the appeal but emphasizing the difficulties, a veteran science writer offers a window into the world of scientists and lay enthusiasts who follow violent storms, particularly tornadoes.

Introducing his subject with a look at a day in the life of a storm chaser, Miller goes on to explore it in greater depth in an accessible, informative narrative. He explains how tornadoes are formed, discusses climate change and its probable connection to the increase in extreme weather events, describes the work of meteorologists and others who watch the weather (either officially or as part of the National Weather Service’s volunteer corps of recorders and spotters), and concludes by suggesting ways readers can prepare to become storm chasers themselves. He includes instructions for assembling a weather emergency kit and constructing homemade weather-watching instruments; the excellent suggestions for further reading and Internet research will be particularly useful for students. All this is packaged in a slim, attractively designed package in which the text is broken up by sidebars providing definitions, explanations and short bios as well as photographs and colorful diagrams. Pair with Joseph B. Treaster’s Hurricane Force (2007) or other titles about hurricane hunters for a broader vision of storm study in this country.

A serious look at a dangerous pursuit. (Nonfiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1284-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike.

ULTIMATE OCEANPEDIA

THE MOST COMPLETE OCEAN REFERENCE EVER

A compendium of all things oceanic, from surface to depths, covering biology, geology, coasts, climatic phenomena, and human use and abuse.

Considering the size of the general topic, the coverage isn’t as shallow as it might be. Hundreds of crisply professional nature photos and big, easy-to-follow charts and diagrams anchor waves of densely packed but often breezy commentary (“Many parrotfish species also make their own sleeping bags at night—out of mucus!”) that Wilsdon pours in beneath such headers as “It’s a Shore Thing” and “Belize It or Not!” Overviews of each ocean, of plate tectonics, the action and effects of ocean currents, worldwide climate change, and physical features from islands to abyssal plains sail by in succession, but marine biology takes pride of place with page after page of photogenic sea life from tiny krill on up to whales and polar bears. The author profiles a marine ecologist and interviews an oceanographer to cap chapters on modern research, exploration, and industries, then closes with generous lists of sites to visit physically or virtually.

A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2550-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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