WHEN THE SKY BREAKS by Simon Winchester
Kirkus Star

WHEN THE SKY BREAKS

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World
From the "Smithsonian" series
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes bring disaster around the world.

In a companion to When the Earth Shakes (2016), journalist-turned-author Winchester explains these destructive weather events in pleasingly polished prose. A short introduction documents his increasing personal fascination with weather phenomena. “The Biggest, Baddest Weather,” the first and longest chapter, describes ocean-fueled superstorms using examples both familiar and unfamiliar to his American readers and weaving in explanations of formation, behavior, and prediction. He demonstrates that the effects of hurricanelike storms can be measured through human lives lost, property destroyed, economic cost, and, physically, through wind speed and minimum air pressures. He shows his readers how El Niño­­ and the Southern Ocillation affect the weather all over the world. In “America’s National Storm” he turns his attention to tornadoes, demonstrating the geographical reasons for their prevalence in the central part of this country and describing ways some Native American peoples historically dealt with these events. In conclusion, he discusses climate changes and posits his hope that the Pacific Ocean can help ameliorate the worst effects of global warming. Each section is introduced with a stunning photographic spread, and the text is broken up with clearly captioned photographs. The language may challenge some of his intended readers, but his subject is so compelling and the packaging so engaging, his audience will surely persevere.

Stormy weather elegantly explained. (recommended reading, acknowledgements, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-451-47635-7
Page count: 98pp
Publisher: Viking
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