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Hurricane Watch: Three New Books for Young Readers

Share Grab your slickers and come along as we review three new books about weather! There is something here for readers of all ages!

It's hurricane season -- and three new titles of interest just blew in! Grab your slickers and come along as we preview


Eye of the Storm Book Cover Lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes -- Warren Faidley makes his living chasing all kinds of severe weather. Faidley is a weather photographer whose award-winning photos have earned worldwide acclaim. (If you've seen a photo of a great lightning strike, chances are you've seen a Faidley photo!)

A new book for young readers, Eye of the Storm: Chasing Storms with Warren Faidley (PaperStar Books), documents Faidley's work. The book is an ideal classroom and library resource for students in the upper elementary- and middle-school grades.

Written in narrative form by Stephen Kramer, Eye of the Storm describes the exciting and dangerous work that Faidley does. Readers follow Faidley as he travels each spring to "tornado alley"; as he summers at home in Tucson (where he photographs frequent, spectacular lightning strikes); and as he waits to jump on a plane headed east to capture the havoc of a tropical hurricane in the fall.

Along the way, Kramer shares information about the special equipment Faidley has designed to do his job, how the photographer tracks severe weather, and how he prepares to shoot a photo. One section of the book includes excerpts from Faidley's journal, which describe a particularly harrowing day of tornado chasing. In another section, readers follow Faidley as he sets up camp in a parking garage to photograph the fury of Hurricane Andrew as it struck Miami in 1992.

Severe weather chasing is serious work. Faidley has great respect for the powerful natural forces at work, and Kramer takes care to address the important issue of weather safety.

The highlights of the book, of course, are Faidley's fantastic photos -- and the book is chock full of them!


Lightening! Book Cover The Wild Weather series presents a new addition, Lightning! (Cartwheel Books/Scholastic). It's a little volume that cracks with information and excitement!

Written for second and third graders by Jean Hopping, Lightning! is packed full of information about science and safety. The book opens with the story of Sherri Spain, a teacher from Memphis, Tennessee. Spain loved to watch thunderstorms -- until one day in 1989. A bolt of lightning struck a steel door near where Spain was standing. That lightning strike left Spain with some loss of sight and hearing. It drained the color from her dark hair, turning it white. Memory loss was another bad side effect for Spain, a history teacher who relied on her memory of facts. This story and others told by Hopping provide a testament to the power of lightning as they teach important lessons that all young readers should know.

Hopping doesn't slight the science of lightning. That's covered in detail too.

The Wild Weather series would make a great addition to any primary grade classroom or school library. Part of the larger Hello Reader! series, the Wild Weather books offer a nice bonus for parents. A page of notes helps parents and kids get the most out of the books in the series.


First Field Guide: Weather Book Cover From Scholastic and the National Audubon Society comes this new member of the First Field Guide series. A veritable encyclopedia of weather information, First Field Guide: Weather answers all the weather-related questions children might have.

What kind of cloud is that in the sky? What's a microburst? What causes hail to form? What's a dust devil? Weather explains those weather-related terms and phenomena and dozens more. Each is explained in a double-page spread.

Information tells readers what to look for, what conditions must exist for the phenomenon to occur, and where the phenomenon is most likely to occur. Clear color photos -- 450 in all -- illustrate each spread.

I counted. Warren Faidley took more than 40 of the photos in Weather!

Two special page spreads include great resources for teachers. "Watching the Weather" provides ideas and tips for weather-related classroom activities, and "Making a Weather Station" provides simple directions for student-created anemometers, barometers, and rain gauges.

A valuable field guide, Weather also makes a great classroom or at-home reference book.

These books are available in bookstores. If your bookstore doesn't have a copy of a book, ask the bookseller to order one for you. You can also contact publishers directly.

  • PaperStar Books are published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.
  • To learn more about Cartwheel and Scholastic Books, call 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1999 Education World

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