Books for Independent Reading


If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake
by Ellen Levine
Scholastic 1992 (64p)
The events of April 18, 1906, as seen from a child's perspective.
Powerful Waves
by D. M. Souza
Carolrhoda 1992 (48p)
Explains how tidal waves, also called “tsunamis,” are formed.
Flying Firefighters
by Gary Hines
Clarion 1993 (32p)
The crew of Copter 517 fight a forest fire from the air.
Clouds of Terror
by Catherine A. Welch
Carolrhoda 1994 (56p); also paper
Life in southwestern Minnesota is disrupted by plagues of grasshoppers in the
by Gail Gibbons
Holiday 1994 (32p)
Describes how emergencies are handled on land and sea and how emergency
professionals are trained.


Survive! Could You?
by Judy Donnelly and Sydelle Kramer
Random 1993 (96p); also paper
How to survive earthquakes, quicksand, tidal waves, and other disasters.
They Survived Mount St. Helens
by Megan Stine
Random 1994 (96p); also paper
Eyewitness accounts of the May 18, 1980, volcanic eruption.
The Story of the Chicago Fire
by R. Conrad Stein
Childrens 1992 (32p)
Eyewitness accounts of the 1871 Chicago fire and the rebuilding of the city.
Earthquake! A Story of Old San Francisco
by Katheen Kudlinski
Viking 1993 (64p)
Philip struggles to save his life and his family's horses.
The Blizzard of 1896
by E. J. Bird
Carolrhoda 1990 (72p)
Tall tales about amazing things that happened during this blizzard.
All About Mountains and Volcanoes
by Elizabeth Marcus
Troll 1984 (32p)
Well-illustrated, factual information. Available in Spanish asMontañas y


The Disaster of the Hindenburg: The Last Flight of the Greatest Airship Ever Built
by Shelley Tanaka
Scholastic 1993 (64p)
A fourteen-year-old cabin boy relates the final moments of the Hindenburg.
by Jules Archer
Crestwood 1991 (48p)
How hurricanes develop and the damage they cause.
by Jenny Wood
Puffin 1990 (32p)
Basic information on these dangerous formations. Available in Spanish asLos
by Jenny Wood
Puffin 1990(32p)
Information on what causes volcanoes to erupt. Available in Spanish asLos
The Titanic
by Deborah Kent
Childrens 1993 (32p)
How the “unsinkable” Titanic sank.
The Long Winter
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Harper 1961 (334p); also paper
After a blizzard Almanzo must try to save the village from starvation.
The Big Wave
by Pearl Buck
Harper 1973 (80p); also paper
A Japanese boy must face the destrution from a tidal wave.
Spill! The Story of the Exxon Valdez
by Terry Carr
Watts 1991 (64p)
An account of one of the most devastating disasters in recent years.
The Great Flood Mystery
by Jane Curry
Macmillan 1985 (180p)
Mystery surrounds gold coins lost during the Johnstown flood.
The Silent Storm
by Sherry Garland
Harcourt 1993 (252p)
A girl who hasn't spoken since her parents drowned must try to save her grandfather.
Air Disasters
by Roger Coote
Thomson 1993 (48p)
Air disasters and what causes them.
Earthquake at Dawn
by Christina Gregory
Harcourt 1992 (192p)
A photographer about to travel around the world has her plans changed when an earthquake strikes.
Tidal Waves and Flooding
by Jane Walker
Watts 1992 (32p)
Explains the causes of these natural disasters.
A Disaster!series
by Christopher Framton
Millbrook 1991-1994 (48-64p)
Individual books focus on natural and manmade catastrophes.
The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire
by Zachary Kent
Childrens 1989 (32p)
In March 1911, over a hundred workers perished in this factory fire.
Children of the Fire
by Harriette Gillem Robinet
Atheneum 1991 (144p)
A former slave girl is a witness to the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Fires and Floods
by David Lambert
New Discovery 1992 (48p)
How scientists are trying to minimize the frequency and destruction of these disasters.
by Howard and Margery Facklam
Crestwood 1991 (48p)
What causes these snow slides and how they can be prevented.
Ships and Shipwrecks
by Steve Blackman
Watts 1993 (32p)
Details and maps of famous shipwrecks around the world.
Shipwrecks: Terror and Treasure
by Kathryn Humphrey
Watts 1991 (64p)
Describes the hunt for the Mary Rose, the Concepcion, and the Titanic.


Buried in Ice: The Mystery of a Lost Arctic Expedition
by Owen Beattie and John Geiger
Scholastic 1992 (64p)
Unravels the mystery of a lost expedition to find the Northwest Passage.
Predicting Violent Storms
by Sally Lee
Watts 1980 (128p)
How weather forecasting devices work.
Coping with Natural Disasters
by Caroline Arnold
Walker 1988 (128p)
How communities bounce back from disasters.
Predicting Earthquakes
by Gregory Vogt
Watts 1989 (128p)
New techniques and instrumentation for predicting earthquakes.
The Wreck of the Barque Stefano Off the North West Cape of Australia in 1875
by Gustave Rathe
Farrar 1992 (144p)
The story of the author's grandfather, who survived the shipwreck.
by Jill Paton Walsh
Farrar 1992 (256p)
True story of a woman whose quiet life is ruined after she rescues shipwreck survivors.
No Way Out
by Ivy Ruckman
Harper 1988 (160p); also paper
A flash flood traps a group of hikers in a narrow canyon.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

The Terrible Wave
by Marden Dahlstedt
R. R. Dahlstedt 1988 (125p); paper
During the Johnstown flood, Megan is swept along in the current on a swiftly sinking mattress.
The Great Rescue Operation
by Jean Van Leeuwen
Dial 1982 (176p); Puffin 1990 paper
Mice Marvin, Raymond, and Fats live in Macy's. When Fats wanders off, his friends must rescue him. Available in Spanish asOperacion rescate .
I Am Lavina Cummings
by Susan Lowell
Milkweed 1993 (200p)
A year in the life of the author's grandmother, who survived the San Francisco Earthquake.