Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mount Vesuvius Erupts: Books About Volcanoes

On this day in 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It's Europe's only active volcano and has erupted several times since then-- most recently in 1944 when it messed with the recently arrived Allied forces.

To mark the eruption, today we look at books about volcanoes.


Ashfall by Mike Mullin. In Yellowstone, there is a caldera, a supervolcano. It has erupted before. It will again. Mullin imagines what will happen when it erupts, as Alex is home alone in Iowa and must try to find his family in a devastated landscape populated by desperate people. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Ashen Winter.

Life As We Knew It When an meteor hits the moon, it knocks it closer the earth. The increased gravitational pull makes every tide a tidal wave and causes every volcano on Earth to erupt throwing the world into perpetual winter. In this new landscape, Miranda and her family just try to survive. The first in a trilogy, follow it with The Dead and the Gone.

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the entire island was vaporized in the explosion, triggering a tsunami, massive casualties, and civil unrest. The repercussions (physical and political) were felt worldwide. Written for adults, this is one teens will enjoy.


Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce. A companion novel to The Circle Opens quartet, Evvy is a young mage accompanying older mages to the Battle Islands. Their crops are dying and the rivers are running acidic. But when Evvy befriends the living heart of a mountain, she sees what's about to happen if she can't stop it.

Wildefire by Karsten Knight. Asheline has problems-- she's the only Polynesian girl in school and her runaway sister has finally returned, so Ash transfers schools. At her new school, Ash discovers that there are many gods and goddess who are also students-- and Ash is one of them. The first in a series, follow it with Embers and Echoes.

Mission: The Nightmare Vortex by Deborah Abela. Max and Linden think they're going on a big mission, but really, they're stuck waiting tables at an awards dinner for the world's top spies. Only, the dinner's on an island with a dormant volcano and if Mr. Blue can wake the volcano up, he can wipe out all the good guys at once-- unless Max can stop him. The third in a series for tweens, start with Mission: Spy Force Revealed.


Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem. When archaeologists first dug up Pompeii, they expected buried treasure. What they got was perfect impressions in the ash for where the bodies used to be. Deem looks at the eruption and the discovery.

Ashen Sky: The Letters of Pliny The Younger on the Eruption of Vesuvius by Pliny the Younger, illustrated by Barry Moser. Translated from the Latin by Benedicte Gilman. Roman historian Pliny the Younger was a witness to the eruption of Vesuvius and his letters about it remain our main primary source. This volume contains the letters, background information, and stunning illustrative engravings.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, translated from the French. A German geologist, his nephew, and their guide who journey into a volcano to the center of the Earth and out the other side, discovering all sorts of things along the way.

What volcano books do you recommend?

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