of the Center for Children's Books
|The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly
theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin
feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin,
we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an
extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even
dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We
ask only that you cite the source. See the archive
for lists from previous months.
Disasters!: An Extreme Dozen
--selected by Deborah Stevenson, Editor
Menaces ranging from fire to tectonic movement, snow and water
to lava have plagued the world throughout history; here are a baker’s
dozen of books, all chronicling or revolving around genuine historical
disasters, that give these events their dramatic due.
- Barnard, Bryn. Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters
Changed History; written and illus. by Bryn Barnard.
2003. Gr. 6-10
Breezy text and entertaingly lurid artwork offer overviews of
historical disasters, from meteor impacts to volcanic eruptions to
fires, and the effects they have had on the world. (BCCB 11/03)
- Calhoun, Mary. Flood; illus. by Erick
Morrow, 1997. 6-9 yrs
This picture-book account of a young girl’s experience during the
Midwestern flood of 1993 reflects the strengths as well as the fears of
the disaster’s victims. (BCCB 4/97)
- Deem, James. Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death
Ancient Pompeii. Houghton, 2005. Gr. 5-8
Grim and gripping images highlight this overview of one of the most
famous historical disasters and its subsequent archeological
fate. (BCCB 12/05)
- Gross, Virginia The Day It Rained Forever: A Story
Johnstown Flood; illus. by Ronald Himler. Viking,
This compact historical novel chronicles a fictional family’s
experiences in the all-too-real Johnstown Flood. (BCCB 4/91)
- Hurst, Carol Otis. Terrible Storm; illus. by S. D.
Schindler. Greenwillow, 2007. 5-8 yrs
Reminsicing crosstalk adds humor to this retrospective tale in the
voice of the author’s two grandfathers, who, when they were young,
waited out the Great Blizzard of 1888 in each other’s homes.
- Kroll, Virginia. Selvakumar Knew Better; illus. by
Li. Shen’s 2006. 6-9 yrs
A dog’s keen instincts save his family in the tsunami of 2004.
of Old San Francisco; illus. by Ronald Himler. Viking,
1993. Gr. 4-6
This fictional tale of a young San Franciscan gives a you-are-there
immediacy to its account of the tragic 1906 earthquake and fire.
- Murphy, Jim. The Great Fire. Scholastic
1995. Gr. 4-7
This deservedly acclaimed volume uses first-person accounts as a basis
for its gripping and thoughtful examination of the Chicago Fire of
1871. (BCCB 5/95) See also the author’s Blizzard!
- Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Blizzard’s Wake. Atheneum,
2002. Gr. 6-9.
The massive blizzard of 1941 is both background and catalyst in this
dramatic story where snow traps a criminal with his victim’s
family. (BCCB 1/03)
- Vogel, Carole Garbuny. The Great Midwest Flood.
Little, 1995. Gr. 3-6
The 1993 floods that surged over the floodplains of the Mississippi are
documented with tense prose and sobering photographs. (BCCB 10/95)
- Wetterer, Margaret K. The Snow Walker; written by
K. and Charles M. Wetterer; illus. by Mary O’Keefe Young.
Carolrhoda, 1996. Gr. 1-3
Twelve-year-old Milton is just trying to perform a family errand when
he’s caught in the Northeast’s record-holding blizzard of 1888.
- Winter, Jeanette. Mama: A True Story in Which a Baby
Hippo Loses His Mama during a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New
Mama; written and illus. by Jeanette Winter. Harcourt,
The title is also an effective annotation for this simply texted
account of little hippo Owen’s tsunami loss and post-disaster finding
of his tortoise friend. (BCCB 5/06)
- Yep, Laurence. The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San
Francisco Earthquake of 1906. HarperCollins,
2006. Gr. 3-5.
Chin is the son of the Travis family houseboy, and he and young Henry
are always seeking adventure together; they get more than they
bargained for in the dramatic events of 1906. (BCCB 6/06)
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