From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Walking a fine line between reference and circulating nonfiction material, this well-written set covers scientific processes, but focuses more on the ways in which weather and climate impact human life. The organization of the volumes is questionable; the first one, devoted to weather extremes, covers floods and droughts, but it also deals with ice ages and global warming, topics that are clearly aspects of climate and not daily weather. Each volume is divided into long chapters rather than shorter entries, which may be off-putting for some researchers, but the captioned black-and-white photos and the occasional graph will help illustrate concepts. A helpful set index and glossary are provided in the back of every volume, as is a lengthy bibliography (in some cases almost as many pages as the text), but the books do not include chapter citations or footnotes, making it difficult to trace the origin of specific facts or data. Though the set has minor problems, its wide-ranging, high-quality narratives make it a viable supplementary choice—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY
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These volumes present two different types of information: an explanation of the various scientific processes that pertain to weather and climate, and a discussion of the specific ways that weather and climate impact human life and the world we live in. Coverage ranges from everyday weather patterns to extreme occurrences. Volume 1 is Weather Extremes; the other four volumes are Air Masses and Weather Patterns; Cyclones, Hurricanes, and Tornadoes; Climate Change; and The Earth and the Sun. Volumes begin with detailed introductions followed by eight to ten chapters. Weather phenomena from the U.S. and around the world are included. For example, Cyclones, Hurricanes, and Tornadoes includes Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew in addition to a chapter devoted to Bay of Bengal cyclones. In Weather Extremes, chapters range from “The Great Ice Age and Volcanoes” to “Weather and Warfare” to a chapter on investigating future trends. Sidebars provide further information, answer basic questions relating to the subject at hand, and suggest simple activities. The final chapter in each volume is a review. Black-and-white illustrations and photographs appear throughout the set. All of the volumes finish with a glossary, a bibliography, and a set index. In addition, several appendixes are repeated in each book: a chronology of “Important Dates in Weather and Climate History,” brief discussions of extreme weather events around the world and in the U.S., and a listing of measurements pertaining to weather and climate. The concentration on both scientific processes and weather events makes this a recommended set for public and high-school libraries. Grades 9-12. --Maren Ostergard