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Earthquake Games: Earthquakes and Volcanoes Explained by 32 Games and Experiments Hardcover – September 1, 1997

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8. For readers searching for a science experiment or a project dealing with earthquakes or volcanoes, this book will be a solid source of ideas. Classroom teachers should find it a gold mine of facts and feats to make understanding the dynamics of these geological phenomena (and their effects on man-made structures) easier and more enjoyable. The use of the term game seems loosely applied (e.g., "Build a Seismometer Game" gives directions for constructing a seismometer) and seems to be more for appeal than accuracy. Safety instructions involving heat and flame are not always placed before the how-to's. Many of the accompanying diagrams are not on the same page as the instructions/information, which can lead to page-flipping confusion. For those who simply must create a volcanic eruption, there are several variations, which can be quite messy and/or slightly dangerous without adult supervision. A good deal of geology is imparted in the text. There is a chronology of important earthquakes and eruptions, and their global effects noted. While this title has its drawbacks, it is a rich source of experiments on a popular topic.?Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Scientific American

This rich, little book merits its long title, for it carries a brief and understandable text for readers in the upper primary grades, with a set of experiments, some gamelike, along with helpful drawings for each one, and a lively list of Qs and As. It began some time back when the children of P.S. 45 in the Bronx asked, "Mario, how do earthquakes work?" The two authors tell how. They are partners, expert structural engineers whose words build an unusually good base for the varied experiments, not always easy but always fun. Their text begins with an account of the earth's drifting continents and urges a reader to use his or her hands to model the forces that, on a huge scale over a long time, raise mountain ranges, suddenly set the earth a-shake, or start awesome ocean-crossing rollers that dwarf any hurricane surge. An early experiment uses a lightly boiled egg, whose shell is no bad image for the dozen big moving pieces of the earth's broken-crust tectonic plates. The ocean waves are modeled dramatically in the bathtub: simply with your hand or, more elaborately, using a few bricks and a piece of plywood. Add a few rice grains to a pot of boiling water to simulate the enormous slow currents of hot rock that power plate motions from below. These experiments are workable for one person, better still among a few young friends with some aid from teacher or parent. Myths surrounding earthquakes are recounted from around the world, blame put on giant but unseen bulls, dragons, turtles, even catfish. Birds, fish, horses and other animals of ordinary size can perhaps sense a quake soon to come; that issue is not yet closed.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; 1st edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689813678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689813672
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,673,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a librarian and I love giving kids this book to use for their experiments. The experiments explain volcanoes and earthquakes in a way that is easy for them to understand. As in all experiment books, some experiment need some adult help while others require household items. The only difficulty I had with this book was the listing of the objects needed to make the experiment. They are listed awkwardly and you need to read the list carefully. (if this kink was worked out, I would have given the book 5 stars! )
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Format: Paperback
If I could give this book a negative star, I would. It is full of scientific errors and misconceptions that do more to prevent the learning of good geology that to allow it.

For example, on the second page, the authors make the long-disproven claim that the mantle of the Earth is molten. It is not. It is a solid that flows under pressure, much like fudge or ice cream. We have known this to be true since the early 1900s, so I am boggled that Scholastic would publish a book with such a fundamental error in it.

Similarly, the authors screw up how soil liquefaction happens, what causes tsunamis, how mountain ranges are formed, and just about every other topic that they attempt. If you truly care about your child learning science, do yourself and your child a favor and avoid this book!
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