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Earthquakes: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2    by Franklyn M. Branley & Megan Lloyd order for
by Franklyn M. Branley
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (1990)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one of a series of Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science books offered at two levels: 1 for preschool and kindergarten levels, and 2 (including this one) for primary grades. Earthquakes, written by Dr. Franklyn M. Branley in 1990, has been re-illustrated by Megan Lloyd (with reassuring images of people and scenes, and clear depictions of the science).

We learn that 'Parts of the earth are always moving', but with such small, slow movements that we can't usually feel them. Earthquakes can happen 'When parts of the earth move quickly', and most are minor. The book introduces the 'Richter scale', on which a small quake measures less than 2, and a very big one 8 or more. It explains 'seismic waves', suggesting an experiment that helps understand how they work. It tells us that most earthquakes happen in the earth's crust, and explains a 'fault'. Examples of severe earthquakes include those in 1906 San Francisco and 1985 Mexico City. Earthquakes in volcanic regions are discussed, as are undersea earthquakes that cause tsunamis.

Dr. Branley tells us that scientists are working on better ways to predict quakes, and he also advises what to do in case of an earthquake and its 'aftershocks', whether you are inside or outside. The book ends with a list of 'Earthquake Facts' (which also mention 'moonquakes'), and with a website for more information. Earthquakes is a very good introduction to the subject for grade schoolers.

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