Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: I Survived True Stories: Nature Attacks/I Survived True Stories: Tornado Terror by Lauren Tarshis



The author of the New York Times bestselling I Survived series brings us more harrowing true stories of real kids up against terrible forces of nature. From fourteen-year-old lone survivor of the shark attacks of 1916, to nine-year-old who survived the Peshtigo fire of 1871 (which took place on the very same day in history as the Great Chicago Fire!), here are four unforgettable survivors who managed to beat the odds.

Read their incredible stories:
The Deadly Shark Attacks of 1916
The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871
A Venomous Box Jellyfish Attack
The Eruption of Mount Tambora


There seems to be something compelling about hearing disaster stories.  Especially if they happen to someone else.  And to be honest, I'm no different in that regard.  When I think about what it is that draws me to these stories I come up with three reasons:  it makes me happy to be living my own life, I admire the determination and courage that often shines through in such stories (not that everyone behaves that way), and I'm looking for ideas for how I could survive if such a thing ever happened to me.

Young readers aren't any different than older readers when it comes to disaster stories.  And true disaster stories are especially appealing for some readers.  This nonfiction companion to Tarshis's historical fiction series I Survived, takes a look at real disasters that have occurred that involved children.  The stories in this second volume of the True Stories series looks at a shark attack, a jellyfish accident, a volcanic eruption and a wildfire. Tarshis briefly shares each story after which she includes some interesting back matter including photographs, historical living, statistics (when available), her sources, and related topics.  This book is bound to send students looking for other such stories and more information about these topics and stories.  As a librarian, I especially appreciated her explaining about the research she does before writing each story.


The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was the deadliest tornado strike in American history, tearing through three states and killing 700 people. The Joplin Tornado of 2011 was a mile-wide monster that destroyed heart of a vibrant city. The true stories of these two events plus fascinating facts, profiles of tornado scientists and storm chasers create a unique and thrilling nonfiction read, by the author of the New York Times bestselling I Survived series.


In this third book in the I Survived True Stories series, the author highlights two of the worst tornadoes to ever hit the United States.  One took place in 1925, long before tornado watches, warnings and sirens existed, the other took place in 2011 in Joplin.  Reading about what it was like to be hit by a tornado without the warning systems we have today was a bit scary.  The sheer power of a tornado is always stunning and the photographs show that powerfully.  On the other hand, Joplin residents ignored the first sirens because it had been forty years since they had actually been hit by a tornado.  Luckily for them, a storm chaser notified local authorities that he'd actually seen a tornado and the sirens were sounded again which got through to some people.  

This book is particularly powerful because it shows in both text and word the damage that tornadoes can do.  The additional information about the ranking of tornadoes, the challenges of forecasting tornadoes, and statistics regarding deaths all contribute to making this a fascinating book to read.  The stories in this book provide the reader with a inside look at what it's like to live through one and not just information about them.

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