Reviews index

Volcano by June Colbert

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Lothian, 2007 ISBN 978073440852 5
(Age 11+) A book that starts off detailing the gross ways to die as a result of a volcanic eruption is a winner, capturing the imagination of any reader from the first words. When Sara introduces herself and her family, the workers with AusDAR, the group which travels the world hotspots, testing, then warning local inhabitants about possible volcanic eruptions, and tells the reader about how they are universally hated whenever they come to town, then we know we are in for a rollicking journey.
Sara and the other teenagers traveling with their specialist parents are sent to an international school in their latest hotspot, a small volcano in Columbia, but here the other students are from well off mining engineers' and mine managers' families, and so are very resentful of Sara and her friends whose parents are imposing restrictions on the mining activity and insisting on extensive safety gear. A dare between the two groups results in the richer kids camping overnight on the mountain and when it begins to show signs of an eruption, then a daring plan is hatched to rescue them before the lava flows.
An exciting survival story which gives a whole new series of words for the astute reader, Volcano is an easy to read book for the middle school.
Fran Knight


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