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Reading Level: Grades 3-5
Interest Level: Grades 4-7


Page Count: 32
Trim Size: 7″ x 9″
Dewey: 550
Series Lexile®: 660-930
Series F&P Level: R-S
Correlation with National Curriculum:
CCSS RI 4.1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8; RI 5.1, 2, 3, 4, 8; RI 6.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; RI 7.1, 2, 4, 5


Library Bound Books
Individual Titles: $31.35 (List)/ $21.95 (S/L)

Set of 8 (978-1-63517-008-5):
$250.80 (List)/ $175.60 (S/L)

Paperback Books
Individual Titles: $9.95

Set of 8 (978-1-63517-064-1):

Hosted eBooks
Multi-user license, per title: $24.95

Set of 8 (978-1-63517-212-6):

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Detecting Disasters

Detecting Disasters examines how scientists keep people safe by predicting and studying natural disasters. Each book covers the science behind the disaster, notable examples from the past, and the cutting-edge technology scientists are using today. This exciting series will introduce readers to the lifesaving power of science.

Select a title below to find educator resources, including lesson plans, curriculum correlations, resource links, and book-related downloadables.

Select a Title

School Library Connection, October 1, 2017

Detecting Disasters

“The already interesting topic of natural disasters becomes even more fascinating in this made-for-teaching series. All titles would be a great fit for libraries or classrooms.” — School Library Connection

School Library Journal/Series Made Simple, April 2017

Detecting Disasters

After presenting a real-life example of people impacted by the title disaster, each book discusses the causes, warning signs, and potential impact of these natural events. The amount of attention given to scientific prediction and detection varies. For example, Floods devotes several pages to prevention, including diagrams of various types of dams. Wildfires and Hurricanes offer the greatest detail about how scientific methods and instruments have changed and improved through the years. Those volumes represent the top choices from the series. Related publisher resources online include detailed lesson plans and activities. VERDICT Teachers building science curricula may want the entire set to make comparisons and connections among volumes, although each book stands alone for collections needing to supplement only specific subject areas.

Booklist, April 1, 2017

Detecting Volcanic Eruptions

Though it might seem like volcanoes erupt without warning, scientists can often predict when they’ll explode, and this entry in the Detecting Disasters series outlines some of the methods volcanologists use to keep people safe from eruptions. A couple of chapters outline basic volcano science, including plate tectonics, volcano types, and how they form, before getting to the instruments and tracking volcanologists use when monitoring active volcanoes, such as spectrometers, which identify gasses emitted by craters, or tiltmeters, which can measure whether a volcano is changing shape. Though the somewhat muddled organization of each chapter might be a challenge for some students, the atypical approach—focusing on tools and monitoring systems—and exciting photos of erupting volcanoes might lure in middle-grade students. A brief glossary, quiz, and volcano-safety checklist round out this volume. — Sarah Hunter

NSTA, March 16, 2017

Detecting Floods

Need a reluctant readers? If so, then this is the series for you. Detecting Floods is just one of eight books in the Detecting Disasters series from Focus Readers. Each book focuses on a disaster, has stunning photographs depicting the disaster and its aftereffects, and is short enough that it entices those students who don’t want to read a thick book to open it and start to read. The photos enhance the topic and there is just enough information to keep students involved in the topic. The print is large and includes a survivor story which describes what it would be like to be in an avalanche. The 6–8 vocabulary words are highlighted in dark print and explained in a small glossary at the back of the book. A flood. Written by a former elementary teacher, a real story of a family whose house is ruined by a flood is told in just enough detail and prediction of floods, including the four types of dams to control water, are also explored. The science of floods including the water cycle are also explained. There are four questions, two short answer and two multiple choice at the end of the book.  Links to resources, including lesson plans and activities are also included. Reading level is grades 3–5 while interest level is grades 4–7. — Jacqueline Pfeiffer

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