A supervolcano is a one that erupts with a force thousands of times stronger than a regular volcano. Rather than being a mountain or hill, a supervolcano is usually a pit in the ground.
A supervolcano forms when magma from a hotspot cannot make its way to the surface and pools into a huge magma chamber under the crust. When the pressure gets too strong, the crust explodes, leaving behind a giant caldera. These calderas are so big they can be seen from space.
Many people do not realize that Yellowstone National Park sits atop a supervolcano.
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was carved out of lava and rock that came from one of the supervolcano’s eruptions thousands of years ago.
Volcanoes is an informative little handbook of interesting facts about volcanoes. Topics include plate tectonics, parts of a volcano, types of volcanoes, types of eruptions, lava lakes, acid lakes, hot springs, volcanic ash and more. Scattered throughout the book are tidbits about famous volcanoes like Mount St. Helens or Mount Vesuvius.
This nonfiction book is physically small, and all of the text appears in various sizes of bubbles. On average, each page has no more than 3-5 complex sentences; however, due to the nature of the topic, a lot of the text is heavy with content words. The book is filled with coloured photographs and diagrams to help with explaining the scientific information about volcanoes. Although there are cartoon-like superhero explorer images throughout the book that seem to target a younger kindergarten-grade 2 audience, the length of the book and the text in the book fits an older grades 3-5 audience. These “super explorers” seem out of place or mismatched as they don’t aid in helping the reader understand the content any better and, therefore, become distracting.
There are large headings for each new topic introduced in the book, but it would have been more practical to include a table of contents, glossary, and index to make this book a true nonfiction resource. As they are not present, Otherwise, Volcanoes is limited to being casual reading.
Overall, Volcanoes, with its many colourful diagrams and photographs to help explain the scientific concepts, would be appealing for reluctant readers interested in learning about volcanoes.
Sheryl Lee is a mother of two young children and a teacher-librarian in New Westminster, British Columbia.