Judy and Dennis Fradin are the authors of many fascinating nonfiction books for young people, and Volcanoes: Witness to Disaster is no exception. Volcanoes begins with the "birth" of Paricutín in Mexico in 1943. Less than a week after it burst out of a cornfield in Mexico, Paricutín stood as tall as a 40-story building and spewed billions of pounds of lava, cinders, and ash every day for nine years.
The book also tells about how volcanoes are formed, the potential destruction that volcanoes can cause, the different types of volcanoes, how to predict when a volcano will erupt, and how volcanoes have shaped history. For example, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 buried the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii for hundreds of years, while a volcano on Santarini island may be responsible for the story of Atlantis.
This book has plenty of photos, including some before-and-after pictures, and comments from scientists and witnesses to the disasters help people understand and relate to the situations. This is a good starting point for elementary and middle school readers who want to learn more about extreme weather or volcanoes.