STEM Tuesday– Tectonics: Volcanoes, Ring of fire– Book List

The ground beneath our feet feels pretty solid. But in reality, our Earth is constantly stretching, shaking, and grumbling. Fortunately, there are tons of books for curious kids who want to learn more about earthquakes and volcanoes. Here’s a dozen to get you started:


The Big One: The Cascadia Earthquakes and the Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch.

After examining the oral and geologic history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquakes in the 1700’s and the evidence of resulting tsunamis in Japan, this book explains the science involved in predicting and preparing for (retrofitting) a massive quake along the Pacific coastline. And offers lots of information for surviving such an event and further research.

Daring Earthquake Rescues by Amy Waeschle

Highlighting six earthquakes, this book shows how rescue teams work in the disaster zone. It highlights sniffer digs, discusses how scientists measure earthquake strength, and outlines steps to stay safe during a quake. There’s also a checklist for a basic earthquake survival kit that kids can put together from easy-to-obtain items.

Fault Lines: Understanding The Power Of Earthquakes by Joanna Wagstaffe

A through discussion of the science behind earthquakes, advances in monitoring and predicting them, and the numerous subsequent events (such as aftershocks and liquefaction) all framed within the first hand experiences of a female seismologist/meteorologist. Full of photographs, graphics, and specific examples, it also includes a wonderful chapter of preparedness.

Earth’s Core and Crust by Barbara J. Davis.

This thin book is packed with information about drifting continents, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes. There’s a good section on deep ocean rifts and vents. Sidebars dive into details on such things as mapping Earth’s layers, ocean exploration, and more.


Volcano Geo Facts by Izzi Howell

Highlighting half a dozen volcanoes, this book provides an overview of what volcanoes are and how they form on land and underwater. There’s an explanation of volcanic rocks, the effects of volcanoes on the landscape and on climate, and an examination of pros and cons of living near a volcano.

How Does a Volcano Become an Island? by Linda Tagliaferro

If you want an island, you might begin with a volcano. This book explores the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean, and provides an overview of how volcanoes form and, over time, become populated by plants and animals.

Mount St. Helens by Jen Green

After vividly explaining the impressive effects of Mount St Helens’ eruption, the book examines the source, location, and structure of volcanoes around the world. As well as the aftermath and eventual recovery of the area. A glossary and additional resources offer additional information on active volcanos worldwide.

Earth Shattering Events by Robin Jacobs

The first half of this book focuses on geological disasters, with an overview of plate tectonics and good explanations of earthquakes (and a bit on the role of fracking). Chapters include volcanoes, tsunamis, as well as meteorological disasters. Ends with discussion on how climate change affects geological disasters through melting ice caps and releasing pressure on faults.


Geology is a Piece of Cake by Katie Coppens

What a genius idea – using the analogy of a cake and cooking to explain geology. Writing a recipe for Granite (heat feldspar, quartz, & amphibole to 900 degrees, then cool for a million years), like one would for Carrot cake (included too), is such a fun and accessible way to explain rocks and minerals. Lava cake anyone? Continuing with this format, the book explores the rock cycle, rock hardness, erosion, sediment, fossils and casts, geologic history, and tectonic plates. Don’t read right before lunch.

Plate Tectonics by Charlotte Luongo

This book begins with the idea that continents were once attached, and showing fossil evidence that supports that idea. Not only do plates shake the Earth, but the concept shook the accepted theories on age of the Earth and how it formed. From there, the book explores undersea evidence for continental drift, and looks at the technologies used to track the movement of Earth’s plates.


Dynamic Planet: Exploring Changes on Earth with Science Projects by Tammy Enz

This book includes seven miniature Earth-shattering experiments that explore different aspects of geology. Experiment topics include plate tectonics, volcanoes, and tsunamis and suitable for classroom or home.

Fault Lines & Tectonic Plates: Discover What Happens When the Earth’s Crust Moves With 25 Projects (Build It Yourself) by Kathleen M. Reilly.

Each of six chapters explores one aspect of plate tectonics: how they move, earthquakes, volcanoes, and more. Sidebars and textboxes highlight words to know, essential questions, and links to primary sources. Activities include making a seismograph and building a shake table to test model structures.

 STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:

Sue Heavenrich ~ an author, blogger, and bug-watcher who has often wondered whose fault it is when the Earth shakes. She prefers her volcanoes dormant. When not writing, she’s either in the garden or tromping through the woods. Visit her at www.sueheavenrich.com

Maria Marshall ~  a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at www.mariacmarshall.com