Simon, Seymour. 1988. Volcanoes. Collins Publishers. ISBN 0060877170.
Part of Collins’ Smithsonian collection, Volcanoes is a fun, informative read about a terrifying force of nature. The engaging descriptions of not only the types of volcanoes, but also specific eruptions such as Mount St. Helens by Simon are brought to life with photographs courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution. Simon concludes with the reminder that despite the destruction the cause, volcanoes bring new life.
The back cover is the glossary, index, and further reading for this book (most of which are other Simon books). While it is likely geared towards elementary aged children, it would not be a bad source for a middle school science fair project. The book may be made for small hands and big eyes, but Simon writes to an audience of equals who do not know the technical terms. He explains the difference between the violently erupting volcanoes and the nearly steadily gushing Hawaiian variety as well as briefly mentioning myths about the Icelandic and Hawaiian volcanoes.
School Library Journal- “Further, it can be used successfully to generate interest on the part of those readers reluctant to pick up nonfiction books… However, the illustration of the plates, or crust layers of the earth, is somewhat difficult to understand.”
Publishers Weekly- “But given the expert presentations and finesse readers have come to expect from Simon, this work seems more difficult than it needs to be, and lacks the forcefulness and clarity of his previous books.”
Zsiray, Jr., Stephen W. . School Library Journal. December 1988. Book Index with Reviews
Publishers Weekly. August 1988. Book Index with Reviews