Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain
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Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain: Real Tales of Temperamental Elements

We might think humans have control over our environment, but Mother Nature has proven us wrong again and again.

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water: Real Tales of Temperamental Elements Read More

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Available In:
Hardcover, $19.95
Paperback, $9.95
eBook, $7.99
Includes: Table of Contents | Maps | Glossary
Specs: 5.75 x 9 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: U.S. History


2019 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Award Winner Recommended title – Junior-level

SWON Libraries
I really liked this book especially for hi/lo or reluctant readers. Easy to pick up and put down or dive into and read a chunk all at once. Great glossary and resources listed in the book and the website for Nomad Press has teachers guides to expand learning possibilities. Book suggests it is written for ages 10-13 but I think it could be used for older students as an introduction to new subjects. Recommended: Yes; Reading Level: Grades 4th grade and up  ****

School Library Connection
“This series will engage middle grade readers with intriguing retellings of diseases, disasters, and explosions. Each book contains an introduction followed by five chapters, with well-told stories that unearth specifics even the most knowledgeable readers likely haven’t heard of—even if the basic facts, dates, or figures of the past are generally well known. Topics include Black Sunday, the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon, and the Spanish flu. The narratives are packed full of descriptive, graphic, and sometimes even gruesome details, but the chapters are broken into manageable sections that make the information easier to digest. A map and timeline begin each chapter, but only a smattering of photographs accompany the text. Additional Resources. Glossary. Recommended.”

VOYA Magazine, April 2018 Issue
"Dodge Cummings uses lively narratives in a style that will engage readers. She makes a crisis notable by highlighting individuals and moments, such as the preservation of Father Pernin’s tabernacle in the 1871 fire that devastated Peshtigo, Wisconsin, told in Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain . . . These are fascinating, enjoyable books well worth having in any library collection serving young readers."

Booklist, April 2018
"Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain explores catastrophes caused by all elements, from the fire that decimated Peshtigo, Wisconsin in 1871 to the Dust Bowl of 1935; many of these natural events were worsened by human involvement . . . Even for non-history buffs, interest is bound to be piqued."

Always in the Middle
"If you were expecting a post about the iconic musical group adding some rain to their band, you won’t find it here. What you will discover is another fantastic Mystery and Mayhem title written with flare by author Judy Dodge Cummings. One of the classic Earth, Wind, and Fire hits was “Shining Star” and this new Mystery and Mayhem title certainly fits that description."

Teacher Resources

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Classroom Guides

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Detailed Book Description

We might think humans have control over our environment, but Mother Nature has proven us wrong again and again.

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water: Real Tales of Temperamental Elements tells the story of five of America's deadliest natural disasters that were made worse by human error, ignorance, and greed. From a raging Midwest wildfire in 1871 or a surprise blizzard that brought New Yorkers to their knees, to the flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the Dust Bowl, humans have served as their own worst enemies when it comes to preparing and dealing with sudden destruction. The Mystery and Mayhem series delves into fascinating tidbits of history to provide kids with a jumping-off point into a lifelong habit of appreciating history. Kids ages 10 to 13 love reading these real-life disasters!

  • The book introduces key turning points in American history and some basic elements of meteorology, seismology, forestry, and agronomy.
  • This nonfiction title explores post-Civil War industrial expansion and the Great Depression, key eras in American history.
  • High-interest narrative nonfiction books are popular with middle grade students and educators because of the potential to engage low-interest readers with captivating action and compelling characters.


When Disaster Strikes

Chapter One
Eden Burning

Chapter Two
Great White Hurricane

Chapter Three
Wall of Water

Chapter Four
Quake and Flame

Chapter Five
Black Sunday