Eruptions and Explosions
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Eruptions and Explosions: Real Tales of Violent Outbursts

The energy released when volcanoes erupt, engines combust, or bombs explode both thrills and fascinates people. But this power also kills.

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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: World History


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.”

Mother Daughter Book Club
Eruptions are a part of nature, while explosions often result from man-made mistakes. Judy Dodge Cummings highlights five outbursts that had major impact on the world in Eruptions and Explosions: Real Tales of Violent Outbursts, a title in the Mystery & Mayhem series.

Each chapter tells an incredible story, giving details that sound more like fiction than real life. Those stories include the eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815, an event that changed climate for several years and led to famine, a steamboat explosion that took the lives of Civil War prisoners of war headed home, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and the blowout at the Deep Horizon oil rig.

In each human-caused explosion, Cummings discusses the personal errors and hubris that led to the disaster. It’s a sober reminder of how quickly things can go wrong when elements of mass destruction are involved.

I highly recommend Eruptions and Explosions as well as the whole series for anyone who loves to read true stories about people and events in the distant and recent past.

VOYA Magazine, April 2018 Issue
"In Eruptions and Explosions, possibly her best book for the series so far, [Judy] tells about the 1815 eruption of Mount Tamora, the “forgotten tragedy” of the Sultana steamship explosion in April 1865, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War, the Chernobyl reactor disaster, and the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010 . . . These are fascinating, enjoyable books well worth having in any library."

Booklist, April 2018
"Eruptions and Explosions charts the worldwide consequences of natural explosions, such as the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, and events that humans are responsible for, such as the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster . . . Even for non-history buffs, interest is bound to be piqued."

Always in the Middle
"Each of these events provides a window to the history of each time period. Kids and adults alike will learn something they whether they had previously read about the explosions or not. I especially liked the human side of each story—those who were there and experienced the tragedy. There’s also an important tie-in to this place we call home—Earth. As the introduction states: Read these stories and heed their warning. Before it’s too late."

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Detailed Book Description

The energy released when volcanoes erupt, engines combust, or bombs explode both thrills and fascinates people. But this power also kills.

Eruptions and Explosions: Real Tales of Violent Outbursts recounts the history of five blowups that continued to rattle the world long after the smoke had cleared and embers cooled. The latest book in 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 mysteries!

  • Maps, photographs, and timelines lend authenticity and narrative texture to the stories.
  • Readers learn of key turning points in world history and are exposed to some basic elements of climatology and environmental science.
  • 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.


Rumbles and Roars of Earth and Man

Chapter One
Monster Awakened

Chapter Two
The Forgotten Tragedy

Chapter Three

Chapter Four
The Ghosts of Chernobyl

Chapter Five
Treasure Lost—Blowout on the Deepwater Horizon