One of my elementary students' favorite series is the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. Is it surprising to think that three of my favorite non-fiction books over the summer also focus on disasters?
All three of these books provide an in-depth look at disasters that made the front page of the news for quite some time. The events and the outcome aren't news. But, in all of these books, the authors did a great job of making the victims real people for the readers.
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar - This is the one title that has a happy ending. Thirty three men were trapped in a mine for 69 days as the world watched. Although the odds of survival were stacked against them, all 33 men managed to survive the ordeal. This was an amazing story to read, even though it wasn't anything I hadn't seen already on the news.
Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson - Mount St Helens erupted when I was just in first grade. I was interested in it and remember talking about it at home. A friend was in the process of moving to Washington and brought everyone in our class a small vial of ashes that I kept in my keepsake box for years. This book familiarizes readers with the various people caught in the path of the volcano. I loved the map along with the placement of the people who were a part of this story.
The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in the American Firefighting by Fernanda Santos - This is the most recent of the three books highlighted, and a tragic story of a group of hotshots who perished in a wildfire. I loved learning more about the families despite the fact that I knew the sadness that awaited them. This also is a story with which I was somewhat familiar, and reading this book helped bring this story to life and gave me much more information than the short snippets I ever watched on the news.
If you're a non-fiction reader these won't disappoint. And if you enjoy non-fiction that reads like fiction, these will also entertain you.
Does anyone have other books that would fit in with these titles?