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The Day the World Exploded: The Earthshaking…

The Day the World Exploded: The Earthshaking Catastrophe at Krakatoa

by Simon Winchester, Dwight Jon Zimmerman (Adapted by)

Other authors: Jason Chin (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This was an amazing book with fabulous images and a great history lesson in addition to the science lessons about volcanoes and earthquakes. This book tells the story of the 1883 eruption of the volcano at Krakatau, once one large island between Sumatra and Java in Southeast Asia. The island's volcano erupted and formed several small islands today. Many lives were lost due to no warning system at the time. The area's volcanoes are still active today and the author gives the reader a look at how the new islands were formed by the erupting volcano. The book begins with an explanation of volcanoes and tectonic plate movement. It details the history and culture of the islands of Java and Sumatra and the spice trade of the Dutch East Indies company. Many lives were lost due to tsunamis created by the earthshaking volcanic eruptions. The book includes beautiful photographs of famous volcanoes, maps, historical photographs, drawings and paintings. The history of Java and Indonesia are given as well as accounts of what happened prior to and after the 1883 eruption. The author gives a glossary of terms and suggested volcano websites. I was disappointed that Wikipedia was listed as a reliable resource about volcanos in addition to two university websites and the U.S. Geological Survey website. The author worked as a geologist before becoming a journalist so information should be accurate; however, lots of historical information is given in the book and resources are not listed for the history of Java and Sumatra. The suggested reading list included approximately twenty books about volcanoes. I liked the idea of using this book as a cross curricula study of history of the 1800's and study of volcanoes and technology changes in science. ( )
  ldbecker | Feb 14, 2018 |
Large format book w/ numerous illustrations. As usual with Winchester's books, situates the event in its larger context. A companion to a book about the explosion intended for adults. ( )
  themulhern | May 2, 2015 |
Great illustrations, nicely organized! I found this much more interesting than plowing through Winchester's original book on the same topic. ( )
  MarkHammer | Sep 15, 2010 |
This is an adaptation of Simon Winchester's adult book Krakatoa. Winchester explores the history of Indonesia and Dutch colonization there as well as the technological advances that made Krakatoa the first major disaster that was reported on as it was happening. It's an odd choice for an illustrated adaptation since there aren't many photographs or drawings from that time included. There are many photographs of volcanoes behaving similarly to Krakatoa and there are many illustrations created for this book. Another weird thing is that the list of recommended resources contains (as far as I can tell) exclusively adult titles.

The Day the World Exploded has some interesting information about history and science (and the history of science). I'd hand it to middle graders and teens who like books like Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo. It would also be appropriate for reports on Indonesia or volcanoes. ( )
  abbylibrarian | Jan 21, 2009 |
The Day the World Exploded is an adaptation for children of Simon Winchester’s, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883. Although adapted for children, it is definitely for older kids, or children fascinated with the topic. The topic, surprisingly, is much broader than one would think. Trained as a reporter, Winchester pulls together all of the pieces that led to the literally earthshaking explosion that was heard over 3,000 miles away! More than just the story of the earthquake, Winchester places the story in its historical, political, scientific, and geographic proportion. The reader truly absorbs the impact of the explosion and resulting tsunamis when confronted by the science of the day (plate tectonics was a science in its infancy at the time of the eruption), the politics of colonialism (the Dutch East Indies Company was the world’s economic powerhouse at the time), the famous inventors integral to the story (Samuel Morse’s telegraph was invented and underground cables installed just in time to make Krakatoa’s eruption the first truly global event), and the enormity of the catastrophe (months after the explosion, New York fire fighters rushed to what they thought was a massive fire, only to find a blood red sky caused by volcanic ash that had drifted westward).

Extensive illustrations of all types accompany the story, period photos, recent photos of other volcanic activity, period etchings, graphic illustrations, maps and more. “News Briefs” are in the sidebar of many pages, “The crew of the British ship Bay of Naples claimed that when the ship was 120 miles from Java it encountered carcasses of numerous animals, including tigers, and about 150 human corpses as well as enormous tree trunks.” More lighthearted information is included also, including the story of a circus elephant that spent the night of the eruption in a posh Javanese hotel.

A beautiful book for historians and aficionados of natural disasters. The explosion of Krakatoa was truly the world’s first global natural disaster, highlighting the integral nature of nature. ( )
  shelf-employed | Jan 10, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Simon Winchesterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zimmerman, Dwight JonAdapted bymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Chin, JasonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This is the illustrated adaption for children based on Simon Winchester's adult book, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061239828, Hardcover)



Shock waves.


The almighty explosion that destroyed the volcano island of Krakatoa was followed by an immense tsunami that killed more than thirty thousand people. The effects of the waves were felt as far away as France, and bodies were washed up in Zanzibar.

Today, one hundred and twenty-five years after the volcano erupted in one of the greatest catastrophes the world has ever known, the name Krakatoa is still synonymous with disaster.

In this illustrated account based on Simon Winchester's bestselling Krakatoa, the colossal explosion is brought to vivid life. From the ominous warnings leading up to the eruption to the wave of killings it provoked, here is an engaging and insightful look at what happened on the day the world exploded.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents the story of the volcanic eruptions that took place on the island of Krakatoa in 1883, killing thousands of people, destroying the island, and effecting the entire world through the expulsion of smoke and ash in the air.

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