Books for Independent Reading


newBirdie's Lighthouse
by Deborah Hopkinson
Atheneum 1997 (32p)
When her father suddenly falls ill, young Birdie is the only one who can tend the lighthouse in the midst of a violent storm.
Francis the Earthquake Dog
by Judith Enderle
Chronicle 1996 (32p)
When an earthquake strikes California in 1906, a young boy finds his lost dog while helping to clear out the rubble of the St. Francis Hotel.
Aloha, Salty!
by Gloria Rand
Holt 1996 (32p)
Sailing from Alaska to Hawaii in a small sailboat, Zack and his dog, Salty, encounter a fierce storm, are washed overboard, and eventually make it safely to shore.


The Snow Walker
by Margaret K. Wetterer
Carolrhoda 1996 (48p)
During the East Coast Blizzard of 1888, twelve-year-old Milton Daub braved the weather to take food and medicine to people in his Bronx neighborhood.
by Mary Calhoun
Morrow 1997 (40p)
Sarajean and her family are forced to leave their home during the devastating Midwest floods of 1993.
On Board the Titanic: An I Was There Book
by Shelley Tanaka
(Social Studies)
Hyperion 1996 (48p)
The sinking of the Titanic is seen from the perspectives of passenger Jack Thayer and wireless operator Harold Bride, who, with other survivors, spend a cold night struggling to keep their lifeboat afloat.
Fire at the Triangle Factory
by Holly Littlefield
(Social Studies)
Carolrhoda 1996 (48p)
Minnie and Tessa, two fourteen-year-old friends who work six days a week at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, manage to survive the disastrous fire that killed over a hundred workers.
by Seymour Simon
Morrow 1996 (32p)
The author discusses the causes of wildfires and the crucial role they play in the renewal of nature.
Winter Rescue
by W. D. Valgardson
McElderry 1995 (48p)
Thor, who would rather be watching cartoons on television, reluctantly goes ice fishing with his grandfather and helps rescue a man whose snowmobile has broken through the ice.
Dust for Dinner
by Ann Turner
(social studies)
Harper 1995 (64p)
Disaster strikes in the form of a dust storm that forces Jake and his family to flee Oklahoma for California during the Depression.
The Great Midwest Flood
by Carole G. Vogel
(social studies)
Little 1995 (32p)
Chronicled here, along with the damage done by the overflowing Mississippi and Missouri Rivers during the summer of 1993, is the resiliency of the people affected by this catastrophe.
The Magic School Bus® Blows Its Top: A Book About Volcanoes
by Joanna Cole
(science icon)
Scholastic 1996 (32p)
Ms. Frizzle and her class take another exciting trip aboard the Magic School Bus, this time to a volcano.
The Triangle Factory Fire
by Victoria Sherrow
(social studies)
Millbrook 1995 (64p)
The catastrophic fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1911 that killed over a hundred people, mostly young women, led to strict safety reforms.


newInside the Titanic: A Giant Cutaway Book
by Ken Marshall
Little 1997 (32p)
Highly detailed cutaway illustrations add realism and excitement to this story of several children who sailed on the ill-fated ship.
newThe Buried City of Pompeii: What It Was Like When Vesuvius Exploded
by Shelley Tanaka
Hyperion 1997 (48p)
Through the experiences of Eros, a steward on a large estate, the author relates what happened when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.
Shock Waves Through Los Angeles
by Carole G. Vogel
(Social Studies)
Little 1996 (32p)
The causes of the January 17, 1994, earthquake in Los Angeles, the devestation it caused, and the heroic rescue efforts by many are recounted here.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
edited by Eldridge M. Moores
The Nature Company/Time-Life 1995 (64p)
A colorful exploration of the forces within the earth that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, with their resulting tsunamis, tidal waves, hotspots, lava flows, and craters.
Earthquake Terror
by Peg Kehret
Cobblehill 1996 (144p)
A young boy must try to save himself and his disabled sister first from an earthquake and then from the flood it causes.

Now Out of Print

Blaze and the Forest Fire: Billy and Blaze Spread the Alarm
by C. W. Anderson
Shipwrecks: A 3-Dimensional Exploration
by David Hawick
by Roma Gans
by Jenny Wood
by Jenny Wood
The Story of the Chicago Fire
by R. Conrad Stein
The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire
by Zachary Kent

Now Available in Paperback

Tikvah Means Hope
by Patricia Polacco
Blaze and the Forest Fire: Billy and Blaze Spread the Alarm
by C. W. Anderson
by Gail Gibbons