Books for Independent Reading


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.
On Board the Titanic: An I Was There Book
by Shelly 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.
by Seymour Simon
Morrow 1996 (32p)
The author discusses the causes of wildfires and the crucial role they play in the renewal of nature.
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.


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.
newRocking and Rolling
by Philip Steele
Candlewick 1997 (24p)
Dramatic illustrations help explain what volcanologists and other scientists know about volcanoes, tsunamis, geysers, glaciers, and erosion.
newStorm Chaser
by Keith Elliot Greenberg
Blackbirch 1997 (32p)
NOAA pilot Brian Taggart flies into the eye of a hurricane to study it and report its progress.
by Mary Calhoun
(Social Studies)
Morrow 1997 (40p)
Sarajean and her family are forced to flee their home during the devastating Midwest floods of 1993.
The Snow Walker
by Margaret K. Wetterer
(Social Studies)
Carolrhoda 1996 (48p)
During the East Coast Blizzard of 1888, twelve-year-old Milton Daub braves the weather to take food and medicine to people in his Bronx neighborhood.
Shock Waves Through Los Angeles: The Northridge Earthquake
by Carole G. Vogel
(Social Studies)
Little 1996 (32p)
The causes of the January 17, 1994, earthquake in Los Angeles, the devastation it caused, and the heroic rescue efforts by many are recounted here.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
by Juli Barbat
Ladybird 1996 (38p)
Colorful illustrations, diagrams, and an eight-page foldout showing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius make this a fascinating and informative book.
Hurricanes! Earth's Mightiest Storms
by Patricia Lauber
Scholastic 1996 (64p)
Along with basic information on how hurricanes develop, the author includes photos and text that show the destruction of some of the deadliest hurricanes, including Hurricanes Andrew, Camille, Hazel, and Iniki.
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 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 Marschall
Little 1997 (32p)
Highly detailed cutaway illustrations add realism and excitement to this story of several children who sailed aboard 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.
Flood: Wrestling with the Mississippi
by Patricia Lauber
(Social Studies)
National Geographic 1996 (64p)
Lauber presents a comprehensive look at the Mississippi River and its impact on those who live near it, including those who endured the floods of 1927 and 1993.
Fire in the Sky
by Candace F. Ransom
(Social Studies)
Carolrhoda 1997 (72p)
A young boy eager to see theHindenburg arrive in Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 5, 1937, sees the dirigible crash in flames and faces grave danger when he tries to help survivors.
The Great Fire
by Jim Murphy
(Social Studies)
Scholastic 1995 (144p)
A gripping account of the Chicago fire of 1871 including firsthand descriptions from people who survived it.
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.
Titanic Crossing
by Barbara Williams
Dial 1995 (160p)
A passenger on the Titanic, thirteen-year-old Albert wonders if he can save his sister's life --and his own.


by Joe Cottonwood
Scholastic 1995 (112p)
While her parents are at a World Series game, Franny, her brother , and a cousin, are enjoying a lazy day, when suddenly their serenity is interrupted as an earthquake hits Loma Prieta/ San Francisco

Now Out of Print

by Jenny Wood
The Great Flood Mystery
by Jane Curry
Tidal Waves and Flooding
by Jane Walker
The Story of the Chicago Fire
by R. Conrad Stein
by Jenny Wood
Tidal Waves and Flooding
by Jane Walker
The Story of the Triangle Factory Fire
by Zachary Kent
Predicting Violent Storms
by Sally Lee
Predicting Earthquakes
by Gregory Vogt

Now Available in Paperback

Earthquake at Dawn
by Kristina Gregory
by Gail Gibbons
by Jill Paton Walsh
I Am Lavina Cummings
by Susan Lowell