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Natural Disasters Topic

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Best children’s books about natural disasters

Natural disasters are usually naturally caused phenomena relating to severe weather changes or geological events. These disasters can happen across the globe and many schools help children to understand the events by planning a related geography topic for pupils to explore in Key Stage 2. From tsunamis and tornadoes to earthquakes and eruptions, we’ve picked out a selection of recommended children’s books that cover our extreme Earth and help young readers to explore the topic of natural disasters…

Chapter books about natural disasters

Bear Grylls
 & Emma McCann
Chapter book
Olly isn't enjoying activity camp. Why should he bother building a shelter or foraging for food with his teammates - he'd rather be at home in the warm and dry, where the sofa and the video games are. But then Olly gets given a compass with a mysterious fifth direction. When he follows it, he's magically transported to a high mountain range where he meets survival expert Bear Grylls. With his help, Olly must learn to survive in sub-zero temperatures, including what to do if the ice cracks when you're crossing a frozen lake, or a blizzard sets in . . . But can his adventure with Bear Grylls change Olly's mind about teamwork and perseverance? And who will Olly give the compass to next?
Jess Butterworth
Chapter book
Twelve-year-old Eliza and her sister Avery have lived their entire lives in a small fishing village on the coast of Louisiana, growing up alongside turtles, pelicans and porpoises. But now, with sea levels rising, their home is at risk of being swept away.Determined to save the land, Eliza and her younger sister Avery secretly go searching in the swamp for the dangerous, wolf-like loup-garou . If they can prove this legendary creature exists, they're sure that the government will have to protect its habitat - and their community. But there's one problem: the loup-garou has never been seen before. And with a tropical storm approaching and the sisters deep, deep in the swampland, soon it's not just their home at risk, but their lives as well...
Malorie Blackman
Chapter book
A hurricane is on it's way . . . And Betsey can't wait! Join her as she helps prepare for the storm, is entered into a very strange contest, and even attempts to eat a MONSTER hamburger in four fabulously funny adventures. This book is one of five collections featuring Betsey Biggalow from Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman. Beautifully illustrated by Jamie Smith, these stories are ideal for building confidence in young readers, whether reading aloud or alone.
Emma Carroll
Chapter book
A sinking boat. A girl in disguise. A disappearing sea. When Fortune Sharpe carves a boat from a tree with her beloved brother, Gem, she's only having a bit of fun. But now is not the time for a girl to be drawing attention to herself. She is sent away to find work dressed as a boy. Luckily a rich manor house is hiring. Yet Berrow Hall's inhabitants harbour dangerous secrets of their own, the suspicious owner is hunting for witches, and the house itself is a little too close to the sea.
Jess Butterworth
Chapter book
Set on top of a super volcano, this is an adventure about coming to terms with grief, letting go of anger at the world and finding hope and joy in the most unexpected of places. Vivi and Seb live halfway across the world from each other, living completely separate lives, until a terrible event unexpectedly makes their paths collide. When they meet at a memorial and put together a plan to make things better, it becomes a race for survival as they try and find their way out of the wilderness.

PIcturebooks about natural disasters

Alvaro F. Villa
Picturebook
With intensely coloured, gorgeous artwork, Alvaro F. Villa depicts the effects of a devastating flood on a family and their home in this wordless - and startlingly beautiful - picture book.
Christina Balit
Picturebook

Escape from Pompeii tells the story of a young boy called Tranio who lives in Pompeii at the time of the famous eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. This captivating picture book allows readers to follow the footsteps of Tranio and his friend Livia as they come to terms with the destruction of their city and find their own routes to freedom.

There is also an accompanying 2-week English unit available from KS2History.

Lara Hawthorne
Picturebook
In this beautifully illustrated picture book from Lara Hawthorne, a mysterious creature from a secluded volcano crater explores the outside world for the very first time . . . but is it not what he expects it to be! Will his adventure teach him there is no place like home? Ratty lives deep inside the crater of an ancient volcano nestled in the rainforest. One day, he spies a particularly delicious-looking fruit high in the treetops, and sets out to reach it. From this high vantage point a spectacular view stretches before him - the world outside his mountain crater. In this big outside world, Ratty imagines, the fruit must be much sweeter, the bird songs more beautiful and the other animals far more interesting and sophisticated, and so he sets off in search of better things. But when is he is asked to attend a dinner party by a crocodile who seems just a bit too friendly, Ratty realises that perhaps there is no place like home after all. Inspired by the recent scientific breakthroughs of Mount Bosavi, in which over 40 new species of animals and plants were identified, Lara Hawthorne seamlessly combines story and fact in this picture book which celebrates the diversity of life, even in extreme habitats.

Non-fiction about natural disasters

Tom Vaillant
Non-fiction
Open this book and step into the fiery world of volcanoes! Find out why they erupt, what scientists can learn from them and which animals call them home. Explore volcanoes at the bottom of the sea, gaze upon the volcanoes of Mars, and travel back in time to find out what happened to the city of Pompeii...
Jon Richards
Non-fiction
In Extreme Earth, discover the natural phenomena and weather that shape our Earth and its landscape, from mighty earthquakes to powerful hurricanes. Key information is presented in accessible chunks and accompanied by stunning panoramic illustrations, whilst infographic panels offer the reader memorable bite-sized facts.
Liz Gogerly
 & Miguel Sanchez
Non-fiction
Weather is awesome and exciting - it's part of our everyday lives but what is it? This funkily illustrated title explores all types of weather with four children Anjali, Lulu, Mason and Noah. Their teacher, Mr Sangar, explains that weather is about what's happening in the atmosphere. And, there are six major things going on up there that are constantly changing and making our weather. Mason's dad explains the water cycle to them. They experience all types of weather, such as rain, snow, sleet and hail and see some fantastic rainbows too. They learn about extreme weather , such as floods, hurricanes and typhoons and find out how to identify different types of clouds and lightning . They discover the different climate zones, learn about jet streams and get serious about climate change and global warming .
Izzy Howell
Non-fiction
Learn about volcanoes and find out how they form, where they are most likely to be and how scientists study them through diagrams and case studies. Fact Planet is a lively, information-filled geography series, packed full of colourful illustrations, clear explanations and fun quizzes to test your knowledge. The eye-catching flat illustrations combined with occasional photos bring geography and environmental issues to life.

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