________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007


Wild Weather: The Truth Behind Global Warming.

Reese Halter.
Canmore, AB: Altitude Publishing (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2007.
160 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-55439-532-3.

Subject Headings:
Global warming.
Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric.
Climate changes.

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4


The blizzard hit with such ferocity that any person or animal in its wake stood no chance of survival. Temperatures dropped 18° F (10° C) in minutes; 70-mile-per-hour (113 km/hr) winds brought heavy snowfalls with zero visibility.

At 10:30 a.m., the storm hit Groton School, in Groton, North Dakota. The teacher decided to dismiss school immediately. Within minutes, anyone outside the single-roomed schoolhouse succumbed to hypothermia.

The subtitle of Wild Weather is, perhaps, a bit of a misnomer, as it is not until the ninth of 10 chapters that global warming, in relation to extreme weather, is explained. In the first eight chapters, Halter provides information about hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, drought and fire, discussing the conditions which result in these severe weather phenomena, the effects of wild weather on people, animals and plants, and highlighting specific examples of record-breaking natural disasters. The most interesting chapter is about fire for here readers will receive abundant information not usually found in weather-related books. For instance, they will learn how certain types of trees need crown fires to thrive, how some trees have adapted to surface fires and that fires are actually necessary for forests. In the chapter on global warming, Halter explains the interconnectedness between extreme weather and the actions of people and global warming. Despite the “doom and gloom” theme of other recent books and articles on global warming, Halter states that there is, indeed, hope for the future. He devotes the last chapter of the book to the companies that are taking innovative measures to conserve energy, to change the way they do business, and to act proactively in their planning.

     Halter’s text is well-written for the most part, although he sometimes does not explain certain terms, assuming that the reader can figure them out through context, and he has a tendency to go slightly off track on occasion, providing extra “filler” that some readers might not consider relevant.

     Throughout the book are maps, graphs and photographs, all black and white, but they are few and far between. Thus, the book might not appeal to some readers. Fact boxes provide additional information. Also included are a table of contents, a wild weather timeline from 430,000 B.C. to 2006 A.D., a page of “amazing” facts and figures (for example, it takes 100 tons of ancient plant life to create one gallon of gasoline), and some quotes from prominent researchers and others regarding global warming and its effects on the earth. A list of books and web sites for further study is also provided.

     Worthy of purchase for a public or middle school library.


Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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