Sit tight—here’s another addition to the addicting Mystery & Mayhem series from NOMAD PRESS. You may have knowledge of these outbursts, but the stories before, during, and after each of these life-changing events drive this page-turner.

1815 Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupts. The after effects cause change to the climate and an author is also moved to create the plot for a new story. Mary Shelley pens the tale that would also become famous— Frankenstein.

1865 The riverboat Sultana explodes on the Mississippi near Memphis, killing an estimated 2,500—most of whom were freed prisoners from the Civil War. You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of this event. It is known as the forgotten tragedy.

1945 The United States explodes the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. It’s a tough one to read as we follow 13-year-old Yoko who is an innocent victim, surviving the initial blast, but like so many, life ends for her a few days later.

1986 The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant has a nuclear accident effecting hundreds of thousands. Learn why it happened and the effects on those who lost everything.

2010 The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes in the gulf of Mexico. Eleven men were killed and millions of gallons of oil spilled into the gulf. The results effected wildlife, people, and the economy.

You can read these in any order and the format is perfect for reluctant readers. Maps and a few black and white photos also accompany each story. A glossary and resource page allow for further understanding.

Each of these events provides a window to the history of each time period. Kids and adults alike will learn something they whether they had previously read about the explosions or not. I especially liked the human side of each story—those who were there and experienced the tragedy.

There’s also an important tie-in to this place we call home—Earth. As the introduction states: Read these stories and heed their warning. Before it’s too late.


Coming up next Monday is another:
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
(Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and for spreading the middle grade love!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in non fiction, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. This does sound like another great one. Thanks, Greg.

  2. Denise V. says:

    I love the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking for it.

  3. This book does capture my interest. I just watched Ann Curry’s series on PBS, and last week she focused on survivor’s of the Mount St. Helen’s eruption. Thanks for sharing!

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