The Day The World Exploded
by Simon Winchester
adapted by Dwight Jon Zimmerman
In 1883, after months of ominous rumblings and small explosions, the island of Krakatoa was annihilated by a colossal volcanic eruption. While many were killed by ash and gases, thousands more were killed by the resulting tsunamis. For months afterward, the world was treated to spectacularly coloured sunsets and cooler temperatures.
The story of Krakatoa is dramatically told in Simon Winchester's book, Krakatoa. This version for children was adapted by Zimmerman, who does a very credible job. Besides understanding volcanoes, young readers will learn a great deal about the ancient spice trade, the growth of Jakarta, and the technological discoveries that allowed the world to know about the disaster only hours after it occurred. Krakatoa does not explode until page sixty, but the early chapters are interesting, engaging, and tension-building. The disaster itself is thrillingly and horrifyingly told, tempered by a fascinating dénouement that describes the island's rebirth.