Earthquake Shock

Marlane Kennedy, illus. by Erwin Madrid. Scholastic, $4.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-545-53044-6
Joey Flores and his friends are walking home from a skate park when an earthquake tears through their Los Angeles neighborhood in this first title in Kennedy’s Disaster Strikes series. Joey and Fiona are passing under a highway when the quake hits, and he drags her out of the collapsing underpass: “Crashing concrete columns chased them, like some awful monster ready to swallow them whole.” Joey then pulls an antagonistic friend, Dylan, out from under concrete slabs just before an aftershock occurs. Kennedy pushes the super-boy idea to the limit as Joey then proceeds to whisk a small girl away from a downed power line seconds before she would have touched it. His aw-shucks musings on being heralded as a hero is also unconvincing: “Heroes were larger than life. He was just ten-year-old Joey.” More believable is Joey’s genuine fear for his family’s wellbeing as he races home after the earthquake. Kennedy (The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes) follows this slim, but eventful story with a roundup of earthquake facts. Tornado Alley pubs simultaneously. Ages 7–10. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/05/2014
Release date: 06/24/2014
Prebound-Sewn - 128 pages - 978-0-606-35827-9
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