The Book Reviews – Website

January 29, 2008

Forest Furnace – Wildfires

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Forest Furnace – Wildfires

Author: Mary Colson

Page Length: 48

Reading Level: 5th

Genre: Non-fiction


REVIEW & AREAS FOR TEACHING: Forest Furnace – Wildfires is another in a line of disaster books authored by Mary Colson. This book comes alive with vibrant action photos of wildfires in progress and the devastation they have caused. The book begins by exploring the conditions under which a forest fire can occur. A reference is even made to the Native American and Greek explanations for the origin of fire. An anticipatory set of questions are offered for students to ponder: How fast can a forest fire move? Are all forest fires started by accident? How can forest fires be stopped?


Types of fires are described. A world map details regions most prone to fire hazards. Fire speeds and dangers facing firefighters are also detailed. Fire focus facts pop out on the sides of pages showing statistics and information about fires that have occurred and their devastating effects. Wild Words (new vocabulary) is detailed at the bottom of each page. How fires are started, what chemical components cause them to burn, and what continues to feed a fire is covered in depth. Methods for fighting fires including water bombers, hotshots, smokejumpers, and backfires are also explained. This book offers great connections to careers connected with firefighting; after reading the story, numerous research topics could be generated


What happens after the fire is put out? The book examines the effects of smoke and ashes, the potential for landslides, and the effects of deforestation. Students are provided tips for surviving and preventing fires. The text naturally lends to connections with other cultures who, like American culture, are affected by fires and who share in the misery and devastation.  The last pages of the book offer additional titles for reading, World Wide Web search tips, and key organizations from which to seek information.


Overall the book is highly informative. So much information is packed into each section or page that the text should be addressed with a guide for students; or, reading the text for different purposes on several occasions might also prove useful.


Another great resource for teaching: cause and effect, vocabulary development, setting up an anticipation and reaction set, analysis of events and preventative measures, analysis of the effects of human actions on the world, sequence of events, map reading, part to whole, and classifying.


RELATED WEBSITES:  (great video resource)


REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor


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