Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review - Examining Erosion


Examining Erosion: Searchlight Books - Do You Dig Earth Science?

By: Joelle Riley
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1467700214
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2013

Earth is constantly changing for many reasons. Change can be rapid when an earthquake strikes or can be slow, which happens when mountains form. Erosion, which “is the movement of rock, soil, and other bits of earth,” is a slow process that changes the face of our planet. Young mountains, such as the Rocky Mountain range, “have tall pointed tops.” Other mountains that you see are older and have rounded peaks. In this case erosion has been at work as the mountains become smaller. The Appalachian Mountains are an example of this process.

Erosion moves pieces of rock that have broken off mountains. You don’t always see rocks, but rather smaller pieces. When the larger pieces turn into smaller pieces over time, the process is called weathering. Weathering can be caused by “water, ice, and growing plants.” Fast moving water will erode the ground more quickly because “fast streams push harder than slow streams.” If you’ve ever seen a stream, it weaves back and forth, or meanders, through the earth. If water is flowing across hard rock it will flow in “a narrow or straight path.” Waves pounding against a shore will “break loose bits of rock, sand, and soil” as it erodes it.

Ice, which “takes up more space than water does,” can widen cracks in the earth. Like the ocean waves those bits of rock and soil are moved. Glaciers are an example of how ice can grind against the earth moving and breaking off larger pieces of rock. If you’ve ever seen plants growing in between solid pieces of rock, the process is similar. Weathering can also be caused by “chemicals and other substances.” For example, “chemicals found in rainwater can dissolve a kind of rock called limestone.” In this book you’ll also learn about what happens after weathering, how new land is made, deposition, how deltas, beaches, and hills are formed, how people cause erosion, how we can protect the soil, and you’ll learn many other interesting things about erosion.

This is a fascinating book on the process of Earth’s erosion throughout time. The layout of the book is vibrant with full-color photographs and illustrations that outline the process. Many of the captions add additional information the young student can think about. For example, when discussing how soft rock erodes more quickly that harder rock we learn that “This kind of rock called sandstone is soft. It breaks apart very easily.” This is a beginning nonfiction book that the confident or newly independent reader should be able to tackle with a minimum of assistance. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, and recommended book and website resources to explore. There are additional free, complementary educational resources that can be downloaded on the publisher’s website.

Quill says: The "Do You Dig Earth Science" is an excellent introductory series for beginning nonfiction students.