ISBN unavail. Earthquakes. ISBN unavail. Lightning. ISBN unavail. Mega Fires. ISBN unavail. Tornadoes. ISBN unavail. Volcanic Eruptions. ISBN unavail.ea vol: (The Earth's Furies). 52 min. Dist. by Green Planet Films. 2017. Schools $89. Public Libraries $39.
Gr 5 Up—Each episode in this French television series on natural disasters sets out to answer three basic questions about the featured catastrophe: How does it work? Can it be predicted? And what dangers does it pose? The phenomenon is then explored and explained using computer graphics, news footage, interviews with disaster survivors, and talking head passages from scientists. Viewers must pay close attention; explanations are complex, and the experts all speak French, so subtitles are essential for English speakers. The series narrator speaks British-accented English, but labels on many graphics are in French, measurements are in metric, and comparisons for landmarks are French towns. The survivor interviews humanize the issues and nicely balance what is otherwise a seemingly upbeat attitude toward destruction: Avalanches happen when snowflakes turn into "cold murderers," and "killer volcanoes could destroy all life on Earth." Some footage of natural disasters is from cell phone videos, and shouted expletives are common, as avalanches or lightning strikes occur near the videographer. Some geographical errors about U.S. landmarks are present. For example, the Grand Canyon is said to be located in Colorado and not in Arizona.
VERDICT The images are gripping, and the scientists explain the phenomena clearly. But in a classroom setting, be certain students can keep up with the subtitles, and beware some geographical errors.

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