booktalks

juvenile fictionThe Volcano Disaster by Peg Keret [pdf : 180k]

Subjects: Time travel—Juvenile fiction; Volcanoes—Juvenile fiction
Book Lists: Grade 7

Volcano Mount Saint Helens in Washington State erupted unexpectedly
May 18, 1980 at 8:32AM. Fifty-seven people died or are still missing.

Warren Spaulding is taking Natural Disasters as an elective class for the semester. He didn’t expect to have a 20 page paper assigned first thing. And he didn’t expect to get Betsy Tyler assigned as his partner. But at least they agree they have one of the better topics: the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

Warren’s supposed to be going through his share of their research books on the volcano, but instead he’s busy testing one of his grandfather’s inventions: the Instant Commuter. It’s a lot more interesting than a bunch of research. If he can get the Commuter to work, it’s supposed to transport the person wearing it to whatever spot they touch on a map. Warren’s in the middle of a test, all set to go, when Betsy shows up with some great pictures of Mount Saint Helens. Warren reaches forward and accidentally touches a picture—a picture of Mount Saint Helens before the catastrophic eruption of May 18th.

Warren feels the Commuter begin to hum, and struggles to remove it, but just as he gets it off he’s transported through space to Mount Saint Helens. He’s standing in the middle of an old logging road on the volcano—a volcano that still has a cap. Warren’s not only been transported through space, he’s been transported through time. A time before the eruption.

But what time is it? A family driving up to sight-see tells him. It’s 7:45 in the morning on May 18, 1980. Warren has less than an hour to get as far from the top of the volcano as he can. He warns the family in the car, but they don’t believe him. How can he know the volcano is going to erupt, they ask? But Warren knows. And he’s seen a picture of a car. Warren begins to run.

Will Warren be able to run far enough? Will Betsy be able to help him across time? And what about the family in the car? (Hold up book) The Volcano Disaster by Peg Keret.

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