With Hurricane Irene set to hit the U.S. East Coast, books about this type of natural disaster can make for great learning material. The first five books are recommended by Hurricane.com, a Web site started in 1994 that contains hurricane news and information. The last five books are Amazon hurricane bestseller books for children.
Stormchasers: The Hurricane Hunters and Their Fateful Flight Into Hurricane Janet by David Toomey
Before modern technology could give us the inside scoop on weather disasters, so-called stormchasers were flying their planes into hurricanes. Toomey's book goes into those pre-satellite flight attempts, and specifically looks into the time when a crew of eight flew out of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba in 1955 and into the eye of Hurricane Janet.
Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth by Jack Williams and Bob Sheets
Williams and Sheets go into the history of hurricane research and how hurricanes have come to be forecasted. According to Publishers Weekly, the book complements the discussion of science and technology.
Florida Hurricanes and Tropical Storms: 1871-2001 by John M. Williams and Iver W. Duedall
This book contains statistics and information on the tropical cyclones that have hit the state of Florida from 1871 to 2001. Written by two Florida Institute of Technology researchers, the book includes tracking charts, photos and eyewitness accounts.
Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 by R.A. Scotti
Scotti focuses on this particular hurricane, the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history-worse than the San Francisco earthquake, the Chicago fire, or any Mississippi flood. One of the survivor recollections in the book is by the late Katharine Hepburn.
Category 5: The Story of Camille, Lessons Unlearned from America's Most Violent Hurricane by Ernest Zebrowski and Judith A. Howard
Hurricane Camille hit coastal Mississippi and Louisiana in August of 1969. Zebrowski and Howard's book contains personal narratives from survivors of the Category 5 hurricane. It also looks at the creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Story of a Storm: A Book about Hurricane Katrina by Reona Visser and the Children of the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Published in 2006, this book is written and illustrated by an author, her children and other children who experienced Hurricane Katrina. It is for kids ages 4 and older.
Hurricane by David Wiesner
This work of fiction for kids age 5 and older is about two boys who are safe inside their home during a hurricane. The two brothers see the preparations being made before it strikes. Their imaginations are captured when they see a fallen elm tree after the hurricane.
Hurricanes by Seymour Simon
This book is about hurricanes and the mess they leave behind. The book goes into hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, as well. It is for children ages 5 and older and has photographs and satellite images.
Hurricane & Tornado (DK Eyewitness Books) by Jack Challoner
This book is for children ages 8 and older. It goes into old and new techniques that have been used to forecast weather and how human activity can cause weather to change.
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
This work of fiction is about a young girl named Lanesha who can communicate with ghosts and her mother, who died in childbirth. Lanesha senses that a huge storm- Hurricane Katrina- is coming. She lives in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, which was devastated by the hurricane. The story is for children ages 5 and older.