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Tornado!: The Story Behind These Twisting, Turning, Spinning, and Spiraling Storms (National Geographic Kids) Hardcover – Illustrated, April 12, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 354 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Through riveting narrative and eyewitness stories, young readers learn what it's really like to be caught in a monster tornado. Captivating first-person accounts and news reports detail survivors' experiences of the most destructive tornadoes ever to occur in the United States. And thrill-seekers' reports add to the drama and suspense. Historical perspectives on the human experience of tornadoes and scientific perspectives on why twisters happen and how to keep people safe add to the intrigue of this fascinating topic. Ample back matter will help students find sources to write well-informed and compelling reports.


Q & A with Tornado! Author Judith Brindell Fradin

Q: What inspired you to write a book about tornados?
A: Dennis and I are Midwesterners. As such, every spring and summer, we experience volatile weather, fascinating and frightening at the same time. Several years ago, our house and car were damaged by a downdraft--a phenomenon, like a tornado, caused by a cold front colliding with warm, unstable air. Last year, a tornado struck less than a mile from where I was driving with my daughter and granddaughters. Watching the gigantic wall cloud approach us and feeling the wind-driven, instantaneous 25 degree temperature drop was terrifying, forcing us to seek shelter. Who knows what this spring will bring as cold fronts from the north, winds from the west, and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico collide and spin over our area?

Q: Why is it so difficult to predict when a tornado might hit?
A: Tornado prediction is much more reliable now than ever. The Storm Prediction Center monitors radar and satellite imagery to watch the creation of spinning storm cells, then monitor conditions that could lead to severe weather. Sirens sound, alerting citizens to take shelter. For these reasons, there are fewer serious injuries and fatalities from twisters than in the past.

Q: Is there any other weather phenomenon you might want to write about in the future? Why?
A: We’ve already written our WITNESS TO DISASTER series for National Geographic Children’s Books: VOLCANOES! HURRICANES! EARTHQUAKES! TSUNAMIS! and DROUGHTS! Our FLOODS book has been written, but not yet published.

Q: What is the most fascinating thing about a tornado?
A: In an era when humans like to think we can control the trajectory of our lives more and more, tornadoes remind us of the power of nature and encourage us, like our ancestors, to learn to read the skies.

Q: There is some stunning photography in the book. Do you think people risk too much getting close to dangerous forces in the pursuit of snapping great photos?
A: People who photograph dramatic and violent forces of nature fall, in my mind, into three categories. Some are scientists, prepared with state-of-the-art storm-monitoring equipment and vehicles. The scientists understand, respect, and fear the forces of nature they study. Some are storm-chasers--risk-takers who, with lesser knowledge and equipment, shoot stunning images. Finally, there are amateur photographers who find themselves in the path of an approaching storm, whip out their cameras, click the shutter and snag awesome images. We sift through thousands of photographs taken by scientists, storm-chasers and amateurs to acquire the pictures for our books.

About the Author

Judy Fradin and her husband, Dennis, have written more than 150 books between the two of them. They are renowned for their thoroughly researched work about harrowing times in history. The couple have coauthored Tornado!: The Story Behind These Twisting, Turning, Spinning, and Spiraling Storms and several of National Geographic’s Witness to Disaster books, including Earthquakes and Droughts.Dennis Fradin and his wife, Judy, have collectively written more than 150 books. This dynamic couple is well known for their carefully researched work recounting harrowing times in history. Their many awards include the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year for 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft’s Flight from Slavery.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic Kids; Illustrated edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 64 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1426307799
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1426307799
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 14 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1120L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.6 x 0.5 x 10.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 354 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
354 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Arrived in terrible shape
By Morgan on May 31, 2018
Book arrived damaged, very bent. The sleeve wasn’t even on the book and was also crumpled, like they didn’t even try. Returning! It was suppose to be a birthday gift but the replacement will be too late.
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2021
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good book..poor delivery!
By SharBea on June 18, 2021
The book came to me looking like it was in a tornado. It’s a gift…so I’m very disappointed and embarrassed to give it to that person. I don’t know whose fault it is, but it’s unacceptable. The book itself is a good book!
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Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2011
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Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

just my opinion
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and accessible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2020
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Mrs Caroline McGowan
5.0 out of 5 stars Parent learned something to!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 19, 2019
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Ward258
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2018
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philip j bower
5.0 out of 5 stars Good mix of pics & info
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2020
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L
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2013
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