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Cover: Deadly Mine

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Deadly Mine

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$29.95 $20.95
$44.21 $30.95

In 1963, Les Skramstad came home after a hard day’s work at the local mill and mine in Libby, Montana. His wife kissed him at the door and his kids playfully grabbed his legs. They didn’t mind that he was covered in powdery brown dust. Little did Les and his family know that the dust was deadly. Deadly Mine: Libby, Montana traces the tragic story of a small mining town that eventually became poisoned by a deadly mineral called asbestos. Fascinating photos of the actual events, maps, and fact boxes enrich the compelling text. The personal and heart-breaking story will grip and inspire young readers.

Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Narrative Nonfiction
Copyright 2018
Publisher Bearport Publishing
Series Eco-Disasters
Language English
ISBN 9781684022229, 9781684022762
Title Format Reinforced book, Unlimited Access eBook
Dewey 615.9'25392240978681
ATOS Reading Level 5.8
Guided Reading Level T
Lexile Reading Level 920
AR Quiz Number 191296
Author Kevin Blake

Geo Librarian Blog Review of Deadly Mine: Libby, Montana

This book presents the shocking story of a town brought to it’s knees by the very thing that helped make it possible. Mining is a dangerous profession, but when miners carry home a poisonous dust, mining becomes deadly for everyone. Not only is the story eye-opening but it carries a powerful reminder of the importance of environmental stewardship. The company that came to own the mine did nothing about the poisoning of the whole town, even after they knew about it. The book documents the discovery and use of the mine followed by information about the discovery of its dangers and the efforts now underway to help clean up the mess. Unfortunately, those exposed will continue to deal with the nasty aftereffects of this environmental disaster. This is an important story that makes for a quick and easy read but leaves the reader wondering about the future of the human race.

Bookworm for Kids Blog Review of Deadly Mine: Libby, Montana

With careful explanations and descriptions, this book gives young readers a glimpse into one of the largest environmental catastrophes in United States’ history.

The first pages set the mood with the tragic story of a miner and his family, who became sick from poisonous dust in the town of Libby, Montana. Young readers are emotionally pulled into the situation, which sets a perfect seen for the more historical and factual information. The next chapters explain how the mineral was discovered, what this discovery meant at the time, and how people were able to benefit from the mining during the early years. Like a mystery, the problems unfold. The information is concise but told with enough excitement and emotion to keep younger readers engaged. Everything for the chemical aspects, the medical results to the governmental policies is covered in a way readers of this age group will understand. More difficult words are highlighted and placed again in a glossary at the end of the book.

The seriousness of the situation is ever present, but never overwhelming. Readers are not talked down to, but given solid facts and arguments, which will lead them to thought. Information concerning how the situation is being taken care of is also included, allowing the book to end on a slightly higher note without undermining the horrible aspects of the occurrence. A website address at the end leads kids to a little information concerning the catastrophe and offers a crossword puzzle as well.

The real-life photographs are bright and bring clarity to the explanations found in the text. Young readers gain a greater appreciation for the event and can easily slip into the shoes of those effected by the disaster.

Children, ages six and up, who are interested in science, nature or world happenings are sure to enjoy this book and soak up the information. My own son thoroughly enjoyed this book and is determined to read through the entire series.

School Library Journal Review of Eco-Disasters

Gr 4-6–A dramatic introduction sets the scene of each event, followed by short chapters that describe it from start to finish or to its current status, with an emphasis on its immediate and continuing human costs. Each book clearly states who or what was responsible for the disaster, and discusses restitution or lack thereof to victims, as well as the ongoing or long-term detrimental effects. “Fixing the Future” sections detail continuing cleanup efforts or measures to prevent future calamities….VERDICT: This set will help readers understand the myriad large-scale ecological disasters that can happen and their lasting human and societal costs. A solid purchase.

Booklist Review for Deadly Mine: Libby, Montana

The Eco-Disasters series examines environmentally based catastrophes that have severely impacted human life. Here readers visit Libby, Montana, where a long history of vermiculite mining has afflicted its residents with deadly lung disease. This lightweight mineral became a popular building insulator in the 1960s, but unbeknownst to anyone, Libby’s vermiculite was contaminated with asbestos. Dust from the processing mill regularly blew over the town, exposing residents to asbestos for decades. Readers will connect with this tragedy through the compelling photos and personal stories threaded through the text. Rather than sensationalize the disaster, the book fosters a rounded understanding of how it occurred with a compelling mix of area history, science, and governmental action, along with the cleanup efforts in its wake. A fascinating history with numerous STEM connections.

Author/Illustrator biography
Glossary of key words
Online learning supplement
Sources for further research
Table of contents
Full-color illustrations, Full-color photographs, Historical photographs