Geology of the Pacific Northwest: investigate how the Earth was formed by Cynthia Light Brown

Designed for 9 – 12 year old with 15 hands-on projects, this book taught me exactly what I wanted to know. I highly recommend it anyone curious about:

•  how the Northwest was formed, including its mountain ranges, volcanoes, earthquakes, basins, and plateaus;

•  why the climate is just as it is;

•  the major rivers of the Northwest and their uses;

•  its unique ecosystems of rainforest and tundra; and

•  what is distinctive about the coastline and the sea off the coast.

The projects are inventive, such as using a candy bar to explain plate tectonics, and cardboard and peanut butter to explain the movement of magma and the development of “folded” mountains. The project I will try is the last one, which explains fractals simply and clearly, and, in part, gives the assignment of looking for fractals in common objects. What could be more fun for kids or adults?

This book shifted my perspective from a narrow human lifetime to Deep Time, beginning on the first page with these two sentences: “Most of the Pacific Northwest wasn’t even part of the original North American continent, but was stitched together like a patchwork quilt. That stitching is still going on, which causes explosive volcanoes and rumbling earthquakes.”

Highly recommended for adults and children!

Reviewed by Lily

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