I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 (I Survived #14)

I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 (I Survived #14)
Age Range
Release Date
August 30, 2016
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Eleven-year-old Jessie Marlowe has grown up with the beautiful Mount St. Helens always in the background. She's hiked its winding trails, dived into its cold lakes, and fished for trout in its streams. Just looking at Mount St. Helens out her window made Jess feel calm, like it was watching over her somehow. Of course, she knew the mountain was a volcano...but not the active kind, not a volcano that could destroy and kill!

Then Mount St. Helens explodes with unimaginable fury. Jess suddenly finds herself in the middle of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic event in U.S. history. Ash and rock are spewing everywhere. Can Jess escape in time?

The newest book in the I Survived series will take readers into one of the most environmentally devastating events in recent U.S. history.

Editor review

1 review
Events from my childhood are now HISTORY!
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Jess and her friends Eddie and Sam Rowan live near Loomis Lake in Washington State. They've hear stories about the "Skeleton Woman" who is roaming the woods, and want to find her. They are allowed to go up the mountain to a shack to spend the day looking, but when they are there, tremors shake the area and Jess loses her deceased father's camera. Family friend Dr. Morales explains that Mt. St. Helens is a dormant volcano, but it's possible that it might blow. But probably not soon, even though it is letting out "volcano burps". When Jess goes back to retrieve the camera, of course, the mountain erupts, and she and her friends struggle to survive. Jess and her mother end up moving to Seattle, but she does find out that the Skeleton Woman story was created to scare off loggers; of course, not there are no more trees to take down!
Good Points
At the end of this book, Tarshis writes about how girls were very angry at her for not having a girl as the main character or on the cover of her books. This is a good point.

It's not that boys won't read books with girls on the cover. It's just that they have learned, through experience, that books with girls on the cover often are lacking in action and adventure while being heavy on parents dying and introspection about one's place in the universe.

But things blowing up? Absolutely. This is why the I Survived series is so popular. The boys will not even think about the girl on the cover-- put them on more!

This was a good adventure, and the reasons for the children to be out in the woods on their own when the volcano erupted was realistic. The story of the Skeleton Woman added added a little bit of interest. My only quibble is the cover, which has completely wrong jeans and shoes. This is what happens when I read historical fiction set during my own lifetime. I know she should be wearing straight leg jeans and brown school shoes! While children won't care, putting modern fashions on a historical fiction book is a lost opportunity to teach even more about the time period!
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