Read up on Earthquake facts

It’s been a pretty scary couple of days here in Wellington (and all over New Zealand) after the big 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit on Monday morning! Maybe it even woke you up? I thought this would be a good time to refresh our knowledge on earthquakes and what we need to do in an emergency.


So, what IS an earthquake?


The surface of the earth is covered in large rocks (or plates), which we call the earth’s crust. Earthquakes happen when these rocks move, causing a great release of energy that travels through the earth.


The edges where different plates in the earth’s crust meet are called fault lines, and these are often where earthquakes are most likely to centre, although people will feel them from a long way away.


After a major earthquake, it is also normal to feel lots of smaller aftershocks for days or even weeks afterwards. An instrument called a seismograph records and measures the size of an earthquake. Geonet keeps a record of all the earthquakes that have occurred across the country, so check out their website to see just how many aftershocks we’ve had in the past couple of days!


Because we never know when an earthquake might happen, it is really important that we are prepared and know what to do when an earthquake hits.


The first thing you need to remember if you feel an earthquake is to drop. If you are close to a sturdy table or desk, you can crouch underneath, otherwise cover your head with your arms to protect yourself from things that could fall on you. Lastly, hold your position until you feel the shaking stop, or until an adult tells you it is safe.


Drop, cover, hold – pretty easy right? You might like to have a quick practice now.


If you are interested to learn more about earthquakes, or how and why they happen, we’ve got lots of great books available through the catalogue. You might also like to read this information from Civil Defence about how to be prepared for an emergency, or check out the science kids website for more earthquake facts.

Stay safe out there!


Kids’ Club Review by Rohan: Graphic Natural Disasters: Earthquakes

Graphic Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, by Rob Shone

Graphic Natural Disasters: Earthquakes is an awesome book, because it is very informative. I like the way it hooks the reader in, like when it shows Kobe, Japan (see page 26-27) as a beautiful modernised city with not a single sign of an earthquake (not to mention that Japan is on an earthquake zone)! I also like those magnificent drawings, for example on page 27, because of that beauty which I always find in pictures of cities/villages from above, since all the buildings look like tiny insects on the ground! I also greatly enjoy this book because it is about one of my favorite subjects (this is the reason I wrote this review): Earthquakes! I do not mean that earthquakes are good, because even though they may be interesting, they are not good, and usually are not helpful, since they can just occur and then, Boom! something cool, like a birthday is gone in even a few seconds!

Okay. so what is this book about? Earthquakes. now… Hmm. What words could I use to describe the book? Interesting, informative… Uhhh.. Wait a second. I could say the book features three earthquakes, that were the San Francisco, USA Earthquake (occurred in 1906), The Great Hanshin Earthquake/ Kobe, Japan Earthquake (occurred in 1995) and the South Asia Earthquake/Kashmir, Pakistan Earthquake ( occurred in 2005). I like this book very much because it features many interesting stories based on real earthquakes.


(Just relating to the South Asia Earthquake/Kashmir, Pakistan Earthquake, did you know that Kashmir is in between two countries, India and Pakistan? They are at war in that beautiful war zone because they are fighting over who gets the portion of Kashmir. When it says Kashmir, Pakistan, it is not owned by Pakistan. It is only the divided half of Kashmir given to Pakistan. I don’t know whom you are supporting, but I am supporting India!).

5 stars

Reviewed by Rohan from Johnsonville, 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Rohan: Volcanoes

VolcanoesVolcanoes, by Rob Shone

Graphic Natural Disasters: ‘Volcanoes’ is an interesting book which has beautiful pictures and very realistic drawing. This book is mostly comic-style but also has some pages of background information about volcanoes. The mini-comics are about the eruptions of three famous volcanoes: Krakatoa (erupted in 1883), Mount St. Helens (erupted in 1980), and Vesuvius (erupted in A.D. 79). The background information also includes how a volcano forms and erupts, and has a few images of volcanoes such as Popocatépetl (whose nearby residents prefer to live within the view of the volcano rather than stay far from it!).

The book is clearly non-fiction because it is about many real eruptions that have happened in the past. The volcanoes described are still present today!

So, Rob Shone and Terry Riley have brought to you this colourful, informative book about one of the many natural disasters which rage around our planet. It has an amazing, stunning picture right on the front cover and if you open it… there, in front of your eyes is a world of pictures that bring the volcanoes to life!

Read this book as soon as possible and if you can, try reading the whole series! The other books in the series are Avalanches & Landslides, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tornadoes & Superstorms and Tsunamis & Floods.

5 stars

Reviewed by Rohan from Johnsonville, 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Rohan: Catastrophe in southern Asia : the tsunami of 2004

Catastrophe in southern Asia : the tsunami of 2004Catastrophe in southern Asia : the tsunami of 2004, by Gail Stewart (1949-)

This book is about the Boxing Day tsunami, a catastrophe in Southern Asia and Eastern Africa. This book is very informative because it includes some sad and some happy quotations. It also includes some victims’ points of view. Here is one thought from the book: “It is as if someone took a rototiller to a city area seven miles wide and three miles deep, and ground it to bits and then flooded the uneven ground, creating ponds, inlets that drain to nowhere…The United Nations has bulldozed some tracks across the rubble field that was once this city. The locals use them to try to find houses and momentos of their past lives. Relief helicopters… carrying supplies roar across the sky. The city smells of decomposition.”

Many people were sad about the tsunami, but for many different reasons. Some adults felt guilty for losing their children. One grandmother of two children, whose name was Chinnapallai, was so overcome by guilt when she lost her children, that she thought that she had killed the children.

Some people believed that the ghosts of the people who died in the tsunami would roam the Earth forever because they were not given a proper funeral (I do not believe in ghosts).

But there was a global response to this catastrophe. The USA, Mexico, Japan, Germany, Norway and thousands of other countries gave food and clothing to the victims. There was an outpouring of help and supplies from the world, and I think the world would have donated over $100, 000, 000 dollars in cash!

So, I think that all disasters aren’t completely bad because there is a chance hidden in every catastrophe for the world to show how they care for others.

If you are interested and want to learn more, you must read this book!

5 stars

Reviewed by Rohan from Johnsonville, 8 years old

Calling all scientists!

Have you heard about The Great NZ Science Project? Now’s your chance to get behind science and help New Zealand decide how we use it to invest in our future. Explore areas of interest and join the debate. The future of science in New Zealand is in your hands.

Important and leading NZ scientists have teamed up with our best free-thinkers -you guys, to figure out what science areas NZ should be focusing and spending our money on.

There are lots of ideas and projects suggested in the areas of

In each of these areas you can find out about what’s happening, what could happen in the future and why it’s important for scientists to work in these areas. There are heaps of facts and videos to watch. The videos are really cool, I reckon you should watch them.

Then you get to vote and write your opinion on whether you support science developments in these areas, which areas you think are most important and, coolest of all, you get to tell the scientists what you think they should be working on.

If you have an idea for a project for NZ scientists you can suggest it and you never know, an awesome scientist out there might think it’s a good idea and start working on it -Cool!


The Great NZ Science Project is on Facebook and Twitter for you to like, follow, post and comment.

Kids’ Club Review by Ola: The wonderful wizard of Oz

The wonderful wizard of OzThe wonderful wizard of Oz, by Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919.

Dorothy lost her house in a storm and landed in the magical land of oz. She Went to see the wizard do oz because she wanted to go back to Kansas (where she comes from). On the way to the wizard of oz she met a scarecrow who wanted who wanted a brain, a rusty tinman who wanted a heart and a lion who wanted courage. Will the wizard be able to help them? Will they ever get what they wish for? Read this amazing adventure to find out.

3 stars

Reviewed by Ola from Central City, 12 years old


Yesterday Tongariro, a large volcano in the middle of the North Island, erupted. Scientists had been expecting some volcanic activity from Ruapehu, a volcano next to Tongariro, and the Tongariro eruption was a little surprising.

New Zealand has many volcanoes because we are located on the edge of the pacific ring of fire. The volcanoes located in the middle of the North Island – Ruapehu and Tongariro are some of our most active.

Tongariro is 1,978 metres high and first erupted 275,000 years ago. It is made up of at least 12 separate cones. Ngāuruhoe, which most people think of as a separate mountain, is actually one of Tongariro’s cones (the most active one) and has itself erupted more than 70 times since 1839 (the last eruption from Ngāuruhoe was 1973-1975).

Did you know that scenes from The Lord of the Rings movies were shot on and around Mt Tongariro? Cool!

Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand has some great info about New Zealand’s volcanoes – you can find out about why we have so many, where they are, the different types, historic eruptions and how the active ones are monitored.

GNS Science has a great page about New Zealand Volcanoes. These are the guys who do all the monitoring and scientific work around our volcanoes. Check out this cool video explaining about our volcanoes.

And don’t forget that if a volcano erupts in your area that you’ll need an emergency plan to help you get through. Civil Defence have some great advice about this on their site. Similar to be prepared for an Earthquake, but with a few key differences.

Of course there are books! Lots of books! Here are some of my favs: