Mt. St. Helens erupted 35 years ago, on May 18, 1980. (Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest called the mountain “Louwala-Clough” or “Smoking Mountain.”) The explosion changed the landscape of the Northwest permanently, as the majestic peak lost 1,300 feet from its summit, leaving a huge crater, and a great deal of devastation. Before the eruption, the 20th century saw no activity from this “dormant” volcano. It was taken for granted as a beautiful mountain and recreational destination. For detailed history and science on Mt. St. Helens, not to mention a mind-blowing gallery of photos, you’ll want to check out Mt. St. Helens Eruption: Facts and Information.
And if you are looking for a good non-fiction read for young readers, look no further than:
Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mt. St. Helens by Patricia Lauber
Not just for the early reader and tween audience (though it’s perfect for them!), this book is a terrific read for the whole family. Volcano answers questions about what happened to cause the biggest eruption in United States history. And even more, we discover what was left in its wake, and what scientists learned from the entire event. The format is a photographic essay, with a clear and easy to follow explanation to accompany the images. (And it’s a Newbery Honor Book, in case you’re wondering.)