Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Weather

Blizzard! The Storm that Changed America - (ISBN: 978-0590673105)

by Jim Murphy

March 12, 1888, saw a wicked winter storm that broke all snow records. Its ferocious winds and ice brought New York City to its knees. Compare the results of that storm to a fierce blizzard or other weather disaster you have been in; see adult book The Perfect Storm below for another tale of paralyzing weather.

Buried in Ice - (ISBN: 978-0590438490)

by Owen Beattie

This book is a refreshing retelling of the 1845 expedition to find the elusive Northwest Passage. Although the members of the crew vanished without a trace, latter-day scientists pieced together explanations of what really happened to the men and their ships on the Arctic quest. Enjoy the startling photographs and drawings that make the story very real.

Out of the Dust - (ISBN: 978-0590371254)

by Karen Hesse

Billie Joe finds out that the severe dust storms of the 1940's blew away more than the top layer of soil. After she loses her mother, her hopes for a normal life decrease. She faces many challenges, but her determination reveals her strength of character. This book is more appropriate for older children at this level.

Shipwrecked! The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy - (ISBN: 978-0688174859)

by Rhoda Blumberg

Enjoy the retelling of the story of a Japanese boy, shipwrecked during a storm at sea. After he is rescued by Americans and educated in the U.S., he returns to Japan to become a Samurai. This book is rich with details about more than just the powerful storm. It outlines the differences between Japanese and American lives during Japan’s isolationist period. Make a list of 10 items you would want to have if you were shipwrecked for an indeterminate period of time.

The Long Winter - (ISBN: 978-0060581855)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This beloved classic features the Ingalls family battling the elements of a Dakota winter. The man Laura later marries tries to save the family by venturing into the tundra to find food and other necessities. Talk about the worst winter storm your family ever experienced in real life or in a movie or on TV.

How to Survive in Antarctica - (ISBN: 978-0823418909)

by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition - (ISBN: 978-0395915240)

by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

The Storm: Students of Biloxi, Mississippi, Remember Hurricane Katrina - (ISBN: 978-1580891721)

by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Tsunami Alert! - (ISBN: 978-0778716143 )

by Niki Walker

Weather Explained: A Beginner's Guide to the Elements - (ISBN: 978-0805048759)

by Derek Elsom

Activities for this Theme

Make a survival snack with your family. Explain to the family members what each add-in symbolizes as you try to imagine being shipwrecked together.


Learn more about weather disasters from FEMA:


Have fun with interactive weather simulations


See real photos of the Dust Bowl years


With your family, create a tornado


Learn about weather hazards


Find out how children deal with weather around the world