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More on the weather: Books and information for the middle grades

by Miriam Downey 12. April 2012 12:53

There is a man in a community near me who has been tracking the weather as a hobby every day since he was about twelve years old. In the days before computers and the Internet, he kept track of the weather, weather history, and weather trends with charts and notebooks. The local newspaper would contact him to ask if the weather was following trends or if it was veering off into something extreme, much like this March behaved in Michigan. He became the regional amateur weather expert. I think about him often--a man whose passion turned him into an expert. If he were doing it currently, he would probably have a website and a blog, and people all over the world would be checking into his weather report.

The middle grades are when many young people find the interests that will last them a lifetime. And although most kids won't pick meteorology as a career choice, nearly everyone is interested in the weather. Here are some supplemental books and websites to aid with the weather studies in the FWU curriculum or to spark an interest in the curious reader.


The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by M. Breen and K. Friestad. Lots of good weather activities. You might also want to connect this book with a weather station kit.

Peterson First Guide to Clouds and Weather by Jay Pasachoff and Vincent Schaefer. This is similar to other Peterson guides--concise, easy to read, and very complete.

Inside Hurricanes by Mary Kay Carlson. Stunning photographs. Includes eyewitness accounts.

Eye of the Storm: Inside the World's Deadliest Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Blizzards by Jeffrey O. Rosenfeld. A fascinating look at extreme weather and the people who risk their lives to give us an understanding of these phenomena.

Restless Skies: The Ultimate Weather Book by Paul Douglas. Questions answered by a meteorologist.

The Water Cycle

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss. A look at all the water on Earth and the water cycle. Also discusses our limited resource.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. This is a true story of a boy who built a windmill from junkyard scraps in Malawi. With that windmill, he powered a well which watered the crops to feed his village. It is also available as a picture book.

Climate Change

The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon. Will help kids get interested in the environment.

Weather and Climate by Seymour Simon. Lots of pictures.

All of these books are available at your local library or bookstore.

Here are some weather websites:

The National Weather Service has a lot of information and books about weather. Also videos and other online resources:

Careers in meteorology from the Weather Channel:

A whole list of weather websites from

In your search for weather materials, please also look at the books and websites on my previous posting. You might find some helpful books there as well.


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