Thirty-six years ago today, on April 3 1974, my family’s home was destroyed by a tornado. Although we didn’t know it at the time, Xenia was getting the worst of the 148 tornadoes that struck during the outbreak, making it one of the worst storms of the 20th century. At winds over 300 miles per hour, the Xenia storm was an F5 killing 33 people and leaving over 10,000 homeless as it cut a path right through the center of town.
I was only twelve in 1974. We had lost our home, our schools and most of our city. All of this is by way of saying that I have a special interest in books about tornadoes. In fact, the first thing I do when we get a new tornado book in school is look for Xenia in the index. If you know a junior meterologist with a special interest in tornadoes, here are the books I would recommend:
Tornadoes! by Gail Gibbons (For young children)
Tornado Alert (Lets’-Read-and-Find-Out Science) by Franklyn M. Branley (grades 1-3)
Do Tornadoes Really Twist (A Scholastic Question and Answer Book) by Melvin Berger (grades 2-5)
Tornadoes by Seymour Simon (grades 4-6)