Rocks and Minerals: Geology from Caverns to the Cosmos

First Second. (Science Comics). Aug. 2020. 128p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781250203953.
Gr 5-7–Having pounced on a rock and exulted over its capture, Sedona, a weathered but robustly built field scientist, leads equally histrionic young Wally, her would-be assistant, on a brisk geophysical tour that begins with the big bang and proceeds with plenty of arm waving through the Earth’s formation and on to the intricate stages of the rock cycle. Her narrative, despite being rich in specific details and technical terms (ophiolite, batholith, speleothems), never seems to crowd the mix of bright, energetic cartoon panels and ingenious infographics that illustrate it. Readers intrepid enough to follow from the bottom of our planet’s oceans to the top of one of its tallest peaks (Mauna Loa, actually taller than Everest) will come away with clear ideas of the distinctive conditions that lead to the formation of dozens of minerals, rocks, and crystals, as well as a coherent overview of the complex processes that have been shaping Earth’s surface for billions of years—and will continue to do so for billions more.
VERDICT A rock-solid review for serious students of our planet’s story, infused with humor and wonder.

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