Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
- Reading age: 10 to 14
The world’s strongest armies discover that Nature can be a secret ally or an unbeatable foe.
Not even the strongest troops can match the power of nature. In each of the ten stories in this volume, well-armed forces set off to battle human enemies but find themselves fighting the environment instead. Sometimes a leader carefully plans the perfect attack, only to find geography in the way. Other times the climate interferes unexpectedly. • In 119 BCE, General Wei Qing used a sand storm as cover and was able to attack the Xiongnu nomads by surprise. • Napoleon’s plan to quickly subdue the Russians was foiled by the savage “General Winter.” • A massive network of underground tunnels gave the Viet Cong guerillas an unbeatable advantage over the much stronger American forces. • The battle between India and Pakistan over borders has pitted both countries against the inhospitable Siachen Glacier. Nature’s obstacles have lead to crushing defeats, inspired accidental victories, and encouraged surprising innovation.
About the authors
Tanya Lloyd Kyi claims to be a peaceful and non-threatening person, despite having written three books about fire and one about poison. She has never set a building aflame, handled dynamite, or intentionally poisoned anyone … although a suspicious number of friends did have stomachaches after eating her Christmas party meatballs one year.Tanya writes both fiction and non-fiction, often choosing topics related to science, pop culture, or social history—or a combination of the three. She enjoys combining factual research with intriguing narratives, or the life stories of interesting folks.Tanya began her writing “career” as a poet in high school, producing pages and pages of really bad poems that her mother adored. Her love of writing led to the University of Victoria, where she took creative writing and English. Tanya’s early writing jobs were as a newspaper reporter and brochure writer for the government. She also worked as a dishwasher, busgi
Drew Shannon is an illustrator who lives in Toronto. Drew earned a bachelor of arts at Sheridan College and has worked with many different clients, including CBC, VICE Media, UNICEF, The Washington Post and NPR. He is the illustrator of Extreme Battlefields: When War Meets the Forces of Nature and Out of the Ice: How Climate Change is Revealing the Past.
- Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award nomination
- Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
- Joint winner, Green Book Festival Award
“High interest and thorough, it will delight military-history buffs.”
Booklist Online, 05/01/16
“Broad of both historical and geographical scope.”
Kirkus Reviews, 02/17/16
“A welcome introduction to the fields of military meteorology and the environmental aspects of warfare.”
CM Reviews, 10/07/16
“Of great interest to those interested in war history.”
School Library Journal, 05/16