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Children's Nonfiction Curiosities & Wonders


Explosions of all Kinds

by (author) Gillian Richardson

Annick Press
Initial publish date
May 2009
Curiosities & Wonders
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2009
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 18
  • Grade: 4 to 12
  • Reading age: 9 to 100


Who knew that some insects can create explosions to get food? Or that fireworks were once used to fight wars?

Explosions are all around us, from the Big Bang that created the universe to the “pop” of a seedpod, from solar flares to the explosive gases lurking in a coal mine.

Full of fun facts, dramatic images and highlights of momentous blasts in history—including the infamous Halifax explosion of 1917—Kaboom! examines an astonishing variety of explosions and the science behind them. Many remarkable blasts are a result of human ingenuity, from carving the faces of four American presidents into a wall of granite on Mount Rushmore, to the development of asthma inhalers based on a beetle’s explosive pulses to scare predators.

The many exciting guises of explosions are revealed ways both engrossing and surprising.

About the author

Gillian Richardson has written seventeen books for children, including 10 Ships That Rocked the World, 10 Plants That Shook the World, and Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds. She lives in the British Columbia interior.

Gillian Richardson's profile page


  • Winner, Science Communication Award, American Institute of Physics
  • Long-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Long-listed, Red Cedar Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

“Deserves to be read for general interest as well as educative purposes; it is truly a blast.”

Resource Links, 12/09

“An engrossing attention-getter, effectively tapping the sensationalism of all types of blasts.”

School Library Journal, 12/09

“Richardson’s writing style will appeal to readers. Educational and appealing. Highly recommended.”

CM Reviews, 11/09

“Packed with information . . . Fun for browsing.”

Booklist, 12/09

Librarian Reviews

Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds

Gillian Richardson’s text Kaboom! is as explosive and enjoyable as its aptly chosen title suggests. Richardson grabs the reader’s attention from the very first page describing the nature of explosions. The text is filled with interesting facts, dynamic photographs, beautiful artwork and plenty of historical highlights of memorable explosions in the past. Richardson keeps the readers interest and attention with her humorous yet educational writing style.

The text is divided into two “volatile “ sections: explosions in nature and explosions we create. In the explosions in nature section, the reader learns about explosions on earth – such as volcanoes, geysers – and explosions in outer space – such as supernovas and solar flares. In the explosions we create section, the reader learns about destructive explosions – which include gunpowder, dynamite, bombs – and constructive explosions – which include building demolition and internal combustion engines – and finally explosions that are just for fun, including fireworks.

Whether the explosion is natural or man-made, Richardson artfully illuminates the reason and scientific thought behind it. Young readers will be captivated with this engaging title as they learn about the many different kinds and causes of explosions.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2010. Vol.33 No.1.

Kaboom! Explosions of all Kinds

“You better stop, hey what’s that sound... ” Discover natural explosions on earth, in outer space, and of plants and animals. Learn about man-made explosions that are destructive, constructive and entertaining. Dramatic images heighten the topic’s excitement factor. A bibliography, a further-reading list and an index are included here.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Other titles by Gillian Richardson