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Children's Nonfiction Earthquakes & Volcanoes

Mountain of Fire

Into the Heart of Volcanoes

by (author) Julie Roberge

illustrated by Aless MC

translated by Charles Simard

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
May 2023
Earthquakes & Volcanoes, Rocks & Minerals, Folklore & Mythology
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Take a trip around the world (and beyond) to discover the science, myths and stories behind iconic volcanoes.

Krakatoa. Kilimanjaro. Vesuvius. The destructive power of volcanoes has claimed more than 250,000 lives since the beginning of civilization. Whether as objects of worship or of terror, they have shaped our world and fed the human imagination. And they can be found just about everywhere, from ancient Pompeii to the geysers of Yellowstone to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and the surface of Jupiter. Teaming up with award-winning illustrator Aless MC, volcanologist Julie Roberge takes us on a journey to the heart of the earth to discover the most famous of these geological monsters.

About the authors

Julie Roberge has been studying volcanoes around the world for over 25 years. Nicknamed the "Ash Hunter," she is originally from Nicolet, Quebec, and is a professor and research scientist at the Polytechnic School of Mexico (Instituto Politécnico Nacional). She did her bachelor's degree in geology at the University of Montreal, her master's degree at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi and her doctorate at the University of Oregon. Julie has been collecting rocks since she was young and it was the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 that ignited her passion for volcanoes. Today she hunts the ashes of erupting volcanoes to look for magmatic inclusions, small balls of magma caught inside crystals that go from 1200 to 25 degrees Celsius to become glass droplets during an eruption. She lives in Mexico City.

Julie Roberge's profile page

Aless MC is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). Her practice is based on communicating ideas in a simple and colorful way. Aless is inspired by traditional printing techniques, Franco-Belgian manga and comic strips, and also forms in nature and symbols in culture.

Aless MC's profile page

Charles Simard is a Québécois editor and translator from Montréal, also known as Tiohtià:ke and Mooniyaang. He works as poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor for Talonbooks in Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory. His published work includes the essay Littérature, analyse et forme: Herbert, Tolkien, Borges, Eco (EUE, 2010) and a number of translations for Orca Book Publishers, including Elise Gravel’s The Wrench and Myriam Daguzan Bernier’s dictionary of sexuality, Naked. As a lexicographer, he has collaborated on the making of the popular linguistic suite Antidote in its bilingual editions. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in comparative literature from Université de Montréal and was a postdoctoral fellow at the City University of New York’s Graduate
Center. His doctoral and postdoctoral publications focused on the poetics of avant-garde composer and writer John Cage. He lives in Montréal, Québec.

Charles Simard's profile page


  • Nominated, Forest of Reading Yellow Cedar Award
  • Long-listed, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) Book Awards - Youth Category
  • Commended, Ontario Library association (OLA) Best Bets
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection

Editorial Reviews

“The text provides just enough information on specific volcanoes to sustain readers’ interest…Bold illustrations…could be used in an art lesson about graphic design and how to distill details to their simplest form without sacrificing the message in the illustration. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Readers will come away from her...informative commentary with a wider knowledge of the shapes volcanoes can take.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Will be a popular addition to libraries…The bold graphic designs will enhance the reader's comprehension and serve the topic well. Recommended.”

School Library Connection

“Bursting with information…[An] excellent resource for individual research for upper elementary and middle school Science and Geography curriculums.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

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