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Children's Nonfiction Disasters

SOS: Stories of Survival

by (author) Ed Butts

Initial publish date
Apr 2007
Disasters, General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


Everyone’s life is touched at some time by disaster. But some disasters loom so large they are international events. The stories of those who live through such devastating events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, fires, and floods are both heartbreaking and compelling. Often they are inspiring and uplifting.

SOS: Stories of Survival tells the tales of young survivors of such disasters — teenage coal miners trapped deep below the surface of the earth in Springhill, Nova Scotia; children who ran to escape the poisonous exploding gases spewing from Mont Pelee on Martinique; teens who rode the roofs of their homes in Pennsylvania’s roaring Johnstown Flood; and youngsters who survived, but still suffer from, the nuclear accident in Chernobyl.

Archival photos document these astounding sagas.

About the author

Ed Butts loved history and adventure stories as a kid, and started writing short stories, articles, and poetry in his teens. On the rare occasions when a magazine published his work, he was overjoyed, especially when they sent him a cheque for ten dollars. Since then Ed has written books about explorers, adventurers, criminals, hidden treasure, disasters, mysteries, and daring women. He has also worked at many other jobs, including teaching at a school in the Dominican Republic for eight years. Ed lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his daughter and six-year-old grandson.

Ed Butts' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for She Dared:

“Each of [Ed Butts’s] 15 vivid profiles is a lively account of the deeds of those who dared, each nicely embedded or contextualized in the culture of her time.”
Globe and Mail

She Dared introduces young readers aged 10 to 14 to these famous — and infamous — women and to what women with will and wherewithal can accomplish.”
Today’s Parent

“Ed Butts’ She Dared … is full of great tales.”
Quill and Quire

Librarian Reviews

SOS: Stories of Survival

In contrast to the often lofty and magnificent experiences of the child monarchs, SOS: Stories of Survival covers true stories of tragedy and courage including the Johnstown Flood, the Triangle Fire, the Tsunami of 2004, and Hurricane Katrina. In this book, Ed Butts talks about these catastrophic events and the courage required by youngsters to overcome each experience and its aftermath. Through thorough research, personal narratives and archival photographs, Butts transports the reader into the lives of these brave young people with great sensitivity and compassion. This book is an ideal read for male reluctant readers since they would surely find it’s coverage of natural and unnatural disasters absolutely fascinating.

Learning about the lives of others can help young people appreciate their own lives and better understand the world around them. All of these new books cover different aspects of the human experience – from fanciful artistic endeavors to the daily grind of working in a butcher shop to dealing with natural disasters – in such a way that the reader truly understands what it might just be like to be another person… if only for a few pages.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2007. Vol.30 No.3.

SOS: Stories of Survival

This book details the stories of young survivors of 13 disasters, from the 1882 sinking of The Asia to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Archival photographs document these astounding sagas. Includes a further reading list.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Ed Butts