It was 1964 in the brand-new state of Alaska, a vast land of staggering beauty and heart-stopping dangers. Eleven-year-old Jack had grown up living happily with his parents in an off-the-grid cabin, miles from their closest neighbors. Grizzlies and wolves outnumbered people, and dark winter days were 30 degrees below zero. Jack had always thought of himself as strong—“Alaska tough”. But then the most powerful earthquake in American history—the Good Friday Earthquake—struck.
The 9.2 magnitude quake lasted nearly five minutes, destroying downtown Anchorage and sending 30-foot tsunamis into coastal cities, wiping out entire communities. Its vibrations were felt around the world. In the end, it caused billions of dollars in damage and the death of 129 people.
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Tarshis tells the story of the disaster that changed our understanding of earth science—and tested one boy in ways he never could have imagined. Includes a section of nonfiction backmatter with more facts about the real-life event.