Title: Footprints in the Ash
Author: John Morris and Steven A. Austin
Major Themes: Mount St. Helens, Washington, Volcanoes, Disasters, Flood, Geology, Nonfiction Science, North America
Synopsis: What can Mount St. Helens teach us about Noah’s Flood?
A few weeks ago, my younger children and I did a geography lesson. For one part of this lesson, we watched a video about Mount St. Helens. A couple of days later, when we were writing stories to take to our homeschool writing group, one of the boys wanted to write about Mount St. Helens. He didn’t have enough information, so I pulled Footprints in the Ash off the shelf and we read it aloud over the next week or two. We found it a very interesting account, and the profusion of photographs with which this book is illustrated really helped, too.
There are nine chapters in this book. The first two describe the eruption, in 1980, and the devastation that immediately followed. I would say that this part of the book was probably my boy’s favorite. He was very impressed with the power released in the eruption! A series of diagrams shows the mountain and the lava building up inside of it before the eruption, and then how the eruption happened, as well as what it looked like a few years later.
The rest of the book talks about various effects the eruption had in the area. The authors talk about how much we can learn about Noah’s Flood from what happened during and after the eruption at Mount St. Helens. The mudflows carved canyons out of the rock very quickly. A whole forest was washed almost instantaneously into a lake, and created a floating mass of logs; the bark that rubbed off them formed a thick layer of peat. We can also learn how petrified forests formed, from this mass of logs. One chapter deals with fossilization. All of them show how the short-age view of the earth is supported by Mount St. Helens, rather than the long-ages view.
Footprints in the Ash is a great book for anyone who is interested in learning how the evidence around us supports the Biblical time frame. It is also great for anyone who is interested in natural disasters, especially volcanoes. It certainly gives glory to God for His great creation! I’m glad that we finally utilized this book which has been on our shelf for some time.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults