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Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book) Kindle Edition

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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-"Harry Gold was right: This is a big story." So begins this depiction of the "creation-and theft-of the deadliest weapon ever invented." As he did in The Notorious Benedict Arnold (Roaring Brook, 2010), Sheinkin has again brought his superior talent for storytelling to bear in what is truly a gripping account of discovery, espionage, and revolutionary changes in both physics and the modern world. This fascinating tale, packed with a wide cast of characters, focuses mainly on three individuals: spy for the Soviets Harry Gold, leader of the Manhattan Project J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Knut Haukelid, who sabotaged German bomb efforts while working for the Norwegian resistance. Sheinkin skillfully combines lucid, conversational snapshots of the science behind the atomic bomb with a fast-paced narrative of the remarkable people who made it possible and attempted to steal it. Handsomely designed and loaded with archival photos and primary-source documents, the accessible volume lays out how the bomb was envisioned and brought to fruition. While the historical information and hard facts presented here will likely be new to the intended audience, they in no way overwhelm readers or detract from the thoroughly researched, well-documented account. It reads like an international spy thriller, and that's the beauty of it.-Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

This superb and exciting work of nonfiction would be a fine tonic for any jaded adolescent who thinks history is "boring." It's also an excellent primer for adult readers who may have forgotten, or never learned, the remarkable story of how nuclear weaponry was first imagined, invented and deployed--and of how an international arms race began well before there was such a thing as an atomic bomb. (The Wall Street Journal)

This is edge-of-the seat material that will resonate with YAs who clamor for true spy stories, and it will undoubtedly engross a cross-market audience of adults who dozed through the World War II unit in high school. (BCCB, starred)

...reads like an international spy thriller, and that's the beauty of it. (School Library Journal, starred)

[a] complicated thriller that intercuts action with the deftness of a Hollywood blockbuster. (Booklist)

A must-read… (Publishers Weekly, starred)

A superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world. (Kirkus, starred)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1323 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1596434872
  • Publisher: Flash Point (September 4, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00842H6AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,910 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several exciting books on American history for young adults. His newest book, THE PORT CHICAGO 50, is a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His 2012 title BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD AND STEAL THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON, was awarded a Newbery Honor, won the Sibert Medal, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His book THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD won both the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. Other recent titles are LINCOLN'S GRAVE ROBBERS, a true-crime thriller, and the RABBI HARVEY series of graphic novels. Steve lives with his family in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Seymour Morris Jr on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While this is a book aimed at the teenage market, it is an excellent overview worthy of adult readership. Not all of us have the time to wade through 700-page tomes like Kai Bird's "American Prometheus" (about Oppenheimer), Richard Rhodes "The Making of the Atom Bomb," or Gen. Leslie Groves' "Now It Can Be Told."

The race to build the first atom bomb involves several stories: the Los Alamos scientists, the Soviet spies stealing our secrets, and the Norwegian saboteurs stopping the Germans. I have read several books about each of these stories; this is the first book that ties them all together. It is well-written, and reads like a thriller in the way it flips from one threadline to another, keeping you turn the page. My only quibble is that the footnotes do not give the page number of the source, but then this is a book for the general reader, not for historians like myself. It is an introduction to an important and fascinating topic, and it does the job well. After you read this book, you may well want to read more.

If I make may an unusual compliment: even though I am very familiar with what this book talks about, I wasn't in the least bit impatient as I read this book. A joy to read.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By SarahD on September 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Bomb is a fantastic read. I am a voracious reader, and was concerned that a non fiction, young aduilt book would not be emjoyable. Wow, was I wrong. Bomb is a fantastic literary review of the 'cool' part of world history. Everyone learns about World War 2 in school. Yet I was never privy to the amount of espionage that went on surrounding the development of the worlds most devastating weapon. This book provides a behind the scenes view of the prelude to the cold war. Overall a very enjoyable read. I highly reco
mend!!
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By girlmom on September 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 15 year old pacifist daughter LOVES this book. I must admit when I heard her say, 'I just can't put this book down!' I was a little shocked. Liking a book about the atom bomb, my kid? Then I saw the author. Steve Sheinkin does it again! My twin 15 year olds have read all the other Sheinkin books three times each. Why can't all history texts be written like this?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Anstett on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bomb: The Race to Build - and steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon supplies some necessary history for teen readers primarily, yet any adult who has had the misfortune of spending periods of time under desks in grade school during air raid drills on Tuesday mornings will benefit from this read. The author does his research, moves the book at an appropriate speed, and weaves the names and events so that any lapses in reader interest are avoided. The book is written for young readers - nothing wrong with that - considering how ignorant present young people are about culture changing events. Pick up a copy: you can finish it in a couple of days and feel like you learned something about the dawn of the nuclear age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Thomas on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was purchased for a grammar school library, at the request of the school librarian. She was thrilled to get it and is constantly being taken out. The 5th grade teacher is also going to use it for a history unit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding historical and scienitific account of the whole picture around the developement and building of the bomb.

Full of intrigue! (spying)

Well written and a good read for adult and young adult.

As a middle school social studies teacher this book is a treasure! Must read and will make a great resoource for interdisciplinary projects.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deric McDonough on January 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Spies, secret organizations, world leading physicists, and ththree different countries on three different continents all fighting for one thing... a bomb. This was no ordinary bomb however, this was a bomb that was capable of blowing up entire cities. This was a bomb that quite easily could give a country enought power to dominate the entire world. In Steve Sheinkin's non-fiction book "Bomb" many physicist have been dissapearing out of universities and labratories. Only when the residents of a small town notice army trucks driving along their streets and many lost people asking for directions to an "abandoned" house they become suspicious. Meanwhile military commandos are being sent into German research sites to destroy then, and Russian spies are getting as much information as possible about American research. All these various activities come together in this story and intrigue the reader.Steve Sheinkin's purpose of this novel was just to inform the average reader.
he accomplishe's this purpose by taking more time to explain people. For example, "Harry gold had been living a double life for seventeen years. Overwhelmed by exhaustion" (Sheinkin 3). Also with, "Oppenheimer was a tough critic. 'A repulsively good little boy,' he said of himself. 'My lilife as a child did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things.' " (Sheinkin 8).
This book just works, and it works good for the soul purpose of loading your mind with interesting information of the invention of this deadly weapon. Personally it is hard for me to like a book. As a teenager who is, by no means, in love with literature I found my self clinging to this book. I suppose I liked Sheinkin's style of teaching. You know how you can read read a book and completely forgot what has been happening for the last ten minutes? Well, that doesn't happen here. As for dislikes on this book... I have none. I absolutely loved every aspect of this book.
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