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Bombs over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster (Nonfiction - Young Adult) Library Binding – January 1, 2014


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Bombs over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster (Nonfiction - Young Adult) + For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands (Second Edition)
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 1150L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 88 pages
  • Publisher: 21st Century (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146771612X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467716123
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—"As soon as the war ended, we located the one spot on Earth that hadn't been touched by war and blew it to hell" (Bob Hope, 1947). Thus begins this chronicle of the period after World War II when the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs over the Marshall Islands, specifically the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. Three bombs are discussed in some detail—Able, Baker, and Bravo—but this is not a scientific journal. The decisions of the U.S. to evacuate (or not) the inhabitants of the islands, the countdown, the fallout, the cleanup, and the effects of radiation on the inhabitants and military personnel are all included. The author's focus is on the negative effects of the detonations on the people of the islands and considers that the U.S. knowingly put the lives of the islanders in danger in order to advance the study of radiation. The book ends with a discussion of the money that was awarded to the inhabitants of the islands affected and how most of it still has not been paid. The black-and-white period photos are an excellent accompaniment to the text. A well-written book about a painful piece of history, this is an excellent addition.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL

From Booklist

On March 7, 1946, the population of the Bikini Atoll bade their home good-bye. They did it for “the welfare of all men,” but they were also promised by the U.S. government that they would get their islands back once nuclear testing was completed. Four months later, the navy exploded Able, a fusion bomb meant to test the effect of an airdrop on warships. Later Baker, a nuke placed underwater, was exploded for observation. The damage done by Baker alone made the islands uninhabitable, but test number 12 (Bravo, a fusion bomb with 1,000 times the explosive capacity of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima) created the first nuclear disaster, as fallout settled upon the nearby unevacuated island populations of Rongelap. With deft, well-researched precision, Goldsmith explores the ethical implications of nuclear testing, which rendered portions of the Marshall Islands unsafe for generations, as well as the ongoing fight of the Bikinese and Rongelapese peoples in the Supreme Court for fiscal compensation. A stirring addition to any classroom discussion about the environment. Grades 7-10. --Courtney Jones

Customer Reviews

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Readers will be amazed at the facts behind this little-known tragedy.
Linda Joy Singleton
Connie Goldsmith's newest book delves into a seldom-studied period of U.S. history for middle and high school students.
Patricia Newman
Bombs over Bikini is a beautifully-written, impeccably-researched NF book about our first nuclear disaster.
Jeri Chase Ferris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katina Drennan on March 8, 2014
Format: Library Binding
From the first toxic “snowflakes” to the stark reality of our country’s first nuclear disaster, Bombs Over Bikini, the World’s First Nuclear Disaster, is a provocative, timely record of the United States Nuclear Testing Program at the Marshall Islands. Goldsmith’s narrative walks us through the chain of events leading up to nuclear testing equivalent to 7,200 Hiroshima bombs to the ongoing struggle of the displaced people of the Bikini Islands. Goldsmith has paid meticulous attention to detail, providing a glossary and exhaustive references that are invaluable to students of modern history.

The book is straightforward and easy to absorb, loaded with photos, news articles from the day, and first hand accounts of the people who were transplanted from their homes and still live with the tragic results of nuclear testing in 1945.

Bombs Over Bikini is well deserved Spring 2014 Junior Library Guild Selection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on June 2, 2014
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Bombs Over Bikini provides a powerful account of a lesser known human-caused disaster than remains with us today. After World War II, there was still a lot that the military and scientists didn't know about nuclear bombs. As a result, a program was set up to test what happens when a nuclear bomb goes off under a variety of circumstances. Unfortunately, due to a series of poor decisions and the manipulation of native peoples the results contaminated a number of islands in the Bikini Atoll. Even today several of the islands remain uninhabitable. This book reminded me strongly that using such power needs to be done responsibly and in a thoughtful manner.

The book is beautifully designed with photographs, side notes of interest, and crisply written text. The source notes, works cited page, glossary, and additional resources provide evidence that the author has clearly done her work well. The publisher also provides additional resources for those who want to use the book in education. A great nonfiction account on a controversial topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on January 31, 2014
Format: Library Binding
Connie Goldsmith brings to life the chilling consequences of the US nuclear bomb testing program in the Marshall Islands in the mid-20th century. We watch the military strategize before the testing begins. We're there for the countdown of the first bomb and for its dramatic aftermath. We hear the voices of the displaced Bikini islanders, all of whom lost their ancestral homes and some of whom lost their health or their lives to radioactive fallout.

This is an important book, meticulously researched and beautifully written. One chapter begins, "From space Rongelap Atoll looks like a puzzle piece waiting to be slipped into the blue and white jigsaw of the Pacific Ocean." All these decades after the testing was terminated, the lands are still contaminated and the injustice has yet to be redressed. Perhaps this book will be a catalyst, awakening readers to the moral obligation our country owes to the people of the affected islands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joy Singleton on January 30, 2014
Format: Library Binding
A brilliantly written true story behind the nuclear disaster in the Marshall Islands. Peaceful islands weren't bombed by an enemy--but their own country. And Connie Goldsmith brings this shocking story to life.

BOMBS OVER BIKINI is jam-packed with fascinating information from factual resources including; accounts from survivors, military records, film footage and government documents. Readers will be amazed at the facts behind this little-known tragedy. Bikini Island is still contaminated by radiation over 50 years later. Island descendants await the day they may return.

Librarians, teachers and parents--this book is a must-have resource for young readers. ORDER IT NOW!!!

Don't miss this AMAZING true account of the world's first nuclear disaster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loretta F. Ichord on June 19, 2014
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This book is like reading a suspenseful novel, except tragically everything in it is a true, tragic event in history. Connie Goldsmith does an excellent job of presenting the facts leading up to the countdown that set off the nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands after World War II. I was saddened by the suffering of the islanders and the loss of their beloved homes. The deadly radiation fallout was a lesson for the world, but at a great cost to the Marshall Islanders who to this day cannot return to Bikini which is still contaminated with radiation.The photos in the book provide a chilling view of these bombs.
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More About the Author

ABOUT BOMBS OVER BIKINI:

Someone asked why my book, "Bombs Over Bikini" is subtitled, "The World's First Nuclear Disaster." Wasn't the bombing of Hiroshima the first nuclear disaster? The word disaster is most often used to describe something sudden and unplanned, such as a natural disaster (tsunami, earthquake) or a terrible accident such as the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. The US bombing of Hiroshima, while indescribably horrific, was a planned, purposeful and premeditated act of war. It was not an accident.

I use the term 'world's first nuclear disaster' in my book specifically to describe the world's first hydrogen bomb, called Bravo, detonated over Bikini by the U.S. in 1954. Although the US had evacuated the nearby atoll of Rongelap for the first 11 bombs, it failed to do so for Bravo, the 12th bomb in the series of 67 detonated over the Marshall Islands.

I believe the term perfectly describes what happened - radioactive fallout on inhabited atolls that damaged a population, culture, and environment. It was sudden, unplanned, and accidental - the very definition of disaster. Later nuclear disasters include Chernobyl and Fukushima.

About Me:

Connie Goldsmith writes books about history, health, and science for older children. She has fourteen children's books to her credit, with another coming in 2015. Her works include books about the U.S. nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands, traumatic brain injury, malaria, influenza, antibiotic resistant infections, and the California Gold Rush, among others. Currently, she is working on several nonfiction and fiction projects.

She is a big fan of today's young adult and middle-grade novels and reads one or two of them each week. Over the past twelve years, she has reviewed more than 700 children's books for a regional parenting publication, and many others for the New York Journal of Books. She has more than 200 articles published in various genres. These include California Kids, the children's magazines Cricket and Highlights, and the SCBWI Bulletin and Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market.

As an RN with a master's degree in health, Ms. Goldsmith also writes continuing education articles for nurses on a wide variety of professional and disease-specific topics. She writes a pediatric health column for a regional parenting publication, and maintains a health blog on her website at www.conniegoldsmith.com.

Ms. Goldsmith is a member of the Authors Guild and an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She serves as Conference Coordinator for the SCBWI California North/Central Region. She lives near Sacramento, California where she hikes along the American River, sweats out the miles on her treadmill, and visits with family and friends between bouts of frenzied research and writing.



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