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Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book) Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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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.
“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
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Top customer reviews
Having been involved with the nuclear weapons program with a high security clearance, assigned to the Defense Atomic Support Agency, Field Command at Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM, and a person who has researched the Manhattan Project, later using my knowledge to write my first novel based upon the Soviet version of the Manhattan Project (the Soviet program has several names), I was delighted by the author’s attention to detail, ability to explain the program in an understandable and interesting manner, and his historical and technical accuracy.
The Manhattan Project was in the 1940s the greatest engineering, scientific and manufacturing effort in the history of mankind. A program that made America the first real superpower, and something all Americans should be proud of.
I will add a couple of facts the author may not have known. The Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 12-13 kilotons, not 20KT. The reason was pre-detonation, the fission reaction began as the U-235 “projectile” entered the U-235 “target rings,” reducing the yield.
The Soviets detonated a 50 megaton weapon (the yield may have been greater) know as “Tsar Bomba” and the bomb detonated was scaled down from the designed yield of 100MT.
The Soviet ability to penetrate the Manhattan Project illustrates how difficult it is to keep secrets—something true then and still true today.
Written for school children, BOMB is a book anyone interested in American history, and the history of the Manhattan Project will enjoy.
BOMB is an easy, insightful read, and I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
My seven-year-old grand daughter is reading it.
It 's kind of science,spy and suspense.Read more