I was incredibly excited to receive this book in the post today….
Bomb : the race to build – and steal – the world’s most dangerous weapon by Steve Sheinkin. Published by Macmillan, 2012. Hardback 266 pages.
From the publisher:
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.
2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People’s Literature.
2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title.
2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults (Winner)
2013 Newbery Honor book.
2013 Robert F. Sibert Honor (Informational) Book
2013 Cybil Award Non-Fiction books
Praise and reviews: (source Macmillan website)
“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 superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world.”–Kirkus, starred
BOMB by Steve Sheinkin | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of BOMB The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. In late December 1938, German chemist Otto Hahn discovered that uranium atoms could be split, and just a few months later the race to build an atomic bomb was on.
– Kirkus Reviews
Author website: www.stevesheinkin.com
Read an excerpt here (PDF file: source Macmillan)
What do I think about this book?
I have yet to read Bomb in full, but I quickly read the prologue and enthusiastically scanned the chapters, indices and bibliography after opening the package today. My initial impression was WOW…this book reads like an exciting spy story. I am so keen to get this into the hands of some of my older students that chances are I won’t have time to read it before them, either that or my husband will grab it! The author is very well known in the USA because of his previous book the Notorious Benedict Arnold (this was also an award winner). However because that type of American history has no place/relevance to our NZ curriculum I haven’t had the opportunity to read it. Bomb is an extensively researched book with an impressive bibliography of primary and other sources.
Recommended age 12+.