Friday, December 28, 2012

Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapons

Bomb:  The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Book Press, 2012.  266 pgs. Non-fiction.

     Several fine books have been written for older children and young adults about the creation of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, but Sheinkin's may be the first to combine accounts of the work at the University of Chicago, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and at Los Alamos with Allied efforts to sabotage Germany's work on the bomb, and Russia's (successful) efforts to steal bomb-making secrets from the Americans. Any young person who thinks history is boring ought to be able to find something interesting here--secret agents, double agents, Norwegian saboteurs skiing to Germany's heavy water plant and blowing it sky high, then sinking the remaining cargo bound for Germany. Along with all the derring-do and perfidy of espionage and counter-espionage, the fits and starts of building the bomb itself, and the frightening Trinity blast, when no one really knew whether the bomb would explode or not, or if the explosion would just keep going and destroy the earth. Bomb . . . is a fascinating account of the beginning of what could easily become the end, thrilling and chilling, necessary reading for young and old.

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