Friday, July 19, 2013

Bomb: The Race to Build-and steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin 

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.


I really enjoyed reading this book. My only knowledge of the atomic bomb was the effects of dropping it. In history class we would learn about how the bomb affected the people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We would learn about the lasting effects this had with our relations with the Soviet Union. I remember stories from my grandfather who was drafted in 1945 at the young age of 18 and preparing for the invasion of Japan. In his eyes he would have died, instead he went for part of the occupation. Regardless of what people think of the bomb or how they interpret the decision to drop them, this book starts at the beginning, with physicists around the globe who were playing around with atoms. The author told the story of how scientists came up with these ideas and how they went about testing them in a way that young adults (and adults who got a D in physics) could comprehend. There is a large cast of characters that are talked about in this book. There are some pictures in between each of the fours parts of the book with a short description of who they are. Even thought the author did a good job of reminding us who everyone was when it was needed I would have liked a biography page or two that had all of the people mentioned with a little more information about them. Since this is a book written for middle and high school readers this would be helpful. I really appreciated the short chapters, it helped contribute to the movement of the story. The chapters kept shifting our focus to the scientists and then to the spies and added to the excitement. You almost forget that what they are creating will change the world forever.

4/5 stars!

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