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 three 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.
Bomb was a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature.
©2013 Steve Sheinkin (P)2013 Listening Libary
What a well written book for young people! I am an adult and enjoyed it immensely even though I think it would be best for 5th - 9th graders. Especially those interested in science or engineering, but really anyone who just wants to know about history.
I knew very little about the subject of the Manhattan Project and I would not be interested in an entire adult book on this subject, so this was perfect. The author keeps the suspense going as if it is a spy novel, which is basically is, except it is all true!
After finishing this I went right to the Internet and looked up all these people and places for more information. The actual book gives great timelines and further resources and photos, but the audio is great just for the absorbing story.
Please note that this book has received awards for its excellence for young adults. I was hesitant at first because I was looking for an adult book covering the science and history on the making of the first nuclear bomb and about Robert Oppenheimer, the father of that first bomb. This book is not in any way childish. It gives a clear and concise history of all the events. I am completely satisfied with the book. It is an excellent place to start. Having read this you want more details, more in-depth information about the main characters. I prefer starting with a background of the entire event before plunging into a book focused on Oppenheimer himself. Now I want to know more about this man. He is fascinating; first he makes the bomb and he is at the same time one of first to be aware of its dangers! I have already begun American Prometheus by Kai Bird, a biography focused just on Oppenheimer.
I gave this book three stars because I like it. It reads like a good Wiki article. It has all the prominent facts. This happened and this happened and then this. One event after another. You get a picture of the path toward the making of the bomb, its actual construction and the political environment of those times – WW2, the race for the scientific knowledge and McCarthyism. It is amazing how differently the people spying for the Soviets were punished….and why each thought the Soviets should have this knowledge.
Having read this book, I now can easily go further. There is little character analysis in this book, and that is what I am looking for in my next book on this topic. You certainly cannot start your education in the tenth grade…..now I have prepared myself.
Concerning the audiobook narration by Roy Samuelson, it was excellent. He doesn’t over-dramatize the lines or the events. They are exciting in themselves and do not need extra emphasis. Good speed and clear enunciation too. I can highly recommend this as an audiobook.
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