Saturday, December 29, 2012

by Steve Sheinkin

Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook Press

“In the end, this is a difficult story to sum up. The making of the atomic bomb is one of history’s most amazing examples of teamwork and genius and poise under pressure. But it’s also the story of how humans created a weapon capable of wiping our species off the planet. It’s a story with no end in sight” (Bomb, 236).

It is something we all learn about in school—the atomic bomb. We know how it ends—the United States and the Allies create the first atomic bomb. What Sheinkin’s Bomb does is it shows that it was a three way race to succeed first. The parties involved are the Germans, who are racing to finish it first. The Americans are trying to beat the Germans while the Soviets are trying to steal the American’s plans. It is a book about a story we thought we knew but end up learning so much more than we could ever expect.

Sheinkin, once saying he writes interesting historical narratives to atone for his previous job of writing history textbooks, has done an amazing job bringing this book to life.  It dips, twists, and races towards the end and left me wanting to keep reading and holding my breath.  Well documented sources, intriguing photographs and index all lend support to this well written and engaging work. Do not be afraid to recommend this title to reluctant readers or make the assumption that girls won’t want to read a book about bombs. 

1 comment:

  1. There is also a literature unit based on this book for teachers. It is geared toward high school English or social studies classes and is based on Common Core standards. It can be found at Curriculum Aids or on Amazon.


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