Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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

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

By Steve Sheinkin
272 pages
Middle School+

Part of the YALSA Best of the Best 2013 Challenge!

Meet Robert Oppenheimer-physicist, nerd, and loyal American.  Or is he?  This book follows Oppenheimer and others as they set out to create one of the strongest weapons the world has ever seen- the atomic bomb.  

This book is full of spies, intrigue, and history.  While the basic physics of how the bombs work is explained, it doesn't go deep into, something for which I was very grateful! If you like history, war, spies, or science, this is the book for you!

I actually enjoyed this a lot.  If you have seen from some of my other posts, I'm not a history buff, and don't often care to read tons of historic novels, especially non-fiction ones.  But, I am finding that I like teen targeted non-fiction much better than text books or adult focused books.  This book reminded me of Truce by Jim Murphy, another non-fiction book.  That one is shorted, but the flow was similar.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was getting to get to know some of the people involved in the process and how they felt about things.  That insight made the event a lot more realistic and approachable for me.  By knowing some of the people involved, it helped me relate more, and understand better motivations and why they did what they did.  

Another thing I appreciated in the book was organization.  Events followed, for the most part, in sequential order so it was easier to follow.  While there were several people involved, the author used clues to help remind us the role each person was playing.  The narration progressed logically, and helped show how events tied together. This book helped me understand not just about the creation of the atomic bomb, but also how it was influencing the war, how the idea came about, how it was developed and deployed, as well as the results of its use.  I understand more about history because I read this book.

Overall, this was a pretty good book.  I liked the story telling pace and order: it kept various events in sequence so it was easy to see cause and effect.  It gave background on individuals, plus tied their lives into the story as a whole.  While the ending is kind of sad and sobering, it fits since that is how they all felt.  I will recommend this, definitely!

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