Monday, April 28, 2014

Bomb: the Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin

In 1938, a German chemist named Otto Hahn discovered that atoms can split--and the rest is history!

This non-fiction book describes the many factors that went into creating the atomic bomb. The author gives accounts of the scientists, political leaders, military, and spies.

This book is perfect for high school students learning about the atomic bomb for the first time and adults who know the history, but would like a wider scope. I think just enough background information is provided along with some basic science concepts to show how and why the bomb was created. The first hand accounts of witnesses, dialog, diary entries, letters, and photos allow the reader to see the emotions of the real life characters as they begin to realize the heaviness of their discovery--and how it will inevitably change the world

Picture to the right is Robert Oppenheimer (the Father of the Atomic Bomb). Oppenheimer was a brilliant man and a key player in the creation of the atomic bomb for the United States. Once the incredible destruction of the bomb was made real in Japan, Oppenheimer lobbied for the international control of nuclear power for fear of what could happen. Because he disagreed with the power hungry politics of the time, Oppenheimer's security clearance was revoked from the United States Atomic Energy Commission.

Click here to hear author Steve Sheinkin read an excerpt from Bomb.

Click here to read more about Bomb and other books by Steve Sheinkin.

Bomb reads like a thriller and has something for everyone: history buffs, science geeks, political heads, military enthusiasts, and espionage lovers!


Heather Nelson said...

Thanks for your review of Bomb! It seems like this would be a great text for an inter-disciplinary unit on World War II or the Cold War. I could see connections to science and the responsibility scientists have when developing new technology. I think the first-hand accounts would keep young adult readers' interests and bring some humanity to this topic. Thank you for sharing! -Heather

Sarah Hicks said...

Yes, Heather, this book definitely showed the humanity of the scientists involved. They were so excited to be working on something so new and historical, and they worked so hard, but once the true destruction happened many of them wanted nothing more to do with the matter.

Heather Nelson said...

Very interesting, Sarah! Thanks again!

Karra Badakhshanian said...

Hey Sarah, I'm so glad that this book could be used in a science class as well as a history class. I haven't seen much for science classes in the reviews lately. As you stated, it explains some science concepts to show how and why the bomb was created. I think this is important for students to know and will find interesting when learning. I also like that it provides multiple kinds of information to the reader such as letters, photos, and diary entries. This variety will surely peak the readers interest and different learning styles.

I thought the video you shared was also information and explained a lot of important information for the readers. From reading your review, I could see this book being used in a history class more heavily than in a science class, but nevertheless, in a secondary education class. Thanks for the review!

marty edwards said...

Going off what Kara said, this sounds like a prime book for an interdisciplinary course. It would work great for History or Science, or both!

Also, fantastic job with the pictures and video in relation to your review. It's very well written and the book sounds compelling, it's a piece of history I would like to learn more about. You made me want to read it--so your review is a sucess!