Thursday, November 7, 2013
Book Review: "Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon"
For those who may have forgotten, by day I'm an elementary school librarian. This book was included in a packet of free books I got from Scholastic in a book order last month, and at first, I wasn't really interested in reading it. So many nonfiction books for children are, simply, boring. I don't know why that is, but that's my impression, and although this is an award-winning book, I figured it would just be dry facts and figures and not all that interesting.
Boy was I wrong.
I decided to give it a chance so I could do a "Book Talk" about it with my 5th and 6th graders this week, leading up to Veteran's Day next Monday. I was immediately drawn in and hooked by the narrative style and the exciting true-life events that happened in the book.
The synopsis just doesn't do it justice. This book is about how the first atomic nuclear bomb(s) came to be and the race between the United States and Germany (and the U.S.S.R.) during World War II to be the first nation to complete it. The first splitting of an atom happened in Germany, and for a while the Germans had a decent head start. Through some amazing covert operations by some very brave men, the Nazi's progress was slowed significantly, allowing American physicists a chance to get ahead.. Imagine if Hitler had beaten the U.S. to the bomb!
"Bomb" is incredibly well written and organized. There's science, history, Russian espionage, suspense, danger, war (obviously) and adventure. The characters are real, and their stories are told in a way that is very intriguing and completely hooks readers. Reading it felt like watching a really good documentary.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend you get this book and read it. It is educational, but in the best way. Though intended for middle schoolers, I think they should really market this book to adults. I can't recommend it highly enough; "Bomb" is a book everyone should read. It's one of the best books I've read all year.