I love history but given my busy schedule these days, I feel I have limited time to read. A 400+ page book about history just is not going to get read in a timely manner. A Young Adult book, however, is often just the thing I need!
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is just such a book. It reads like a fun novel, with spies and intrigue. The author does not shy away from the complexities of the people involved, and I love hearing the first hand accounts from the people involved.
Bomb is about “the race to build — and steal — the world’s most dangerous weapon.” The history of the atomic bomb has always been a mystery to me. Only due to Something about New Mexico and then, of course, the Enola Gay and Hiroshima. Other than that, my knowledge was limited. This book combined the history of the American scientists’ experiments with the Russian spies infiltrated in their midst as well as attempts by some Scandinavian scientists to slow down the German’s development of the atomic bomb by sabotaging a plant.
Why would someone steal the secrets of the atomic bomb and give it Russia? Why was Los Alamos, a research and testing site in New Mexico, so highly classified? What did scientist Oppenheimer think about the entire project once he saw the deadly power of the Atomic Bomb? It was all so fascinating to me. If you too, want to know the history at a basic level, Bomb is the book to read.