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Bomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award) [Hardcover]

Steve Sheinkin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Sep 2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, risk-taking, deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Flash Point (4 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434875
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 19.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This superb and exciting work of nonfiction would be a fine tonic for any jaded adolescent who thinks history is 'boring.' It's also an excellent primer for adult readers who may have forgotten, or never learned, the remarkable story of how nuclear weaponry was first imagined, invented and deployed--and of how an international arms race began well before there was such a thing as an atomic bomb." --"The Wall Street Journal"* "This is edge-of-the seat material that will resonate with YAs who clamor for true spy stories, and it will undoubtedly engross a cross-market audience of adults who dozed through the World War II unit in high school." --"BCCB," starred review* "Reads like an international spy thriller, and that's the beauty of it." --"School Library Journal," starred review* "A must-read." --"Publishers Weekly," starred review* "A superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred review* "Sheinkin here maintains the pace of a thriller without betraying history . . . or skipping over the science." --"The Horn Book Review," starred review"[A] complicated thriller that intercuts action with the deftness of a Hollywood blockbuster." --"Booklist" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including "The Notorious Benedict Arnold," which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His recent book "Bomb" was a Newbery Honor Book, " "National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award as well as the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and terrifying 25 Aug 2012
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Sheinkin does an excellent job of re-telling the story of the atom bomb during the Second World War. The book follows three main strands: the American team headed by Robert Oppenheimer trying to build the bomb (the Manhattan Project); the Soviet spies trying to steal the plans; and the allies working to sabotage the Nazi bomb project.

This keeps the science light and easily understandable (I now know the difference between nuclear fission and fusion, and between the different types of uranium and plutonium!) and concentrates on the political manoeuvring, the spies, the scientists, the sabotage, and the kidnapping of `brains'.

Actual witness accounts are used for some stunning moments: the first testing of an atomic bomb in the desert of New Mexico; the dropping of the first bomb on Hiroshima - and the incredibly mixed emotions of pride and horror of everyone involved from the pilot of the Enola Gay to the scientists who had seen the study of the physics they loved turned into the deadliest weapon in history.

This is being marketed as a YA book but there's nothing childish or patronising about it, and the author has included an excellent bibliography and sources list for follow-up reading. I found this thrilling and terrifying in equal measure - recommended.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for father and son 18 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought as Xmas present for grandson - but his father got to it first to read. Both enjoyed it hugely
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical book 13 Feb 2013
By vadimuk
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's quite easy to read this book - great collection of historical stories that have one common subject - raise for atomic bomb.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  167 reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview 10 Oct 2012
By Seymour Morris Jr - Published on
While this is a book aimed at the teenage market, it is an excellent overview worthy of adult readership. Not all of us have the time to wade through 700-page tomes like Kai Bird's "American Prometheus" (about Oppenheimer), Richard Rhodes "The Making of the Atom Bomb," or Gen. Leslie Groves' "Now It Can Be Told."

The race to build the first atom bomb involves several stories: the Los Alamos scientists, the Soviet spies stealing our secrets, and the Norwegian saboteurs stopping the Germans. I have read several books about each of these stories; this is the first book that ties them all together. It is well-written, and reads like a thriller in the way it flips from one threadline to another, keeping you turn the page. My only quibble is that the footnotes do not give the page number of the source, but then this is a book for the general reader, not for historians like myself. It is an introduction to an important and fascinating topic, and it does the job well. After you read this book, you may well want to read more.

If I make may an unusual compliment: even though I am very familiar with what this book talks about, I wasn't in the least bit impatient as I read this book. A joy to read.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOMB is 'The Bomb" 13 Sep 2012
By SarahD - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Bomb is a fantastic read. I am a voracious reader, and was concerned that a non fiction, young aduilt book would not be emjoyable. Wow, was I wrong. Bomb is a fantastic literary review of the 'cool' part of world history. Everyone learns about World War 2 in school. Yet I was never privy to the amount of espionage that went on surrounding the development of the worlds most devastating weapon. This book provides a behind the scenes view of the prelude to the cold war. Overall a very enjoyable read. I highly reco
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A homerun...again 19 Sep 2012
By girlmom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 15 year old pacifist daughter LOVES this book. I must admit when I heard her say, 'I just can't put this book down!' I was a little shocked. Liking a book about the atom bomb, my kid? Then I saw the author. Steve Sheinkin does it again! My twin 15 year olds have read all the other Sheinkin books three times each. Why can't all history texts be written like this?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bomb, My Impressions 3 Jun 2014
By BaritoneBro - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book came to my attention as a suggestion from a friend. Although I was young (b. 1947) I remember our "under-the-desk" drills in elementary school. Much of what was written in this book has been told in History books and on the Discovery/ History channel, but this book adds more personal words from the players. It is sad that our world will forever be in fear of total annihilation from this discovery. However, as a Christian I believe that this probably is part of God plan for the end of the age.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bombs Away for Sheinkin 12 Sep 2013
By Thomas Anstett - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bomb: The Race to Build - and steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon supplies some necessary history for teen readers primarily, yet any adult who has had the misfortune of spending periods of time under desks in grade school during air raid drills on Tuesday mornings will benefit from this read. The author does his research, moves the book at an appropriate speed, and weaves the names and events so that any lapses in reader interest are avoided. The book is written for young readers - nothing wrong with that - considering how ignorant present young people are about culture changing events. Pick up a copy: you can finish it in a couple of days and feel like you learned something about the dawn of the nuclear age.
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