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Bomb: The Race to Build--And Steal--The World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book) Hardcover – 4 Sep 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Flash Point (4 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434875
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Roman Clodia TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90791948) out of 5 stars 270 reviews
75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905a14e0) out of 5 stars Excellent Overview 10 Oct. 2012
By Seymour Morris Jr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905a1534) out of 5 stars BOMB is 'The Bomb" 13 Sept. 2012
By SarahD - Published on Amazon.com
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
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905a196c) out of 5 stars A homerun...again 19 Sept. 2012
By girlmom - Published on Amazon.com
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?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905a1954) out of 5 stars Bombs Away for Sheinkin 12 Sept. 2013
By Thomas Anstett - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x905a1d20) out of 5 stars my review and opinion on "Bomb" 23 Jan. 2015
By Deric McDonough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Spies, secret organizations, world leading physicists, and ththree different countries on three different continents all fighting for one thing... a bomb. This was no ordinary bomb however, this was a bomb that was capable of blowing up entire cities. This was a bomb that quite easily could give a country enought power to dominate the entire world. In Steve Sheinkin's non-fiction book "Bomb" many physicist have been dissapearing out of universities and labratories. Only when the residents of a small town notice army trucks driving along their streets and many lost people asking for directions to an "abandoned" house they become suspicious. Meanwhile military commandos are being sent into German research sites to destroy then, and Russian spies are getting as much information as possible about American research. All these various activities come together in this story and intrigue the reader.Steve Sheinkin's purpose of this novel was just to inform the average reader.
he accomplishe's this purpose by taking more time to explain people. For example, "Harry gold had been living a double life for seventeen years. Overwhelmed by exhaustion" (Sheinkin 3). Also with, "Oppenheimer was a tough critic. 'A repulsively good little boy,' he said of himself. 'My lilife as a child did not prepare me for the fact that the world is full of cruel and bitter things.' " (Sheinkin 8).
This book just works, and it works good for the soul purpose of loading your mind with interesting information of the invention of this deadly weapon. Personally it is hard for me to like a book. As a teenager who is, by no means, in love with literature I found my self clinging to this book. I suppose I liked Sheinkin's style of teaching. You know how you can read read a book and completely forgot what has been happening for the last ten minutes? Well, that doesn't happen here. As for dislikes on this book... I have none. I absolutely loved every aspect of this book.
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