What It Is About: After the discovery of an atom splitting in two in Germany 1938, a world race began to create and build the atomic bomb. The race took place on many of the continents and involved quite a cast of "characters". The players were scientists, spies, military leaders, political leaders (both positive and negative), and a variety of other people. The book follows the events in history that took place in order to build the bomb and how it came about. The chapters are told in chronological order switching back and forth between the different "players" and the "locations". Obviously this is a work of non-fiction, but was written in a fiction type manner.
What I Thought Of It: This was quite a story. I'm not a fan of non-fiction, and as Donalyn would call it, this is my "gap" reading. This was the perfect book to start with because it was a great combination of a non-fiction topic written in a fiction type format. As I read the story I began to get a bit bogged down with all the names, dates, places, and facts. I soon realized I didn't need to worry about some of these "small" details, but just read the book as a whole and take it in. The story was fascinating and hard to believe at times that these events actually happened and not so long ago.
Who Should Read It: One of the reasons I wanted to read this book now was because I'm going to be teaching a nonfiction unit to my fourth graders. Thinking this might be a good read aloud during this unit, lead me to reading it now. Having finished the book, I don't think I will use it as a read aloud based on the students in my present class. The book will still be introduced to the readers, and I have a few students in mind that will eat it up. The text is definitely geared toward readers in fifth grade or higher. I'm thinking it would actually be perfect for middle-school and/or high school readers. Now that I have finished, I certainly have a better understanding of the events that took place in building the atomic bomb.
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars