Bomb: The Race To Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon


The story of the Atomic Arms race spans three continents. It all begins when scientists and governments alike learn about the discovery of nuclear fission by German physicists. When they realized the potential effect the experiment could have, information on nuclear fission disappeared from the public eye. Then the race began, as the United States and Great Britain, Germany, and Russia each worked furiously to build an atomic bomb. Physicists were recruited or simply taken by force to top-secret laboratories. At the same time, British operatives went behind sent Norwegian insurgents back into Norway to cripple the German’s atomic bomb program. For its part, the Soviets had a ring of spies who were extracting information from America’s Manhattan Project so they could build their own bomb. The race was on, and the results would be cataclysmic.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers of all ages will be wrapped up in this World War II race against time.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

Steve Sheikin has transformed a historical event into an intense story of deceit, genius, and extreme risks. The combination of photos, quotes, and primary documents create an exciting, spy-themed book that will draw the reader’s attention from the start. the book is detailed and fast-paced, written in a way that the basic science behind this incredibly complex bomb and the military tactics used can be easily understood. The personal reflections of the characters and the shifting moods are skillfully incorporated into the story, which really sets it out from a bland history lesson, which mainly contains facts. I highly recommend Bomb to anyone who is even minutely interested in World War II. It is a good read for high school students who want a more extensive look at the Manhattan Project and for middle school students as introductory material for the war.

Parent Reaction

Fascinating to the point of being breathtaking. The story is fast-paced and thrilling, showing readers that nonfiction can weave an engaging story. There are lots of characters, and the story does jump around a bit, so it may be frustrating for some young readers.

Type of Book:
This is a nonfiction history of the multi-national effort to turn science into weaponry.
Educational Themes:

There are so many layers to the story that go beyond World War II itself. This is a study of the crossover of science and military aims, international cooperation and antagonism, and misinformation, too.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This could well be a book you add to your history shelf.

Title Bomb: The Race To Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Author Steve Sheinkin
Publisher Flash Point © 2012
ISBN 9781596434875
Material Hard Cover
Cost $19.99
Genres History, War
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Other Reviews:

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