THE ULTIMATE WEAPON by Edward T. Sullivan


The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb
Age Range: 12 & up
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The Manhattan Project is a complex subject for a book for young readers, but Sullivan does a fine job of relating the fascinating story in clear and lively prose. The three-year Project was huge, secret and desperate, an all-out effort to beat the Nazis in the arms race. The people and places are now legendary: Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, Trinity, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Little Boy, Fat Man and Paul Tibbets. It’s a tale of brilliant scientists, shadowy spies, dreadful war, secret cities and secret lives. Despite the complicated history, this book is completely compelling, a straightforward narrative told with a light touch. Only toward the end does the voice falter, lapsing into a bit of editorializing. Still, the solid writing, attractive design, abundant photographs, suggestions for further reading that include works for young readers, websites and a glossary make this the best work on the subject for young readers. A great match with Ellen Klages’s novel The Green Glass Sea (2006). (appendix, chronology, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1855-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2007
Note: Sullivan is a freelance contributor to Kirkus.


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