Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GREEN GLASS SEA by Ellen Klages

THE GREEN GLASS SEA

By Ellen Klages

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-670-06134-4
Publisher: Viking

The author’s acknowledgement at the end of this work reveals that the last chapter was originally a short story that subsequently inspired the rest. This insight into the writing process makes sense of (but fails to redeem) the over 200 pages that precede that final chapter. Obviously (perhaps too obviously) well researched and undeniably earnest, this child’s-eye view of the development of the atom bomb seems unlikely to find a wide or enthusiastic audience. Crammed with period detail like cigarette brands and radio models, as well as the names of the famous scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, the narrative offers plenty of information but little insight. Main characters Dewey (the bright, plucky, soon-to-be orphan) and Suze (the bully desperate to have friends) are initially antagonistic, but eventually become friends. Unfortunately, too much description and too little action means these characters fail to come to life, making their interactions unconvincing and uninteresting. Secondary characters are even more broadly drawn and less engaging. Unusual and thoughtful, but ultimately unsuccessful. (Fiction. 10-14)