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WHITE SANDS, RED MENACE by Ellen Klages

WHITE SANDS, RED MENACE

By Ellen Klages

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06235-5
Publisher: Viking

In the sequel to The Green Glass Sea (2006), 12-year-old Suze, parents Terry and Phil, and 13-year-old Dewey have moved to Alamogordo, N.M., where Phil Gordon is assisting with rocket experiments following detonation of the first atomic bombs in 1945. Scientifically minded Dewey (previously taken in by the Gordons after her father’s death) gets along well with Suze as they face a series of issues: Terry’s anger over her husband’s involvement in the atomic project and her unexpected pregnancy, the reappearance of Dewey’s mother, who abandoned her as a toddler, Dewey’s budding romance with a classmate and Suze’s occasional jealousy over Dewey’s comfortable place in the family. Told in the third person, the point-of-view subtly switches by chapter between the two girls. Although alluding to issues of the atomic age, that is not a focus of this story, which sensitively portrays the early coming-of-age of two likable characters in a unique setting. Although it works well as a stand-alone, this tale will leave readers anxious to pick up the preceding work. (Historical fiction. 10 & up)