SABOTAGE by Neal Bascomb


The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb
Age Range: 12 - 18
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An isolated factory in Nazi-occupied Norway is an important link in a plan to deliver a nuclear weapon for Hitler until Norwegian resistance fighters embark on a dangerous mission to stop it.

The reach of Nazi Germany into Norway did not mean just another country for Hitler’s domination; it also provided access to the “heavy water” that would allow the Third Reich to develop an atomic bomb. The stories of the Norwegian men who joined forces with the British to cripple the efforts at Vemork, an isolated but essential industrial fortress, are at the center of this story. Their dramatic first failure and the subsequent successful mission make for a harrowing tale. The impact of weather, near starvation, and communication difficulties contribute to page-turning tension. The fact that the first success slowed but did not stop Nazi efforts, requiring yet another mission, delivers even more for the unfolding narrative. In this young-readers adaptation of The Winter Fortress (2016), Bascomb successfully describes the story’s technical details: the process of making heavy water and its importance in creating a nuclear weapon, the strategies to disrupt the process, and the weather and topography, which played such crucial roles in the mission’s execution and the saboteurs’ escapes. The book is enhanced by impressive supplemental material, including a helpful list of participants, photographs, maps, and an intriguing author’s note.

A rich, well-paced narrative. (bibliography, source note, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-545-73243-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016


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