A heady whirl of science and spycraft made even more immediate (and frightening) by strong visuals.

A graphic version, losing none of the original’s high drama, of Sheinkin’s 2012 award-winning account of the supposedly secret Manhattan Project.

It’s a big story, but the author expertly juggles multiple plotlines to tell a coherent tale at breakneck speed, with all the significant encounters, quotes, and technological breakthroughs intact and a prose afterword to wrap up loose ends. Using a mix of emotionally intense face-to-face exchanges and silent reaction shots in his realistically drawn scenes, Bertozzi creates a properly cinematic flow as he portrays, on the one hand, the development and cataclysmic use of the first two atomic bombs and, on the other, how the Manhattan Project’s secrets were collected and transported from Los Alamos to the Soviets. Two figures stand out in particular from the teeming cast (which is not quite all-male, as several women played important roles on both sides): Harry Gold, a reluctant courier whose prominence is boosted here by several newly added scenes, and Robert Oppenheimer, who headed up the project’s research team and whose appalled recollection of a line from the Bhagavad-Gita in the wake of the Trinity test explosion—“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”—remains the Atomic Age’s most powerful and (probably) prophetic motto.

A heady whirl of science and spycraft made even more immediate (and frightening) by strong visuals. (Graphic history. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-20674-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022


From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006



Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative.

This junior edition of Stewart’s lurid 2011 portrait gallery of the same name (though much less gleeful subtitle) loses none of its capacity for leaving readers squicked-out.

The author drops a few entries, notably the one on insect sexual practices, and rearranges toned-down versions of the rest into roughly topical sections. Beginning with the same cogent observation—“We are seriously outnumbered”—she follows general practice in thrillers of this ilk by defining “bug” broadly enough to include all-too-detailed descriptions of the life cycles and revolting or deadly effects of scorpions and spiders, ticks, lice, and, in a chapter evocatively titled “The Enemy Within,” such internal guests as guinea worms and tapeworms. Mosquitoes, bedbugs, the ubiquitous “Filth Fly,” and like usual suspects mingle with more-exotic threats, from the tongue-eating louse and a “yak-killer hornet” (just imagine) to the aggressive screw-worm fly that, in one cited case, flew up a man’s nose and laid hundreds of eggs…that…hatched. Morrow-Cribbs’ close-up full-color drawings don’t offer the visceral thrills of the photos in, for instance, Rebecca L. Johnson’s Zombie Makers (2012) but are accurate and finely detailed enough to please even the fussiest young entomologists.

Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative. (index, glossary, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61620-755-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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