By Awnali Mills
So, I recently read a review of Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling which looked really good. In the review, Abby the Librarian mentions that the book is a sort of precursor for Bomb by Steve Sheinkin. And I thought, “Hey! I wanted to read that book and it was always checked out and then it fell off my radar. I wonder if I can get it now?” And the answer was yes, yes I could.
So I did.
And I read it. It was good. (This was a Newbery Honor Book, so I’m not alone in thinking this).
I love non-fiction books that tell you the stories of the people going on behind the events. Bomb is full of the stories of the scientists, politicians, and spies who were in a race to see who could build the atomic bomb first, decide how to use it, and who could steal the information. If this interests you at all, go get the book.
After reading the book, I confess to feeling really naïve. Yeah, I know that there are real spies. I get that. But it all seems so….well….Covert Affairs, you know? Spies, in my world, are plot devices, just characters in the stories I love. They aren’t real like my morning toast is real. Bomb was an eye-opener for me. There were so many spies running around trying to cultivate scientists, so many scientists sliding information into the pockets of spies, that it boggles the mind. Well, my mind anyway. And the scientists are so well-intentioned!
And just to put it out there in case any spies are reading this, I know you aren’t interested in anything a little East Coast librarian has to offer, but just saying, don’t come knocking. I’m a patriot and you’re not getting anything from me. I’m with Oppenheimer on this one.
Put this book into the hands of older elementary and teens who are interested in science, spies, or World War II history.