The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb
The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb
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Annotation: Offers an account of the Manhattan Project and the race to build and use the atomic bomb.
Genre: War
Catalog Number: #22067
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2007
Pages: 182 pages
Availability: Out of Print (Limited Quantities Available)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8234-1855-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-16744-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8234-1855-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-16744-5
Dewey: 355.8
LCCN: 2005050330
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The history of the Manhattan Project presents a daunting challenge to any author writing for a general audience pecially when that audience is young readers. Sullivan responds admirably with an account that effectively distills the science behind the development of the atomic bomb into understandable terms and that turns the human story behind the project into compelling drama. Most histories of the Manhattan Project focus on Robert Oppenheimer and the other scientists who worked with him to create the bomb at Los Alamos, but Sullivan gives plenty of space to the activities at the two other project sites: Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where enhanced uranium was manufactured, and Hanford, Washington, where bomb-ready plutonium was developed. Without slighting the familiar parts of the Manhattan Project story e scientific breakthroughs, the Trinity test, the flight of the Enola Gay, the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions llivan takes readers into daily life at all three sites, showing the less-than-comfortable conditions under which thousands of men and women worked. Effectively illustrated with archival photographs, this volume will be useful both as personal reading and as background for reports.
Kirkus Reviews
The Manhattan Project is a complex subject for a book for young readers, but Sullivan does a fine job of relating the fascinating story in clear and lively prose. The three-year Project was huge, secret and desperate, an all-out effort to beat the Nazis in the arms race. The people and places are now legendary: Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, Trinity, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Little Boy, Fat Man and Paul Tibbets. It's a tale of brilliant scientists, shadowy spies, dreadful war, secret cities and secret lives. Despite the complicated history, this book is completely compelling, a straightforward narrative told with a light touch. Only toward the end does the voice falter, lapsing into a bit of editorializing. Still, the solid writing, attractive design, abundant photographs, suggestions for further reading that include works for young readers, websites and a glossary make this the best work on the subject for young readers. A great match with Ellen Klages's novel The Green Glass Sea (2006). (appendix, chronology, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-A well-done review of the creation of the atomic bomb and the decision to use it. Sullivan begins with the necessary wartime background, the argument for the bomb's development and the need for it, and the beginnings of the Manhattan Project. He addresses security concerns and the role of spies as the project worked toward the Trinity test. The author describes Harry Truman's lack of knowledge about the bomb when he became president and concisely summarizes the debate over the bomb's use, from both the scientific and the military points of view. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan's surrender are followed up with its aftermath, the Cold War, and the current outlook and risk of nuclear war. The strength of the book, though, is its inclusion of a description of the daily lives of the residents and workers at the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge facilities during the development of the bomb. Good-quality, black-and-white photos help explain the text's contents. The writing is generally clear; however, the explanation of creating a critical mass in the first bomb, "Little Boy," awkwardly implies two critical masses in the same bomb. Otherwise, this is a valuable account of a critical event in the world's history.-Jeffrey A. French, formerly at Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, Willowick, OH Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Voice of Youth Advocates
The United States had tried to keep itself neutral while Germany, under Hitler's ruthless leadership, invaded European countries and as Britain and France fought to contain the Nazi regime. But following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. declared war on Japan (and as a result, also on Italy and Germany). The U.S. military began the highly secretive Manhattan Project, the main purpose of which was to beat Germany to the punch and be the first to develop an atomic bomb. Scientists worked side by side with military personnel at three different, top-secret locations (Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico), developing hardware and mining uranium and plutonium. Only a few short years later, two bombs ("Little Boy" and "Fat Man") were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing Japan to its knees in surrender. Sullivan presents a highly readable history of the development and eventual use of the atomic bomb by the United States against Japan. Quotes from military personnel, laundresses, and scientists are interwoven in the text, creating a human picture of patriotism, sacrifice, and stress. Sullivan covers a variety of topics, from the scientific development of the bomb to the political and ethical implications of its use; from the living conditions at Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos to the horrific results of the bombs' devastation. Sullivan's writing is balanced and unbiased yet informed and interdisciplinary, making this volume, which is laden with photographs, an excellent source of information on a timely topic.-Melissa Moore.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-168) and index.
Word Count: 28,293
Reading Level: 9.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 9.5 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 117267 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:10.6 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q46692
Lexile: 1170L
Guided Reading Level: Z
Fountas & Pinnell: Z

When the first atomic bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy," was dropped from the Enola Gay onto Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. But the story started long before then, and here Edward T. Sullivan delves into all the advances that led to the making of the most destructive weapons ever invented: the scientific developments of the Manhattan Project, the massive commitment by the Western world to win the great nuclear arms race, and the contributions to the war effort big or small by all those involved. From bus driver to scientist to spy to the president, Sullivan examines all the key personalities concerned, including Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, President Roosevelt, and many more. The dropping of the bomb, as well as the complicated aftermath is also discussed. In this comprehensive book, featuring several arresting black-and-white photographs of the day, Sullivan offers a broad and compelling look at the atomic bomb and its pronounced effects on our world today.

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