Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bomb : The Race to Build - And Steal - The World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

He had a few more minutes to destroy seventeen years of evidence. 

Still in pajamas, Harry Gold raced around his cluttered bedroom, pulling out desk drawers, tossing boxes out of the closet, and yanking books from the shelves. He was horrified. Everywhere he looked were incriminating papers - a plane ticket stub, a secret report, a letter from a fellow spy.

All I had to do to book talk Bomb with my sixth grade literature classes was have them read the prologue. Now I have 40+ students who are clamoring to read it. When we read the first few pages of this book together as a class, I had them examine and dissect what made this an effective lead. Just about every single student hit it on the head: Sheinkin jumps right into the story, gives you just enough information to help you understand what is going on, but holds back enough to make it suspenseful and leaves you wanting more.

Bomb is a wonderful antidote to the mind-numbing history textbooks kids have to read in school these days. Ironic since Sheinkin is a former textbook writer himself. But, his author bio tells us he's trying to make up for his "crimes" as a textbook author by writing engaging nonfiction for kids and young adults. I think he's been reprieved.Sheinkin not only writes in an engaging, accessible way, but this nonfiction text reads like a spy novel. It's almost hard to believe that this is a true story. Bomb absolutely deserves all the shiny stickers it won at the ALA awards in January. 

Bomb: The Race to Build - And Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Flash Point
Pages: 272
Genre: Nonfiction/History
Audience: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Disclosure: Purchased Copy 

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