Reviews for Secret of the Manhattan Project

Booklist Reviews 2012 April #1
*Starred Review* The scene is neatly set with the first, short chapter, "Mission: Possible." It asks readers to imagine keeping a secret among 100,000 people, hiding three entire cities from prying eyes, and putting the most famous scientists in the world in one place that few know about. These were just a few of the elements that went into the development of the atomic bomb. Part of the Stories in American History series, this book does a fine job of explaining the Manhattan Project to middle-graders by firmly placing the project in the context of history. Gonzales briskly sets up the events that led to WWII; explains how many scientists were forced to flee their homelands; describes the experimentation surrounding such a massive effort; and then shows the ramifications--and doubts--that were detonated along with the bomb. What sets this book apart is not the format, which is conventional and loaded with well-chosen photos, but the way Gonzales twists the many threads and turns them into a fresh narrative that will intrigue readers and encourage them to find out more. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
This book chronicles the construction of the first atomic bomb from its inception to the final detonation over Nagasaki, Japan. Gonzales relates how secret operations were successfully undertaken with vital components simultaneously developed in Manhattan, Tennessee, Washington State, and Los Alamos. The informative narrative is accompanied by photographs (which vary in relevance), drawings, and maps. Reading list, timeline, websites. Ind.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

Gr 5-8--Updated versions of the publisher's "In American History" series, these titles are characterized by solid research, dramatic details, and an accessible and attractive format. Each volume opens with a vivifying vignette: a foghorn sounding in a Buffalo, NY, harbor as three fugitive slaves enter the final leg of their journey to freedom, a man with gold fever whistling "Yankee Doodle" as he pushes a wheelbarrow full of his belongings westward. The volumes then transition into chapters that relay historical information, including facts about the political and social climate of the time, with excitement. These revisions consist mainly of improving the color quality and increasing the number of photographs, maps, and ephemera. Thorough and engaging, they are representative of what lively writing and clean, clear presentation can do to add oomph to history lessons.--Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

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