Bomb The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Steve Sheinkin

Flash Point




272 Pages



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A Newbury Honor Book
A National Book Award Finalist
A Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year

In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.


Praise for Bomb

"This superb and exciting work of nonfiction would be a fine tonic for any jaded adolescent who thinks history is "boring." It's also an excellent primer for adult readers who may have forgotten, or never learned, the remarkable story of how nuclear weaponry was first imagined, invented and deployed—and of how an international arms race began well before there was such a thing as an atomic bomb."—The Wall Street Journal

"This is edge-of-the seat material that will resonate with young adults who clamor for true spy stories, and it will undoubtedly engross a cross-market audience of adults who dozed through the World War II unit in high school.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

“A superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] complicated thriller that intercuts action with the deftness of a Hollywood blockbuster.”—Booklist

"Reads like an international spy thriller, and that’s the beauty of it.”—School Library Journal (starred review)

"A must-read.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

In the Press

BOMB by Steve Sheinkin | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of BOMB The Race to Build

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

HARRY GOLD WAS RIGHT: This is a big story. It’s the story of the creation—and theft—of the deadliest weapon ever invented. The scenes speed around the world, from secret labs to commando raids to street-corner spy meetings. But like most big stories, this one starts small. Let’s pick up the action sixteen years before FBI agents cornered Harry Gold in Philadelphia. Let’s start 3,000 miles to the west, in Berkeley, California, on a chilly night in February 1934.
On a hill high above town, a man and woman sat in a parked ca
Read the full excerpt


  • Steve Sheinkin

  • Steve Sheinkin  is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His recent book Bomb was a Newbery Honor Book, National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award as well as theYALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.
  • Steve Sheinkin



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