New York Times bestselling author Steve Sheinkin presents a follow up to his award-winning book Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, taking readers on a terrifying journey into the Cold War and our mutual assured destruction.
As World War II comes to a close, the United States and the Soviet Union emerge as the two greatest world powers on extreme opposites of the political spectrum. After the United States showed its hand with the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the Soviets refuse to be left behind. With communism sweeping the globe, the two nations begin a neck-and-neck competition to build even more destructive bombs and conquer the Space Race. In their battle for dominance, spy planes fly above, armed submarines swim deep below, and undercover agents meet in the dead of night.
The Cold War game grows more precarious as weapons are pointed towards each other, with fingers literally on the trigger. The decades-long showdown culminates in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world's close call with the third—and final—world war.
Praise for BOMB:
A Newbery Honor book
A National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature
A Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title
“This is edge-of-the seat material that will resonate with YAs 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.” —BCCB, starred review
“...reads like an international spy thriller, and that's the beauty of it.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] complicated thriller that intercuts action with the deftness of a Hollywood blockbuster.” —Booklist
“A must-read…” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A superb tale of an era and an effort that forever changed our world.” —Kirkus, starred review
Also by Steve Sheinkin:
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Which Way to the Wild West?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About Westward Expansion
King George: What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution
Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the Civil War
Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America
This twisty spy story interweaves tautly paced political drama to document the perilous Cold War period and escalating conflict between the United States and Soviet Union. Newbery Honoree Sheinkin immediately hooks readers with an account of how a 1953 chance exchange of two hollow coins with film hidden inside tipped the CIA off to a Soviet spy ring; eventually, the lens extends to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the standoff between U.S. president John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In addition to spies and political machinations, Sheinkin skillfully describes the science behind the race to develop fission bombs and conquer space, the nuclear threat and mutually assured destruction, and how the fear, bomb shelters, and classroom drills infused everyday life. Throughout, the highly charged narrative maintains a strong perspective and keen attention to detail, rounding out the figures involved such as the American pilot Gary Powers, who flew U-2 jets to spy on Russia with character and personality. The midsection can sometimes lag as it details the intricate chess game between Kennedy and Khrushchev, but b&w photographs heighten the tension in this dramatic and informative chronicle. Ages 10 up.