This is another one of my library grabs in the YA section.
Blurb: It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father, but no one, not her father nor the military guardians who accompany her, will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: hes working on a top secret government program. Over the next few years, Dewey gets to know eminent scientists, starts tinkering with her own mechanical projects, becomes friends with a budding artist who is as much of a misfit as she island, all the while, has no idea how the Manhattan Project is about to change the world.
What I liked: It was an interesting perspective of life in Los Alamos in 1943. Most people will know what was going on there in 1943 but children won’t. As with the last kids book I reviewed, this is a book that a teacher might use to discuss what was going on at the time and what created the “green glass sea,” which you don’t learn about until the very end. The writing is well done and appropriate for a child’s perspective. I like that there were woman scientist at the Los Alamos facility. That was something I didn’t know and interesting for the time.
What I didn’t like: It takes quite a while for me to get into it – it wasn’t until the third disc that I actually cared to listen on. Not the best for a book for youth. Klages also does something with a significant character that I don’t understand. (I won’t say so as not to give anything away). And she doesn’t really resolve this issue in the end, which is odd, especially because it involves the the main character – Dewey. The narrator, Julie Dretzin, does a fine job.
Rating: 4/5 – It’s a good book but I’m not sure a child would read it unless they had too. It’s a bit slow for kids.