The Manhattan Project

Gr 9 Up—Sonneborn explains the different parts of the project and points out that it remains the model for large-scale cooperative public projects today. This history of the development of the atomic bomb begins with the test at the Trinity site and then jumps back to the early discoveries in physics that led to the idea of using a controlled chain reaction as the explosive force in a weapon. The world's reaction to the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan is discussed, as is the immediate start of efforts from scientists and public officials to control the new technology. Sidebars include information on "The Children of the A-Bomb" and Einstein's letter to Roosevelt advocating nuclear research in order to beat Germany to the bomb. Some readers might need additional information on World War II in order to place the race to develop the bomb in context. Edward T. Sullivan's The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb (Holiday House, 2007) offers more detail.—Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

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