Bomb (Graphic Novel): The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, illustrated by Nick Bertozzi

Published by Roaring Brook Press

Summary:  Steve Sheinkin has turned his award-winning nonfiction book from 2012 into a graphic novel that tells the history of the Manhattan Project, including those who gave information to the Soviets that helped them develop an atomic bomb just a few years after the United States.  One of those was Harry Gold, whose interrogation by the FBI forms the structure for this book.  As the agents question him, Harry slowly reveals the story of the project in Los Alamos, with descriptions of the various people involved like Robert Oppenheimer, Leslie Groves, Richard Feynman, and Klaus Fuchs.  The book ends with a showdown between Oppenheinmer and President Harry Truman, as each realizes the terrible power he has unleashed on the world. As Steve Sheinkin concludes in his author’s note, “How does this story end? We don’t know–because it’s still going on.”  256 pages; grades 5-12.

Pros:  I loved the original Bomb, and this graphic novel does an amazing job of telling many aspects of the story in a necessarily condensed format.  The excellent artwork helps to distinguish the many characters in the story.  It’s an important historical narrative, and the graphic format will make it accessible to many more readers.

Cons:  I missed the depth of the original book in telling about many of the characters and events.

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