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White Sands, Red Menaceby Ellen Klages
A gadget-obsessed engineering prodigy who is a girl? Unusual, to say the least but the year is 1946 and this girl is growing up in a post-WWII scientific community with the Cold War looming. As someone who rarely reads historical fiction and has only a lukewarm interest in atomic physics or rocket science, I have to hand it to Ellen Klages for creating middle-grade fiction that is so gripping and so thought-provoking that I cannot wait for her next project. Be sure to get White Sands, Red Menace into the hands of every scientifically inclined young person in your life!
Synopses & Reviews
It is 1946. World War II is over — ended by the atomic bomb that Dewey Kerrigan's and Suze Gordon's scientist parents helped build. Dewey's been living with the Gordons since before the war?s end, before her father died, moving south with them to Alamogordo, New Mexico. At the White Sands Missile Range, Phil Gordon is working on rockets that will someday go to the moon; at home, Terry Gordon is part of the scientists' movement against the Bomb. Dewey and Suze have conflicts of their own. Where does a girl who likes physics and math fit in? How do you know the right time to speak up and the right time to keep your head down? And, most important of all: What defines a family?
"Picking up a year after the close of The Green Glass Sea, this strong sequel finds Suze and Dewey (short for Duodecima) living near Los Alamos with Suze's scientist parents, who with Dewey's late father had helped build the atom bomb. In the aftermath of Hiroshima, Suze's mother has begun organizing scientists against war, while her father throws himself into his work to maintain the U.S.'s edge over the Soviets and 'Uncle Joe.' This tense drama weaves family conflict with difficult political history: after a Thanksgiving dinner, Suze discovers that the guest her father has invited, an ex-Nazi who is now his colleague, helped run a German bomb factory where 20,000 slave laborers died. Equally gripping are the ongoing, rarely voiced struggles at home, not just between the parents but between the girls and their uneasy rivalry for Suze's mother's attention and affection. Klages has a gift for opening moral dilemmas to middle-graders — she includes (and sources) just enough information to engage her readers without detracting from her characters' emotional lives. Once again she offers up first-rate historical fiction. Ages 10 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The atomic bomb that ends World War II ushers in new worries for 12-year-old Suze Gordon and her friend Dewey Kerrigan. In this sequel to the acclaimed "The Green Glass Sea," the girls are settling into the rocket-testing town of Alamogordo, N.M. Suze's parents, who both worked on the bomb, now seem to be following divergent paths. Her mother wants to educate the public about bomb-related dangers,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) and her father throws himself into the country's nascent space program. As the parents bicker during a long, hot year, the girls collaborate on a creative project that reflects Suze's artistry and Dewey's passion for engineering. Though the sudden appearance of Dewey's long-absent mother feels a bit contrived, this carefully researched novel deserves high marks for tackling a historical period little explored in fiction for young people. Ellen Klages vividly captures the mood of a jittery nation and of girls beginning to question the gender- and race-bound rules that mandate Home Ec for females, forbid them to take classes in mechanical drawing and divide a border town along racial lines. Children's author Mary Quattlebaum teaches classes in writing for children, blogs on nature-themed kids' books for the National Wildlife Federation and regularly reviews for Book World. Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Klages has a gift for opening moral dilemmas to middle-graders....[F]irst-rate historical fiction." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Every bit as powerful as its predecessor." School Library Journal
In this sequel to The Green Glass Sea, it is 1946 and Dewey Kerrigan is living near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Meanwhile, Dewey and her sister, Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town.
It is 1946, and the events of The Green Glass Sea have changed the world — and Dewey Kerrigan's life. She's now living near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Dr. Gordon is working on rockets that will someday go to the moon; Mrs. Gordon is working on stopping the Bomb. Meanwhile, Dewey and her sister, Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town. Then, like a different kind of dropped bomb, Dewey?s long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives. And she wants to take her daughter away.
About the Author
Ellen Klages lives in San Francisco, California.
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