The Secret Project
In New Mexico, there is an area that had no name, and that place had a boys’ school. One day the principal got a letter from the United States government that they needed the school for important work. So the boys cleared out, and the school was shut down. What! The school was shut down? By the way, this not the main theme of the book. This book about what the government did in the closed school and how it changed the world ever after. It is interesting to see how a team of scientists developed a “Gadget” and how they tested in middle of the desert. When the “Gadget” was tested, a massive fire erupted from it–sound familiar? Yes, it is a book about how the first atomic bomb was developed by the United States. The book details the events in simple and interesting ways that are especially understandable for kids. I liked how the “Gadget” was tested; after two years it was taken to the desert and wheeled to a tower and placed on top of it. And the book ends with the countdown for testing. After the countdown, there are a series of bomb blasting images with a mushroom cloud, and the book ends with two black pages. At first I didn’t understand the ending, but my dad told me this is symbolic, like start of the atom bomb is beginning of dark history, and that’s why author left the ending with these images. The illustrations are perfect–like comics in a bigger size to match the book. I liked the pictures of pink mountains and especially the pictures showing the secret work going on inside of the school–each window shows one or two people working secretly in dark, which reminds me of a detective comic. It is suitable for kids third grade and up who like sciences like me! So go ahead and read it and feel like you are part of the peaceful world.
Jonah Winter • Jeanette Winter, Illustrator
Beach Lane Books