Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Secret Project

The Secret Project

Picture book
"Crouching down in their bunker,
the scientists prepare themselves
for something so loud,
so earth-shattering,
so huge,
it is hardly even imaginable."
Holy Cow! Even with my awareness that the scope of picture
book content is expanding faster than a speeding bullet, I was
surprised to see a volume for our very youngest on the development of
the atom bomb. It is very well done. But I wouldn't share it with
the Hop On Pop and Dora The Explorer set.
A lot of adults are still clueless about this chapter in
America's history.
Back in the 1940s World War II was raging across continents.
Physicists had figured out that the splitting of the atom could lead
to the exponentially most destructive bomb ever. Whichever side set
that bomb off would emerge the victor.
A part of the sparsely populated New Mexico desert was taken
over for the most top secret science project. Jonah Winter's The
Secret Project takes readers there. The scientists can't even call
their project by its name. They rarely leave the site. When they do,
they must be sure they aren't being tailed.
After two years they drive off in the night to conduct a test.
The fate of the world depends on its results.
This is a wonderful book for older kids and companion adults.
It can lead to productive discussions of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
It's a little too scary for their younger siblings though, very
TMI for traditional read aloud demographics.
On a personal note, the clothesline project went really well at
UMaine. We had a sunny day sandwiched between rainy ones so it could
be held outside. There were clotheslines strung between trees. Each
was pegged end to end with tee shirts. Some told survivors' rape
stories. I wrote one. Others were tributes to people killed by
domestic violence. I was pleased to see lots of people stop and read
thoughtfully. Way to raise awareness!
A great big shout out goes out to all involved in the project.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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