Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb

Neal Bascomb. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-73243-7
In a young readers' companion to The Winter Fortress, Bascomb offers a riveting account of Norwegian resistance efforts to prevent Germany from developing the atomic bomb by sabotaging a Norsk Hydro plant in Vemork, the world's sole producer in 1939 of "heavy water." Developing an explosive using nuclear fission depended on this critical ingredient, and on April 9, 1940—soon after the Nazis' increased orders for heavy water were refused by Norsk Hydro's management—Germany invaded and seized control of Norway's industrial sector. In response, Norwegian saboteurs trained in the U.K. to destroy Vemork's heavy water production, under the direction of the British Special Operations Executive and Capt. Leif Tronstad, an exiled Norwegian professor and well-connected informant. Bascomb's detailed narrative builds tension through each attempt, narrow escape, and comeback. Clear summaries of the science involved and the wartime interests of both the Allies and Germany accompany vivid descriptions of the principal participants and their motivations, the rigors of Norway's climate and terrain, and the risks calculated (and those unforeseen), producing a gripping account of individual and collective heroic effort. Ages 12–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2016
Release date: 05/31/2016
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-94402-1
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