Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

 By Steve Sheinkin 272 pp. Roaring Brook Press, 2013. $20.

 The FBI has its eye on Harry Gold, and he has to stay at least one step ahead of them —because Gold is a Soviet spy, filching from the Manhattan Project. Award-winning author Steve Sheinkin ably traverses the sprawling science, personalities, politics, and results of the race for the A-bomb. For teens in middle and high school.

Beyond Courage:  The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

By Doreen Rappaport. 240 pp. Candlewick, 2012. $22.99.

 The myth of Jewish passivity during World War II has long been exploded, but rarely has the topic been aimed at ages 10 and up with such historical precision and passion. Author Doreen Rappaport dug through primary sources and rare archival images to present the stories of some who did not go gently into Nazi hell.

 Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II

 By Cheryl Mullenbach. 272 pp. Chicago Review Press, 2013. $19.95.

 Author Cheryl Mullenbach interweaves the war’s big picture with surprising individual tales of struggle and triumph—left untold too long—with an approachable fervor that should woo teens.


 By Patricia Reilly Giff. 160 pp. Wendy Lamb Books, 2013. $15.99.

 Two-time Newbery  Medal–winner Patricia Reilly Giff delivers a bittersweet tale of adventure and self-discovery. Jayna lives with her big brother Rob in upstate New York. When Rob is called to active duty in 1945, he leaves Jayna a hand-written recipe book with a Brooklyn address that maybe, just maybe, belongs to the grandmother they’ve never known. After she learns Rob is MIA, Jayna takes her fate into her hands, grabs her pet turtle, and heads to Brooklyn (guided by a ghost-girl’s voice) to find the family she never knew. Well crafted; offbeat characters and telling details will keep tweens engrossed.


Originally published in the June 2013 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.