Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: Year of the Bomb

The Year of the Bomb by Ronald Kidd
*acquired from public library*
Book suggested audience - 12 and up

First, I would like to say that this book has received some great praise since the release in June 2009. However, I don't know that many students and teachers are even aware of this book. I just came across it by accident and later found out it was a 2009 Cybils nominee

The setting is 1956 where everyone is on edge about the atomic bomb. This is a historical fiction novel. It ties in the emotions of the threat of a bomb, horror movies that really took off at this time due to the high fear levels, and the coming of age of a group of boys. How does one pull all three of these elements together? The author has done a great job doing so.

If you know your history, then you are aware that during this time there was the fear of Communists and trying to determine who was who. In addition, the threat of a bomb was real and students had to practice taking cover in school. This book does a great job weaving in some important people from this time period into the story. It will introduce readers to McCarthy, Richard Feynman, Don Siegel(director of Escape from Alcatraz and Dirty Harry, Carolyn Jones, and many more.

The story centers around a boy named Paul and his group of friends. They love horror movies and watch them every weekend at the theater. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is going to be filmed where they live and they cannot wait to watch and get in on the action. However, as they go the set they become involved in a plot to determine who is a Communist, who is FBI, who is who in a nutshell.

This is a quick read. It is not hard to follow and anyone who loves movies and history will eat this book up. I have posted the movie trailer for Invasion of the Body Snatchers down below. This is considered a classic. Now, I am off to read some books on my Kindle.

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