I was randomly picking up new books the other day at the public library when I found this book:

The cover isn’t flashy but I thought I’d give it a try, seeing as I have recently discovered how much I enjoy Jonah Winter’s nonfiction books.

The Secret Project in this inconspicuous book is the Manhatten Project, where Oppenheimer and some of the greatest minds in the world worked to create the atom bomb.

The project was handled in utmost secrecy, with many of the lower level employees not having any real idea of what was really being researched in the New Mexico desert. 

It is now known that they were working to split the atom and create one of the most destructive weapons in history. Jeanette Winters’ illustrations are simple and clean. They convey the story perfectly. After showing the fully formed mushroom cloud, the pages go black and the narration ends. 

There is a lot of information within this story and I think it would be a great companion to read aloud a about Sadako, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While I don’t believe we should ever use these weapons again, I do think providing the truth about The Secret Project is essential to teaching our children about America’s history. It is an instance where the consequences of our actions are immediately visible and long lasting as well as far reaching.

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