The Atomic City Girls

The Atomic City Girls

Large Print - 2018
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In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn't officially exist--Oak Ridge, Tennessee. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders. When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.
Publisher: New York, New York : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2018.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780062791702
Characteristics: ix, 449 pages :,illustrations ;,23 cm.


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Dec 10, 2020

The setting of the book, working on the bomb for the Manhatten Project, was really interesting, but the story lacked drama for me somehow.

Aug 11, 2019

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, they dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II with more than 200 000 casualties. Through the eyes of four American workers in Janet Beard’s novel, The Atomic City Girls, the secrecy of the bombs’ construction and the American government’s plans are revealed to the readers. The Atomic City Girls was a great book that outlined the secrecy of the American government’s nuclear weapon construction that occurred in small towns that no one knew about, as well as the horrible treatment of African American workers. I especially loved Beard’s use of archived images from the Department of Energy, because they enriched the story and made it more realistic. I recommend this book to readers ages 14 and up, and give it a ⅗ star rating. @ilovefood of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Feb 16, 2019

A well written novel about Oak Ridge, TN, where the uranium was enriched that went into the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, ending WW II. Some reviews assume that people today know little about Oak Ridge; perhaps because Hanford, the third major leg of this project (after Los Alamos), is in Seattle's back yard, I grew up with that history. Still, an interesting look at 4 points of view of those working there. June's a local girl who needs the job, not explained to those working on the dials and knobs. Ceci's her roommate, whose only goal is to find a rich husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Joe's an African American who leaves his beloved family behind in Alabama because they need the money. Sam's the most complex character, having lost most of his family to Hitler's concentration camps, escaping in time to become a physicist who knows exactly what Oak Ridge is working on. He's conflicted about his job. These characters' lives become intertwined in interesting ways. Beard, whose grandfather lost his home to the project, didn't know Oak Ridge's meaning until she grew up, then decided to write the novel.

Nov 11, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Atomic City Girls. It is a work of fiction with some history of how the US Army worked on creating the atomic bomb first in WWII. How the war changed the life of the main character, June. She goes from being poorly educated to being knowledgable about Physics. Her inside information and personal transformation create an attention grabbing lesson in history, secrecy and personal relationships.

Nov 06, 2018

What a confusing novel! I picked up this book thinking that it would provide some insight and knowledge around the atomic bomb and World War II. Instead, what I got was a dumb love story and strange character rivalries. Even though this story builds around the town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the home of the atomic bomb, it focused less on that and more on just the relationships between the main characters. There was too much time wasted on character-building and too much detail given to mundane events that I often wondered if the author herself forgot what she was even writing about. If you thought about reading this book, don't waste you time.

Katherine_A Mar 13, 2018

For fans of The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit, this title would be a great read alike. This story takes place during WWII at a different top secret location in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Both locations are working on the Manhattan project and towards the same goal.
I thought the characters were well developed and I enjoyed the multiple story lines.

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