The Race to Build
—And Steal—
The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned three continents. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon.

This is the story of the atomic bomb.

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The Port Chicago 50

The Port Chicago 50

Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.

An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

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From the Blog

Close Encounters with History

One of the best things about my job is that when I do speaking events, people almost always come up to me and tell me about family connections to one of the stories I’ve written about. This is especially true since Bomb came out – about 200,000 people worked on the Manhattan Project, so it makes sense that they’d now have descendants all over the country. I’ve also met more than a few folks who insist they are related to Benedict and Peggy Arnold! This week, at a visit to the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, two Korean War vets told me an amazing story about their own close brush with history. This goes back to early 1953. One of the men, Frank Barron, was a young officer aboard a destroyer, the USS Eversole. They received… Read the rest…

About Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin

Yes, it’s true, I used to write history textbooks. But I don’t do that kind of thing anymore, so let’s skip over that particular piece of unpleasantness...

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News & Events

February 9–10, School visits, Great Neck, NY

February 17-18, School visits, Chicago, IL

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The Port Chicago 50

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

I'm really excited to share this little-known World War II civil rights drama. It follows a group of young African American sailors - many of them teenagers - who are assigned to load ammunition at Port Chicago, a segregated naval base in California. But they are never trained to handle ammunition safely, and are constantly being rushed by their officers.

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Lincoln's Grave Robbers

Lincoln's Grave Robbers

The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: Grab Lincoln's body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd and $200,000 in cash.

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King George: What Was His Problem?

King George: What Was His Problem?: The Whole Hilarious Story of the American Revolution

Entire books have been written about the causes of the American Revolution. This isn’t one of them.” What it is, instead, is utterly interesting, antedotes (John Hancock fixates on salmon), from the inside out (at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, hundreds of soldiers plunged into battle “naked as they were born”) close-up narrative filled with little-known details...

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The Notorius Benedit Arnold

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.

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