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The Green Glass Sea (Green Glass #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  5,006 Ratings  ·  827 Reviews
It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father—but no one, not her father nor the military guardians who accompany her, will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he's working on a top secret government program. Over the next few years, Dewey gets to know eminent ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Colin Harper a) so the Germans and Japanese didn't attack it and steal the data. B) no, I don't think so. Suze did though
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 16, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: highly to anyone who enjoys novels, to all 9 & up including adults
Some time needs to elapse for me to see if this book makes as much of an imprint on me as it now seems, but this is one I might consider for my favorites shelf.

In this novel everything so vivid: the feelings and thoughts and actions of the characters, the many descriptions of food, the train ride, the community, the terrain, the record albums, so much, all of it.

The author is a terrific storyteller, and this is a perfectly crafted book.

I loved the main character Dewey. In real life I would have
...more
CLM
It was foolish of me to think reading one chapter late last night was a good idea. I read the whole book, and sobbed. It was late enough when I started. Sigh.

What an unusual topic, and how vividly depicted and beautifully written. I loved Dewey's interaction with real people, not overdone but very convincing. Lots of little touches were fascinating, as for instance, the difficulty applying to college from a school that didn't exist, or the casual description of a five cent package of Koolaid as
...more
Rebecca
I need to read this book! The paperback version includes the author's Scott O'Dell acceptance speech, which has one of my favorite statements about historical fiction:

"A lot of people think history is boring. It's just names and dates and facts that you have to memorize for a test...Up until last October, I was primarily a science fiction writer. Which means I'm in a unique position to recognize that this -- [holds up The Green Glass Sea] -- is a time machine. Because that's really what we want
...more
Rachael
Jul 16, 2008 Rachael rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
Aug 20, 2008 J rated it really liked it
Dewey’s dad is a scientist and ever since WWII began, he’s been helping the government with a top secret project. When Dewey’s grandma has a stroke, she travels by herself to a secret military base in New Mexico. Even though she’s only ten years old, she has always liked math and science and making her own little projects from stray gears and nuts and bolts. Along with her leg brace and glasses, this makes her an easy target for other kids to pick on her.

At the new base where she lives with her
...more
Sheila
I think we have a winner for my rarely given, 5-stars of love rating!

What a great book! What a great book for girls! I read this aloud to my daughter, and we both greatly enjoyed the story of Dewey, a science loving girl, who goes to live with her father, who is working on a government project for the war in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a place that doesn't officially exist.

The mystery and the secrecy that was Los Alamos, The Manhattan Project, "the gadget", and the Trinity test is brought to life t
...more
Sarah
I really wanted to like this book. Really. Unfortunately, I didn't. The historical setting of Los Alamos was intriguing, but I had qualms with the plot and its predicatbility. It moved rather slowly for me and also didn't say enough about how devastating the Gadget was.

*spoiler*

I couldn't understand for the life of me why the Gadget's effects of creating the Green Glass Sea were supposed to be a fitting last connection between Dewey and her father. This turn of events didn't sit well with me a
...more
Morgan Dhu
Dec 12, 2015 Morgan Dhu rated it really liked it
Ellen Klages' YA historical novel Green Glass Sea is a wonderful read. Set during World War II, it is the story of ten-year-old Dewey Kerrigan, whose mathematician father has been recruited to work on the top-secret program to develop a nuclear bomb.

Dewey's mother left the family when Dewy was a baby, and she has grown up being shuffled between her father and her maternal grandmother - but now that her father is settled for the time bring in Los Alamos and her grandmother has been incapacitated
...more
Arminzerella
This work of historical fiction tells the story of the Manhattan Project through the eyes of some of the children who might have experienced it by proxy as their parents (scientists affiliated with the project) worked on it in secret.

Dewey Kerrigan comes to live with her father in New Mexico when she is eleven. She’s small for her age and doesn’t fit in well with other kids. Also, one of her legs is longer than the other due to a childhood accident. She’s really smart, though, and fascinated by
...more
Jess
Dewey (11) lives in a town which can't be named. Her father, a scientist, works on a "gadget" (along with hundreds of others) that can't be discussed. Welcome to daily life in the Manhattan project.

Characters the reader can relate to with understandable and clear prose. Readers get the feel of what it's like for children living in Los Alamos while their parents build the Atom bomb.

Klages has a good grasp on what it's like to be a kid when it comes to: not being privy to information, the relation
...more
Margaret
It's November 1943, and budding inventor Dewey Kerrigan is on her way to New Mexico to live with her father. When she arrives, she finds that she'll be living in Los Alamos, where her father is involved with a secret project which has something to do with the war. I liked this a lot: the writing is lucid, and the depiction of the time and place is absorbing and convincing.
OwlBeReading
Jul 03, 2016 OwlBeReading rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good historical fiction book. I don't know if I'm going to read the second book because this one ended on a very good note. All of the characters continued to develop throughout the story which was good. At times it was slow so rafts why it has a four and not a five out of five stars. Overall easy read!
Grace
Sep 13, 2015 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was more like 4.5 stars, but still really good! The story line was very intriguing, keeping my interest through the whole book. The topic of the book was something that we had never really learned about in any social studies class, and I found it to be very interesting. Overall, I think that this was a very good book, and one that many people could easily enjoy.
TheBookSmugglers
In 1943, 11-year-old Dewey is on her way to spend some time with her mathematician father after her grandmother suffers a stroke and can no longer take care of her. Her father has been absent since the beginning of the War and now lives at Los Alamos, working on a secret project which is only referred to as “the gadget” throughout the book. The Gadget is of course, the atomic bomb and Los Alamos is the secret location of the Manhattan Project.

There, Dewey is left mostly to her own devices – quit
...more
Ch_jank-caporale
Feb 28, 2010 Ch_jank-caporale rated it liked it
I was uncomfortable reading this book because of the title and the subject matter. I've been to Los Alamos and know about the green glass of the title. Geiger counters were not very accurate back then, and scientists didn't know which levels of radiation would have lasting effects. I cringed at the end of the book, knowing not only what the radio report on Hiroshima would mean for the world, but what the shoe box full of green glass would mean for Dewey and the Gordons. Whew! Hard one to finish ...more
Emily
May 17, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
Dewey Kerrigan, raised by her grandmother until she has a stroke and goes into a nursing home, is sent to live with her father is New Mexico. Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1943: the place where chemists, physicists, and other scientists are working on creating the atomic bomb. All of this is shrouded in secrecy, and Dewey herself knows nothing of it. Her life is concerned with smaller things: having conversations with Enrico Fermi and Richard Feynman, bonding with a loving but overworked father, ...more
L12_sarah
Feb 29, 2012 L12_sarah rated it really liked it
The Green Glass Sea is the story of 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan, and happens to be set against the backdrop of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico during 1943. Although the book contains a lot of information on what life was like in the "off the map" Los Alamos research community, it also paints a vivid picture of what life is like in the U.S. during the wartime of World War II.

Like all good historical fiction, Dewey's conflict is a product of the time in which she lives. For one,
...more
Jaime
The Green Glass sea is about two young girls whose parents work as scientists for a secret government project. The project is extremely top secret and is supposedly creating a "gadget" that will end World War II. The two girls, Dewey and Suze, both attend the same school located on The Hill in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Dewey, the new kid on the block, lives with her father, a passionate physicist. Suze lives with her mother and father - a chemist and physicist respectively. Dewey is the odd one ...more
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol
Published: 2006
Award: Scott O'Dell Award
Age Level: 10-16

I loved this book about a girl named Dewey. She is the daughter of a scientist working on the atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico during World War II. Only the lives of everyone who lived in Los Alamos at this time was a secret. No one could talk about what they were doing, not even to their families that lived with them. Dewey's mother is gone and the only person she has left in the world is her father who is busy working night and day o
...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
The Green Glass Sea is intended for students in grades 6-8 and has won the Scott O’Dell award (2007). This book is set in 1943, where Dewey Kerrigan lives with her mathematician father in a town that does not exist. The town, which is referred to as Los Alamos is home to scientists and mathematicians from all over Europe and America. They are all collectively working on “the gadget”, which is really an atomic bomb. The plot has many unexpected twists and turns as “the gadget” affects many lives ...more
Kellie Murphy
Mar 02, 2014 Kellie Murphy rated it liked it
I wasn't really looking forward to reading a historical fiction, as I haven't had a great experience with them in the past. When I read the summary for this book though, it intrigued me and I decided to go with it. Unfortunately, I didn't love it. I wanted to. I couldn't connect with Dewey for some reason. I wanted to love the little misfit, but I just didn't find her relatable. She was an inventor, which was cool that she excelled in that area despite her tragic life. (Which was truly tragic. ...more
Teresa Lukey
This story was unexpectedly enjoyable for me. I was vaguely aware of what it was about, but it was highly rated and I knew the story contained a young girl who loves math. Being a lover of math myself, I couldn't resist checking the audio version out from the library so my son could also enjoy it, which he did.

The story starts off with Dewey, a 10-year math and mechanics lover, on her way to being reunited with her father, who has been moved to Los Alamos to work on the "gadget" with a group of
...more
CH_Emily Scholnik
Grade Range 6th-9th
Winner, 2007 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Winner, 2007 Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children's Literature
Winner, 2007 New Mexico State Book Award (YA)


Set in 1943, during the time of WWII, eleven year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west to live with her scientist father. No one, neither her father nor the military guards who accompany her, will tell her exactly where she is going. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: her father is working on a
...more
James Govednik
Nov 01, 2009 James Govednik rated it really liked it
For ages 10 and up, this book breaks out of a lot of stereotypes. I found the format refreshing, changing viewpoints and shifting forward in time as necessary. The characters also break out of the mold. We have two girls who have trouble fitting in--Dewey, a "science girl" and Suse, who hasn't really figured out her niche yet. The adults as well have more varied characteristics. The factual history and science are woven seamlessly into the story, in a way that not only supports the narrative but ...more
Bernice
Nov 03, 2009 Bernice rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke Smith
Feb 26, 2014 Brooke Smith rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I thought it was such a good story and it really brought me back to that time period and I felt like I was actually living in it.

One thing that I loved throughout this book is the creativity that each child had. Dewey, unlike a typical girl, loved techie gadgets, and building new things with items she found at the dump. Dewey's creative side brought out Suze's creativity as well, because when Dewey was building a contraption, Suze created a collage with all of the nuts, bolts
...more
Jim
Oct 25, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
I didn’t realise the book was set around the Manhattan Project until around the hundredth page. It is not really about the Manhattan Project but about a young girl, who is small for her age (10 to 12 as the story progresses) and who likes maths. Like many protagonists in children’s fiction, Dewey is an outsider, she is used to her own company and likes to fiddle around with clocks, motors and an Erector set (American version of Meccano). Dewey’s father is a mathematician and Dewey goes to join ...more
Erin
Feb 13, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
I added this book to my to-read list when I saw that it was about the Manhattan Project. That piqued my interest because the first Atomic Bomb was detonated just a little more than 30 miles away from where Andre's father was born and raised. From the tiny town of San Antonio, they could see the extraordinary brightness that lit the sky on "the day the sun rose twice." Of course, at the times, most of them had no idea what it was, even though army- and scientist-types had been in the region ...more
Amanda
An educational read for me in the form of a simple adolescent story. I've read on multiple occasions about how Hitler rounded up brilliant and elite German minds to work under his reign, but was ignorant to the American civilian scientists who were brought together to work in this secret community on The Manhattan Project. I had never before read about the making of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos, or Trinity and the Green Glass Sea. This little book strongly supports the author's statement that ...more
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Ellen Klages was born in Ohio, and now lives in San Francisco.

Her short fiction has appeared in science fiction and fantasy anthologies and magazines, both online and in print, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Black Gate, and Firebirds Rising. Her story, "Basement Magic," won the Best Novelette Nebula Award in 2005. Several of her other stories have been on the final ballot f
...more
More about Ellen Klages...

Other Books in the Series

Green Glass (2 books)
  • White Sands, Red Menace (Green Glass #2)

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