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The Green Glass Sea (Green Glass #1)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,832 ratings  ·  695 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 sci ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Viking Juvenile
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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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Lizz
Dear Jimmy Kerrigan:

Why can't you be real and not in 1941 and not in New Mexico working on a top-secret gadget for the United States as World War II rages across the globe? From your Irish tenor to your wool sweaters, from your crazy intelligence to your devoted, sweet, straight-forward relationship with your kick-ass daughter, Dewey,I am head over heels. And you're a MINOR character!

I'm so sorry your drunk-ass wife went and left you and your baby girl, but you'd be better off with me. I would t
...more
Luann
When I was in high school, I did an extra credit report on Oppenheimer, "Little Boy," and "Fat Man." It was all new to me, and so interesting and horrifying that I have always been very interested in that area of history. This is a work of historical fiction about the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb and their families. It is told from the point of view of the children, who were not given many details of the highly classified project and thus not many details make it into the story. The ...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
Lisa Vegan
Dec 16, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Julie
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
Rachael
When I picked up this book, I was SO excited to read it because while I've read a lot of novels set during WWII, I've never really thought about the scientists (or their families) who worked on developing the "gadget." The unusual nature of the setting, and the "casting" of Dewey Kerrigan, a techie little girl who has spent so much of her childhood alone, really intrigued me. And there were aspects of this book that I liked, but given my anticipation, I was disappointed in this book.

Why? I thoug
...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
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
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
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
Kellie Murphy
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. S ...more
Brooke Smith
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
James Govednik
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Emily
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, wo ...more
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
L12_sarah
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
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
Ch_jank-caporale
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
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
MissDziura
Ellen Klage's book is most approriate for readers in 7th and 8th grade, although 8th grade readers will probably understand the historical context more because WWII is part of the 8th grade history curriculum in most schools. Dewey is a likable chracter who has to uproot her life once again to meet her dad at "The Hill," (Los Alamos). Dewey's father is one of many scientists working on the gadget (the atomic bomb). The story is slow in parts but it becomes more about the frienship Dewey has with ...more
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
Erin
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 worki ...more
Terry
The Manhattan Project. Cameos by Richard Feynman, Robert Oppenheimer, and Enrico Fermi. A mechanically-inclined, mathematics-loving girl who marches to her own drumbeat. Of course, I liked this book. The emotional content does not seem as strong as the major plot line. There are certainly some paper characters and some situations that are resolved too easily, but this book is readable, informative, and likely to elicit empathy.
Yipyipyeti4783
Just reading the title, I had absolutely NO idea that this had anything to do with WWII, but I soon found out that this wasn't only about WWII, but it took a brand new perspective, at least for me. I really didn't expect much, but as I got farther into the book, I realized that this was going to be interesting. You got to know the characters, because you saw them through their eyes, as well as the other characters eyes as well. The perspective changed every chapter or so, which made the book mo ...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
I listened to The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages on CD. At times I felt as though the story was a little slow, but overall I really enjoyed listening to this book. When I got towards the end and found out about Dewey's father, I began crying because I felt so sorry for Dewey. I think since this book is told from the perspective of an 11 year old, young children would really enjoy reading this book. They would be able to relate to the characters as well as learn a lot about the historical time p ...more
Julia Reynolds
This book follows the fictional Dewey Kerrigan, age 11, as she moves with her father to Los Alamos to live with him while he and other scientists, etc. work on the Manhattan Project. Her story and that of her eventual friend Suze Gordon are the main plot of the novel; the development of the bomb is a sidenote and its implications and historical hindsight make this an eerie read. Dewey is smart, unique, a mechanics enthusiast with a runaway mother and a shorter leg, who adores her father and thei ...more
S.N. Arly
This is a story full of amazingly well-drawn realistic characters, something I require to truly enjoy a book. I picked this up because I'd previously read, and enjoyed, Klages' Portable Childhoods, which includes the short story this novel sprang from.

The Green Glass Sea follows the children of the scientists on the Manhattan Project, developing the first atomic bombs. I found the portrayal of life for an eleven-year-old at a top secret base compelling and believable. Parents aren't allowed to s
...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
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