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The Green Glass Sea (Green Glass #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,436 Ratings  ·  862 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 s
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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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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Lisa Vegan
Oct 15, 2007 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
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
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Luann by: Lisa Vegan
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
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
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.


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
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2008 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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan Dhu
Dec 12, 2015 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
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
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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.
Jul 02, 2016 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!
Aug 31, 2014 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.
Emily Lloyd
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dewey Kerrigan, an 11-year old girl embarks on a train ride to go live with her father, a mathematician in New Mexico. Where in New Mexico exactly, she has no idea. With WWII going on there are so many things must be kept a secret. Soon arriving in Los Alamos, a town she discovers does not officially exist she begins to learn more about the town she now calls home. The town is buzzing with other scientists and mathematicians and their families in her same situation who are working on a top-secre ...more
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
Sophia Witola-Reyes
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great coming-to-age book with a heart warming ending!
Feb 27, 2010 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
Sarah Syed
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book! Its set in 1943, and its about an 11 year old girl named Dewey who's traveling by train to go live with her father who's a scientist. but nobody will tell her where her father is. And once she gets there, she realizes why she didn't know beforehand; her father is working on a top secret government program. And then Dewey begins to learn more about science and different things. I really liked the way Ellen Klages wrote this book and showed different emotion and ...more
May 17, 2008 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, wo ...more
Feb 18, 2012 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,
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 ou ...more
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
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 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. S ...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
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
James Govednik
Oct 27, 2009 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
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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Around the Year i...: The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages 1 8 Jan 08, 2017 04:18PM  
the Green glass sea 1 2 Dec 05, 2016 03:03PM  
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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
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