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The Year of the Bomb

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  64 reviews
The year is 1955, and there’s nothing that Paul and his best friends, Oz, Arnie, and Crank, love more than horror movies. So when Invasion of the Body Snatchers starts filming in their small California town, they couldn’t be more excited. But when their acquaintance with Laura and Darryl, extras on the movie, leads to an involvement in a possible Communist conspiracy, Paul ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  227 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I so related to this book, simply because I grew up in the 50's, did the air raid drills, watched the horror movies and could relate to the time.

Set in the 50's, a bunch of friends are excited that Don Siegel is filming "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" in their little California town. There is an FBI agent investigating movie people, and he also has a physicist on his list to be investigated, so the boys discover the complexities of loyalty, patriotism, paranoia and real fear as they pursue thei
Shane Young
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Elizabeth
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sms-imc
This one started really rough for me, but it got much better. The writing to start was very clunky, and the characters felt very overblown and like caricatures. However, by about halfway through the story picked up and the characters seemed more realistic. This is a solid choice for a fan of action as the chapters are short pretty fast paced. It wasn't mind blowing by any means, but I would have no problem recommending to a 6th or 7th grader especially. ...more
Aidan Desrocher
Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it

The Year Of The Bomb

The book that I have read was the year of the bomb by Ronald Kidd . Ronald Kidd wrote a book that is about a group of kids that live in the 1950’s and this would be a relatable topic but when some things that I won`t spoil happens in the book I start to lose the feelings for some of the characters. Me as a not so constant reader can't just pick up a book and read,this was one of those books that was hard to read and stay interested in.

This book you could relate to but only i
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This deals with McCarthyism in the 50's, and thus suspicions of Jewish scientists and actors leaking nuclear secrets, but it's not about nuclear bombs or deep history. It takes place around the filming of a B Horror movie in a small California town. The teenage fanboys get mixed up in the McCarthyistic action.

I liked some things about it and the first half more than the second half. The last 1/4 goes way goofy though. [SPOILERS coming!!] The narrator and protagonist kid, Paul, suddenly starts ha
Majesty Uwagerikpe
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome. It takes place in 1955 Sierra Madre. Paul, Crank, Arnie, and Oz love horror movies. Then, a movie crew came to film a horror movie in their town. They meet the cast and crew. Paul develops a crush for Laura, an extra. They also meet Darryl, Laura's friend. Soon, they are involved in an investigation that involves bombs, Russian spies, and more. It was a great book. It was historical fiction, and the cast and crew from the movie are real people. They actually did film a mo ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quin Klenow
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it
My favorite characters were either Crank, because it was funny seeing him pick on his friends because he's bigger, or Oz because it makes it seem small in the book but he stands up to Crank even though Crank is much larger than him. My favorite event was when they tried to be spies and they were about to sneak into the professor's house but then went into his office with him. The pace of this book is really slow at the beginning which is why I didn't like it, but then it moves pretty fast toward ...more
Apr 02, 2020 added it
I think that this book was very interesting because of all the adventures that the kids went on. They were trying to solve a mystery in their town and around Los Angeles, but things were not adding up. Read this book to find out what really happens and if they solve the mystery.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting historical fiction. Would have been better without a few things....
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good interesting mix of film, science and fear
Connor W.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that is questionably relatable to you before? If so, then this is the book that gave me the sense of living in a story.
The Year of the Bomb is a book like no other that I have read before. There is something about it that keeps calling to me, and I never want to stop reading it. I read TYOTB over a year ago, and I can’t let go of it. Everything about the book is so interesting and relatable, and it is definitely worth the read.
TYOTB takes place in the small, quiet t
Betta Fish
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
The year is 1955, and the Cold War is going strong between America and the USSR. A group of four boys growing up in Sierra Madre, California, near LA are going through their daily lives. This includes bomb drills and tales of communist espionage from their social studies teacher.

Thirteen-year-old Paul is the main protagonist, and he is joined by Oz, Crank, and Arnie. They are thrilled to find out that Hollywood is going to be coming to their small town. They are all big fans of the Saturday horr
Hylary Locsin
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Paul, Arnie, Crank and Oz are best friends living in Sierra Madre, a suburb of Los Angeles, in 1955. The boys love spending their summer days at the local theater watching the latest horror movies. When they learn that a new movie called Invasion of the Body Snatchers is set to be filmed in their town, they're ecstatic. The boys get to see the movie being filmed and even become friends with the di
Kay Mcgriff
The Year of the Bomb (Simon and Schuster 2009) by Ronald Kidd combines horror movies, conspiracy theories, and quantum physics in this historical fiction novel set in Sierra Madra, California, during the spring of 1955.

Friends Paul, Oz, Arnie and Crank enjoy nothing more than scaring themselves silly at the Saturday movie matinee. They’ve seen them all–The Thing, The Day the Earth Stood Still, It Came from Outer Space, Invaders from Mars. They can’t believe their luck when they learn that the m
Nov 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
It was a very simple book with a very fast plot line. It could have slowed down a little bit and the author made a 13 year old fall in love with a 23 year old which is a bit weird.
Madigan Mirza
Oct 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
In Sierra Madre, California, 1955, Paul and his three best friends Oz, Crank and Arnie are obsessed with monster movies. The horror-movie fake-out at the beginning of the book really drew me in. Shortly after leaving the theater, Paul and his friends are overjoyed to learn that Invasion of the Body Snatchers will be coming to film in their downtown.

It really is amazing to think that this juxtaposition of events: monster movies and world altering break-throughs in physics, including work on nucle
Sandra Stiles
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grades
Talk with kids today about the “red-scare”, Russian spies, black-listing of actors and actresses and see what kind of reaction you get. We had a conversation regarding the red scare a few weeks ago and my students looked at me with blank faces. They had never heard of such a thing. The characters in this book have grown up with the “red-scare, bomb shelters and horror movies. They believe these things are all made up until…. This is one of those books you need to read. I really like it. Maybe it ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 5th grade and up
Recommended to Megan by: Young Hoosier Book Award nominee
3 1/2 stars

Paul's favorite thing to do is watch horror movies with his friends, Arnie, Crank, and Oz. Imagine their excitement when they find out that a new horror movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, will be filmed in their own home town. Hanging around the set, Paul develops a crush on one of the extras. She is kind enough to invite him to watch much of the filming and some of the behind-the-scenes action.

But the horrors created in Hollywood are nothing compared to the horrors experienced a
Luke Rottman
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
The year of the bomb is curing 1955. The four friends Paul, Crank, Oz, and Arnie, and they love horror movies. When the movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is going to start filming in their home town, and the boys are ecstatic. While watching the filming they befriend two extras, Laura and Darryl, who lead them to an involvement with possible Communists.

In the book, I liked how the characters were believable and not to far fetched. There were no plot holes. The conflict was the involvemen
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Paul and his three friends, 13 years old in 1955, love the movies and they love taking the bus into Hollywood from their tiny town of Sierra Madre. What could be more amazing than the news that an actual Hollywood film is going to be shot in their town? Meanwhile, the government's hunt for Communists is in full swing, and the boys' teacher fills them with the fear and suspicion that was so rife at the time. They are told not to trust anyone, to keep their eyes open. The boys meet the beautiful L ...more
Martha Schwalbe
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had as much fun reading this book as I did Monkey Town. I wish I were teaching freshmen this year because I'd do this as a read aloud. Wonderful food for thought about hearing what the grown ups around you say and the truth of what they say. Whereas Monkey Town dealt with evolution this book deals with McCarthyism. Let's always judge before we get the facts. Let's make life hell for everyone before we get the facts. I guess I'm generalizing here. It's a good book with a lot to think about.
Erin Forson
Nov 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Year of the Bomb
by Ronald Kidd
At the beginning of this novel I laughed so hard about the dialogue between the 4 main characters, Oz, Paul, Crank and Arnie, that I knocked over the soda I was drinking. I thought, yes! Another author has hit the guy speak button right on the nose! Sadly, as the novel progressed, the funny horseplay turned into bullying, and the dialogue sort of fizzled. Basically, the author tries to show the audience, through the making of the vintage horror flick Invasion of the
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun Park
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the book, The Year of the Bomb by Ronald Kidd, Paul, the main character in the story,
lives in Sierra Madre in 1955 with his friends, Oz, Arnie, and Crank. The four all love horror
movies, but one of their most favorites are filming it in their town. They are excited, but when
they find out that an FBI agent is looking for communists, the boys get involved.
The Year of the Bomb by Ronald Kidd has some negative facts. First of all, the author
doesn’t describe the setting, or where the characte
Abby Johnson
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
Paul and his friends love to go to horror movies on the weekends, so they're really excited when they learn that actors will be filming in their hometown! It's a horror film called Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the boys can't get enough. They show up every day to watch the filming. It's a crazy time for them with fear of The Bomb constantly hung over their heads and McCarthy's endless search to persecute Communists creating paranoia everywhere.

I loved this book for its rich historical deta
Ethan Mills
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bookshelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed reading this story set in 1956 California. Four boys have a life changing experience when the filming of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” comes to their town of Sierra Madre. It has enough adventure to keep attention and provides excellent details on life in the 1950’s, from Pez candy to the McCarthy witch-hunt and the meeting of two of the most fascinating minds of the mid 20th Century.

1.Describe what attracted the boys to the movies? Are these the same things that entice you into
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Ronald Kidd is the author of thirteen novels for young readers, including the highly acclaimed “Night on Fire” and “Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial.” His novels of adventure, comedy, mystery, and American history have received the Children's Choice Award, an Edgar Award nomination, and honors from the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, the Library of C ...more

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