Books in the Middle: Reading for Middle School

Our focus is on books middle school students might like to read and topics pertaining to books for these students, and we are giving recommendations. Teachers, librarians and middle school students are the contributors to this blog. Enjoy!

The Saboteurs July 5, 2017

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 9:23 am

After the Nazis invaded Norway, many of the citizens wanted to fight back. Some began small scale sabotage against the occupiers, while others fled to Britain to get trained in becoming serious spies as well as soldiers who could do real damage to the Nazi operations in their country.

In Sabotage by Neal Bascomb, we are introduced to a group of serious and committed men who wanted to take down the Germans in their country of Norway. At the same time there was a race on – a race to see who could take what had been learned in physics download-4about the power of splitting atoms and the energy that could be generated as a result. Whoever could harness this process in a way that would allow for a massive and destructive bomb could win World War II. The Germans were experimenting with a process that needed something called heavy water in which the hydrogen molecule carried a neutron in its nucleus as well as a proton. This is very rare in nature. However, a hydro power plant in Vermork, Norway created some of this water during the process of making electricity. At first, no one could really find a use for it, but with World War II and the Germans realizing heavy water could help them with their process for developing a bomb, the need for heavy water became intense. So did the Allies desire to stop the Nazis from getting this water because it could mean they would get a bomb before the Manhattan Project in the United States could be successful.

Thus begins a series of events that cost the lives of quite a few soldiers as well as civilians in an attempt to change the course of the war, all in a remote part of Norway.

This is a fascinating book, and anyone interested in World War II, or the creation of the first atomic bomb must read. Recommended for 8th grade and up due to scientific terms and historical context.

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